Rockin’ the Gap 2011

//Rockin’ the Gap 2011

Rockin’ the Gap 2011

Team VeloWorks-Spokes, Etc had a great weekend of racing at Rocky Gap State Park.  The weekend was made all the more enjoyable thanks to our two new best friends….Mother Nature and Duane.  First, props to Mother Nature.  Despite a forecast of 50-70% chance of thunderstorms and showers all weekend, campers and racers enjoyed a full day outside with only some low clouds and mist in the air.  The temperature hung at about 70 degrees thanks to the foggy conditions, and it made for perfect racing weather.  We were also joined by a new local friend and all-day wrench support, Duane King.  He kept us lubed, mud-free, and rolling smooth for 9 hours.  Thanks, Duane.  Couldn’t have done it without you!

John and Luc arrived early on Friday to set up our pit area.  PRIME LOCATION, as usual, right by the transition area.  Our tent community became home to a large and gregarious group of Veloworks-Spokes, NCVC, and Spokes, Etc shop friends.  It was great to share stories, power balls, and beers with a great community of teammates.  Among that group, we fielded a bunch of teams in a variety of categories.

Luc and John (missing their fearless trio partner Emily) were rockin’ the Men’s Duo Masters
Scott and Terri fielded a fast Co-Ed Duo team
I paired up with my friend Derrick for a more casual Co-Ed Duo team
Kathleen teamed up with the two Chris‘ (Chris Lane and Chris Cosper) for a Co-Ed Trio team

We also pitted with a few brave Solo riders…teammates from NCVC, Bruce Demming and Chris Baker.  And another Male Duo with NCVC buddies Brian Lancaster and Ben Teller.

The course was a beautiful 8.3 mile loop with a few distinct sections to keep the brain entertained.  After leaving the pit area (which by the way, was a beautiful lakeside camping spot!…wow couldn’t ask for a better venue), we hit single track within .5 miles and dove into a twisty, rooty, turny flat section that traced the edge of the lake.  This part got more challenging as the day went on, as the roots got more slippery with each lap.  After about 3.5 miles of this, we then hit the aid station, a short stretch of asphalt through the campground, and then UP UP UP.  Miles 4 and 5 were the toughest of the day.  They consisted of a few steep climbs (ridable but energy-sapping), a few short rocky downhills, and a couple of challenging rock gardens with some puddles and streams thrown in.  This section really separated the men from the boys.  I’m not sure how the solo guys faced this section time and again, but they really earned their bragging rights!  Finally, mercifully, at about mile 6, the pay-off downhill drops you quickly back down to the beach and around the lake.  This was a BOMB downhill section for most, but a bit of a twiddle for those non-downhillers like myself.  Once back to the lake, the last 2.5 miles was a fast, flat, and super fun sprint back to the pits, finishing the loop around the lake.

Seriously, if you haven’t been to Rocky Gap to ride their single track, GO!  It’s worth the 2 hour drive.

So after 9 hours of pounding out the miles, the VeloWorks-Spokes, Etc team filled the podium with the red and black.  Congrats to our team of finishers!

Finishing a grueling 11 laps, Luc and John grabbed a 5th place podium spot in the Men’s Duo Masters 70+. They also took home the Veloworks-Spokes team gold medal for doing the most/fastest laps among us, and incidentally placing 20th out of 166 teams overall.  Great job, guys!
Terri and Scott took home 4th place in a very large and competitive field of Co-Ed Duo racers, after 10 laps around the lake.

Kathleen and the Chris‘ also laid down 10 laps and placed 4th in the Co-Ed Trio class, earning themselves a fancy set of pint glasses.
Derrick and I rounded out our day with a 12th place finish in the Co-Ed Duo.
My gear-head husband also thought it noteworthy to mention that our (mostly) Specialized-centric crew of racers had nothing but minor mechanical issues throughout the day, despite the rugged terrain and muddy conditions.  Nothing that our new best friend Dwayne couldn’t fix in a few handy minutes.  Our stable of Specialized beauties got us safely through the day, which was unfortunately not the case for a few of our (non-Specialized) neighbors who suffered from some slightly more catastrophic bike breakdown issues.
Fist pump for Specialized!!  Team Veloworks-Spokes is a grateful and happy customer.
Until the next ride/race/pizza and beer party, happy biking.

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2018-02-09T02:52:03+00:00 May 21st, 2011|2011 MTB Season|