September 16, 2009

Bear Creek

Joel's Race Report:

This past Sunday was the final race of the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Super Series. The M.A.S.S. ,as it’s known, is a sixteen event series with formats including cross country, short track, night XCTT, marathon, team relays and 24 hour races. Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, PA was the venue for the final race.The course was very rocky with sections similar to the upcoming Teaberry race in Michaux. Team mates Mike Funk and Craig Thompsen were also on hand to contest the day.

The rainy weather in the days leading up to the race had the trails fairly wet---basically the rocks were a slathered up mess. This made for some exciting descents and also made the technical climbs trickier.

Luckily, my rock-riding Mojo showed up and I was able to have a solid ride. As the our group of Masters left the start line, Mike Funk sped off with Jay Dodge(“theMark”) in tow like they were shot out of a cannon. I could see that Mike was giving Jay the business during the opening climbs of the course. I was somewhere around 5th as we entered the woods.

When we hit the first technical section, you could here alarm bells and wake up calls going off all over the place as tires searched for traction in the slick conditions. The trails offered roots, rocks, wooden bridges and tight rocky switchbacks all of which were becoming more slick with each passing lap. After eventually passing everyone who pulled away at the start, except for “the Mark”, I became locked into a battle with a rider from Shirk’s Team named Leif Lucas. He was climbing a little stronger than I was, but gaps opened up during the Rocks. During the last rocky sections of lap three and while wading thru the tail end of the Sport class, I twisted the throttle full open and was able to gain a minute lead and hold it to the end for 2nd place.

After the race, the series promoters awarded all of the Series winners there due rewards. Now begins the Cyclocross season for which I have been looking forward to all year!

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