(06/25/2005)
Submitted by Diann Clothier

It's Appalachian Bike Classic weekend in Sunny Cal.

WVMBA's first ever Spring Point Series Championship will be held Sunday at the Calhoun County Park near Grantsville, WV.

The Cross Country feature race will blast off (black powder, naturally!) at high noon.

Mountain Bike Racers from all over WV, PA, OH, MD, and VA will battle it out under hopefully sunny skies this weekend - with Pro/Expert classes racing 30K, Sports racing 20K, and Junior Sports, beginners, and other non-point series classes racing 10K.

For a mere $30 (WVMBA members, $25), mountain bikers can thrill to the super fast single track, test their mettle on the steep "Power Slyde" and splash through "Wet'n'Wild" only to face the incredilbly steep climb of "GoatsFace," all topped off with plenty of prizes and a pasta and salad post-race meal.

The Appalachian Classic is hosted by Calhoun County, for the benefit of the Calhoun County Park.

While most NORBA races attract a crowd that would overshadow the entire county's population by a few thousand, Calhoun County's residents and businesses volunteer in force to monitor the trails, provide radio updates, hand out water, cook food, and just be generally helpful and friendly.

Since the race's inception nine years ago, the Classic has held Kid's Races at 10 a.m. - with plenty of mountain bikers to cheer the kids on. The races are non-gender and age approrpriate for kids who will be 12 and under as of 12-31-05, and they're free.

With the support of SHimano, the fist 50 kids will get a Youth Series T-Shirt, and there are plenty of medals to go around - even if the kid is on a trike.

As for the cross county racers, the fastest Pro/Expert male & female racers will recieve a wild cherry Champion's Bowl, carved by local artisan Robbie Clothier - each bowl would normally retail for $600 - $700.

And, this is in addition to a 100% payback cash purse for the Pro/Expert Classes - Men's & Women's Open, Men's Vet 35+, Men's Master 45+, Jr 18 & under, and Single Speed.

The fastest of the 20K Sport racers - one male and one female - will receive a rafting trip provided by Ace Adventure Center.

For the rest of the racers, the Classic can offer a huge prize table, courtesy of the support of numerous bike-related companies - Kenda, Cannondale, Maxxis, Fox Racing, PyroApparel, Road ID, KORE USA, Curve, Park Tools, and CytoSport to name a few.

The Classic can also offer families a quiet campground, so come early! There are no traffic lights in Calhoun. Saturday events - aside from pre-riding the course - will include the infamous Pond Jump and the WV National Guard's climbing wall.

And if an early night does not appeal, StarWars III is playing at WV's oldest Drive In Theatre - the Mt. Zion Drive-In is just a few miles away. The Calhoun County Park is located in Central WV - about three hours from Pittsburgh, two from Morgantown, an hour and change from Charleston WV.

Check the web site for directions - www.appalachianclassic.com - and registration forms!


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