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Markham FSC by Tom Pike

2014 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #5 / Coconut Cup #1 Markham Park - Sunrise, FL 10-26-14

The 2014 Specialized Florida State Championship headed to South Florida for a packed weekend of racing at Markham Park in Sunrise, FL. Besides being the 5th round of the FSC series, this weekend also kicked off the first race of the South Florida Coconut Cup Series. Plus the always exciting Short Track race on Saturday.

It's always the best when you're racing at a home park. Obviously local trail knowledge is great for your confidence. It also can give you a psychological advantage. A "home game" also means a short car ride to the park and sleeping in your own bed.

As a South Florida rider I enjoy the combined format of the FSC series with the first three CC races. It gives me a chance to race with friends who may only be doing the Coconut Cup. It also adds a new challenge to the state racers as they have to go up against new faces.

Now it's no secret that Markham has a rep for munching on bodies and bikes. The pits are full of war stories about cuts, bruises, stitches, bones and busted bikes... and this weekend was no exception. What's intriguing to me is that Markham is a 90% technical park, not unlike Oleta, Alafia or Carter Road. Those parks also collect their share of bodies and bikes, but for some reason those parks don't seem to have the same mythology Markham has. Go figure. I'll just chalk it up to a home court advantage no matter how they lay out the course.

Speaking of which, for those of us that ride Markham all the time it was nice to have the course laid out in the direction that we always ride. Turtle Slide and Semper Fi, which are part of the AMTB(adaptive mountain bike) loop, where nice additions and new way to go around Crime Scene. The redesign of the end of Outback Extension matched low gear switchback climbing with a steep downhill feeding you into tall banked corners for a corkscrew exit that I know had some people doing the death grip on their handlebars.

As for the condition of the tails the Markham Park trail maintenance volunteers continue to do a fantastic job building and maintaining the trail system here. These guys and gals do a lot of fund-raising and invest hundreds of hours to support the trails and it shows. If you only come to Markham for the races you've noticed a lot of building and improvements.

Of special note is the AMTB(adaptive mountain bike) loop which this crew recently completed. It runs about 4 miles and was used for the kids course. They also provide the bike patrol for the races and weekends. You guys rock!

So now it's onto Haile's Trails. Rumor has it that there's two new miles of trail and that Dave Berger is spicing them up by invoking the spirits of the original Razorback trails. I hope the rumors are true.

Ride Hard! Ride Safe!
Peace, Pike!

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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* 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

Bradford Perley & Shelly Allen take SERC opener in Florida

2015 South Eastern Regional Championship series #1 - Hailes Trails - Newberry, Fl 3-22-15

Bryce Kovi & Jack Brown featured in the photo.

What an exciting start to the SERC series at the famed Haile's trails in Newberry Florida.  The course is located in a old limestone quarry and is one of the most demanding in the state with it's punchy climbs and technical single track and because it is an old quarry it is virtually sand free and instead hardpack.  This year the 5.8 mile course had and extra mile section of motorcycle trails that featured the longest downhill on the course along with some very challenging climbs.

The Competition was red hot in most classes and some of the most noteables were in the men's pro class as the battle between Lewis Gaffney and Bradford Perley (men's pro / elite class) which went down to the wire with Perley getting the nod.  In the Women's pro / expert class it was Florida's Shelly Allen's day as the multi time champ took the win with ease.  Also notable was the ride by Bob McCarty in the 40-49 cat 1 class that although started two minutes back not only won his class but the overall as he passed all of the pro's in the process.  In the same 40-49 class there was another magical ride by Mose Howard as he broke his chain at the start and spent several minutes fixing it before remounting the race and worked his way back up to second behing McCarty by the end of the event.

Many thanks to all of the series sponsors and especially to the round sponsors Super Cool Bike Shop and Leroy's Bike Works who provided over $2000 in prizes to the medalists.  Next week the series moves to Conyers Georiga for the second round of both the SERC and GSC series.

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*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

GSC Time Trial podium celebration

2015 Georia State Championship series #1 - LH Thomson Trails - Macon, GA 3-14&15-15

 What a switch from last years GSC opener which was wet and cold, this year the weather was awesome for both days of the 2015 series double header.  The bonus round time trial started things off on Saturday on a 4 mile short course as each rider faced the trail and the clock for valuable bonus points and at the end it was Mose Howard of Florida taking the top time with a blazing 18:57 time.  Sunday with temperatures in the mid 70's and sun shinning the cross country riders hit the trail (this time a bit longer at 6 miles) which included a spiral loop at the end of each lap that made riding and spectating very interesting.  At the end of the day the top XC rider was again Mose Howard and top female was Trudy Franzel. 

Many thanks to club OMBA for hosting the event and working so hard on course set up and marshaling also many thanks to the LH Thomson company for allowing the race to be held on their property (yes that LH Thomson, the famous bike component maker).

Next round is in Conyers, GA on March 29th, see you there!

 

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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

The land rush begins at the 12 Hours of Santos

2015 12 Hours of Santos - Cross Florida Greenway Trails - Ocala, FL 2-21-15.

The '15 version of the this classic race had some new twists this year as there was a 3 hour class added, the start finish area were relocated and the trail layout was one of the most uniquie in recent years.  The 8.3 mile course had a new split in the middle of the "red" trails (or the most advanced) which gave the racers a bit of a break instead of trying to swallow all of the red section which is nearly 3 miles long all at one time.  The start / finish was moved up to the "old" as in at least 10 years ago area under the newly cleared oak tree area.  Also new was the start of the race, as always the running start came up the limestone hill but this time the riders (once they got on their bikes they are now called riders) shot down the jump section of the Vortex trails to the bottom of the pit and then circled right back up to that same climb they just ran and then another half mile of gravel road till they hit the single track.  All of this added up to better spectating, a better chance to get strung out before the tight trails and this also meant a longer first lap.

Many thanks to all stepped in to help make the race a success, the sponsors, the racers and especially the volunteers.  Some folks I would like to single out for helping with the course are Bill Miller, Ron Henion, Rob Ern, Steve Mace, Scott Weber and Mark Williams (I am sure there are many more I am missing) also Michelle Harris, Renee Blaney of club Omba.

Ok back to the race action, John Caputo won the new 3 hour class while a ghost from the past showed up to win the women's 3 hours class, Tara Pizza.  Ryan Woodall won the 6 hour male solo expert class, Ivar Kozeja took the 45+ men's class, Kelly Hudson the Single Speed class, Randy Egues the 6 Hour amateur class and Amy Horstmeyer topped the women's 6 hour field.  In the 12 Hour solo class it was Jose Rojas winning the expert class, female winner was Ally Stacher while David Collins was the top amateur 12 soloist.

Moving on to the team results, the 2 person 12 hour team of Bob McCarty and Doug Deweese were on the move all day and racked up and incredable 18 laps (one of only two teams to do so) while team Tune cycle (Tim & Troy Zimmerman, Justin Barton) were the fastest of the 4 person teams also with 18 laps.  The Base category is split into two groups one over 140 combined ages and one under, it was "Brick City Braaap" winning the under group and the over class was topped by the "Mad Outfitters".  Last but not least the Co-ed class was won by "Ferris Buehlers day off" with 17 laps.

In the correction department, it has been determined that Al Blanchard was the 2nd place finisher in the 3 hr solo class.

Thanks all that came and all that supported the event, looking forward to next year already.

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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

The Coconut Cup kids get ready to race at Halpatiokee

2014-2015 Coconut Cup South Florida series #6 - Halpatiokee Park - Stuart, FL 2-15-15.

Well the series seemed to fly by and now that it is over we can declare it was a perfect season for weather and competition.  For those that remember last year the Stuart race was a mudder but not this year, the 7.5 mile course was a little on the long side but appropriate for the final of the series.  Although the trail is not technical nor does it have much in the way of elevation but it is still a fun and fast course that improves every year and as always, no race course is ever easy.

Special thanks go out to Phil Pacini of Mission One Racing and to the Airborne Bicycle club for prepping the course, marking, marshaling, layout and clean up!  Also many thanks to all that pitched in to help with announcing and clean up, as the GR team is still a bit short handed.

Tim Zimmerman was the big winner in the top men's category while Josselyn Gutierrez was the top female.  

The series awards presentations were held immediately following the days racing and numerous champions were crowned and plenty of food and bench racing.  Special awards were handed out to Salvador "Coco" Gonzalez for sportsmanship and most improved rider Damian Sarrania.  Congratulations to all.

Next event is 2-21-15 in Ocala, Fl - the 12 Hours of Santos!

 

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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

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