While on vacation in August I had the pleasure of riding some sweet PA single track at Roaring Creek. I was able to get in contact with a number of local riders led by Brett Simpson. Had a great ride with them on the Roaring Creek trails. I was able to hook up with them through a number of emails inquiring about the Hopewell trails in Danville PA. In early August the Hopewell trails were basically non existent. Since early August the local mt bikers and promoter were able to get about 6 miles of trails race ready at Hopewell.
I left my house in Alexandria VA at 3am on Saturday to head to Danville PA. Yes I know I am a little crazy, but I wanted to support these guys at their first mountain bike race. Got to Hopewell Park in plenty of time and actually did a slow recon lap to check out the course. Made it back to the start in time for a quick race brief and then off to starting line.
The Sport race was to be 2 laps of the 6 mile rolling course. Had a great start and went into the single track in first place. Felt great the first lap and finished with a lap of 39 minutes. Start of second lap was still feeling pretty good. About half way through the second lap the lack of sleep, lack of recovery from SM100 last week and the course was starting to get to me. I had to walk one of the slick uphill sections and noticed the second place rider starting to catch up. Put my head down and pushed on. Two thirds of the way through the lap there is a long fire road climb that about half way up my feet cramped so bad i had to jump off the bike for a second. Again noticed the second place rider coming. Jumped back on bike and pushed for all I had left. One more moderate climb then back down some great switchbacks to the finish. I was able to hold on for the win by about 30 seconds.
Congrats to 16 year old Garett Nolan for his first place finish in the expert class. Congrats as well to all of the other participants that were able to make it out for a great inaugural event.
It was a long day of driving for a short mountain bike race, but it was well worth it. These guys did an amazing job with the trail system in a very short time. For a 6 mile course, it was fun, but also tough. I wish them much success in the future.