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FSC NEW changes
2014 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #4 San Felasco Park - Alachua, FL 10-19-14.
Awesome weather and race conditions as the series is nearing the half way point at this popular trail system near the Gainesville area. The 7 mile loop started with a fast, wide and slightly uphill half mile run then hit the flowing single track and ended with a blazing fast downhill run to the finish area. Can't say enough about the hard working volunteers from the Friends of San Felasco club, they do an amazing job with the trails and also work the event to keep things running smooth for everyone, many thanks! Many thanks as well to Super Cool Bike shop of Gainesville as they handed out over $2000 in prizes to the medalists.
Shelly Allen (pictured) has been on a roll this season with four wins and counting so far. The multi time state champion looks like she has finally shook off the back pain issues that has plagued her in recent years and looks to be tough to beat in the Women's cat 1 class in '14. The elite class was again a great race with the lead pack staying together for the majority of race and was packed with state champs and national contenders, this time it was Shawn Smith taking the overall win over the field for his first Elite class win of the series so far but it is still Bob McCarty in the "Elite Leaders Jersey" as we head to Bob's turf next week (South Florida).
Mark Kovi took the $50 First Place Racing Fast Lap Fifty award on his home trail. KMC chains also had two fast lap awards for the top Women's cat 3 lap time (Denise Fulco) and the GM1 B class saw Marshall Reeves nab a nice gold chain as well. The team championship points has the "Brick City Bombers" 5 points ahead of the "Super Cool Bike shop" team.
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* New this year Gone Riding is now offering an optional membership for $30 and includes a t-shirt, sticker and a $5 discount off regular entry prices. This membership can be purchased at any Gone Riding event, the Gone Riding store or online at First Place Racing.com. Also USAC licenses will also be honored at all cross country events and receive the same $5 discount.
*Also new is the Gone Riding Store including our new Gone Riding Jersey
mountain bike racing
Mountain bike racing
2014 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #3 Alafia River State Park - Lithia, FL 10-5-14.
By Tom Pike, photo by Michelle Pike.
Alafia River State Park, site of the Specialized FSC#3, oh yeah! This is a trail system that not only feels good to ride it makes you feel good. It makes a man feel like a man and a woman feel like a woman. It hits those pleasure zones you only hear them talk about on after hours call in shows. Okay maybe I'll stop there because I think there's young people that read this article is too. But you get the picture. The Alafia River State Park Trail system is probably one of the most favorite courses on the FSC circuit. I know riders who will take extra pre-ride laps because it's too hard to say no to this mistress of fun. I even heard some racers in the pits talking about going out and trying to push through another lap after the race is over because they just couldn't get enough of Alafia. And who could blame them. This was a weekend where the weather, the choice of trails for the race and the people that showed up came together to make a good time. Mother Nature treated the park to rains in the days leading up to race day. This get the trails a nice stickiness. Even the short sandy section in the field was almost tolerable. It's been almost a year since I rode Alafia last, which is inexcusable I know, but it gave me a real chance to appreciate the improvements the volunteer trail group has done there. The extension to the Magic Island Trail is a riot. It almost has a Carter Road feel to it. You know those cool is a moose but twice is hairy bench cuts where you just let go of the brakes and hope you don't fly off the edge as you switch back to the trail. Definitely a thrill inducer and smile maker. Other noticeable improvements included small berms in the North Creek Trail and on the Bridges trail. Also some minor rerouting of the Roller Coaster trail which also was a real smile maker. Thanks again to the trail crew. One of the things that I enjoy about the Alafia Trail system is its availability to spectators. Because the trails all branch off of one fire road it's easy for spectators and photographers to get the different points in the trail. Which has two benefits. The first one is it's always nice to hear people cheering specially at those parts of the course when you're really digging deep and suffering. The second is more variety of photographs from those that are out always shooting pix. Well San Felasco is up next. The challenge, besides riding your best, how many deer you see. Ride fast! Ride safe!
Tom Pike is an Ellsworth Team Rider. Tom has won a Silver Medal at the USAC National Mountain Bike Championships and is a two time Florida State Mountain Bike Champion. In his “spare time” he works teaching Film Production at Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami, Florida.
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