(06/17/2016)
The Appalachian Bike Classic was an annual event that once drew hundreds to the county every year.

By Bob Weaver

Racers ascend hill at starting line

6/18/2001

Over 150 mountain bikers from around the county, including several from Calhoun County, entered this weekends Appalachian Bike Classic point race at the 225-acre Calhoun County Park. Jack Downs, one of the events organizers said winners, runners-up and even the losers, shared in $11,500 in cash, prizes and perks.

Classic men's champion is Ryan O'Conner

Classic women's champion is Cassie Smith

Ryan O'Conner was the men's champ at 1:51 and Cassie Smith was the women's champ at 2:34 in the 7.2 mile race.

Anticipation for starting gun

Pedaling for points and prizes

Downs said he is always hopeful more Calhounians and folks from area counties will visit the Classic weekend. "It has a little something for just about everyone," he concluded.

"It was a perfect race day and a perfect place to have it," said Donnie Price, event coordinator, just before he began recognizing the cyclists. Price says the Calhoun race is the best venue in the state, and promises to become one of the finest bike races in West Virginia "If it is not already."

Coordinator Donnie Price said "It was a great race day," recognizing the 150 plus participants.

"Everyone gets a prize and recognition," said Price.

"The Appalachian Classic is a great thing for Calhoun County," said Price. "This park is one of the counties great assets."

The energy and excitement was evident with the racers and their supporters, who frequently expressed appreciation to the race organizers and community volunteers who contribute much to the events success.

Local resident Jim Burrows of MegaZound and his crew erected a giant stage, light and sound system which contributed to the delivery of Saturday's entertainment, including the performance of Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys.

Gunner Shongren, a Classic race winner, had a bad mechanical day

Down Powerslide, without a tumble

Dozens of local supporters from several organizations to enthusiastic volunteers who prepared and sold food, stationed themselves along the 7.2 mile loop, helped with parking, provided medical care, sold crafts, provided communications and entertained the bikers and visitors to the Classic. "We are really blessed with great help and great support," said Price. The Classic provides free primitive camping and food for the racers.

In the backwoods "Wet n' Wild"

Racers watch taped playback

The big spectator area for folks who can park and view is the "Power Slide" at the mouth of Riffle Run, but more obscure in the deep woods is the treacherous "Wet n' Wild" section between the top of Riffle Run Hill and the remote camping area of the county park.

Racers used a few sections of the new four mile biking and jogging trail which has been opened for public use.

Much of the money raised during the weekend will go to support the upkeep of the Calhoun County Park.


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