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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

Hammer Heads invade the Greenway.

2015 Hammer Head 100 - Cross Florida Greenway Trails - Ocala, FL 4-19-15.

The weather was near perfect, partly cloudy, just the right amount of rain in the days leading up to the, so the trails were perfect and the temperature was great for spectating but a little warm for the participants.  The OMBA club had the course trimmed back and looking great and they also manned the safety side of things as they had mounted mountain bike safety riders all day during the event.  The 25 mile loop has a lot of variation as the moto paced start took the riders on a fast gravel road over I-75 and then into the single track which was fast at first but then got more technical as the outward trail progressed until it hit the famous Ern & Burn trail which many consider the most technical trails west of the Vortex.  The way back was much more wide open as a good portion was again on the gravel roads but it also included the yellow "Nales" section which is a blast at speed.

The Big winner was Allison Anjos as he took the 100 mile solo male class while the relay team of Ed Lis and Sam Joeckel was the top of the heap in the two man class.  Shawn Smith was the 50 mile solo winner in the men's class and Amy Horstmeyer was the top female while Charlie Haimes won the 45+ division.  The 50 Co-Ed class winners were Mose Howard and wife Jennifer Howard.  In the 25 mile class it was Robert Donofrio with the overall, Michelle Pownall was the top female and the newly formed junior class was won by Eric Mucci.

 

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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

Dylan Johnson a & Brad Perley duke it out at Tsali

2015 SERC South Eastern Regional Championship series #3 - Tsali Trails - Bryson City, NCl 4-11&12-15

Absolutely perfect day in the mountains to race a bicycle, the sun came out both Saturday for the Time Trial and Sunday for the cross country race and the trails could not have been in better shape thanks to the NAS (Nantahala Area Sorba) club who also volunteered for the parking duites to boot, many thanks!

Smoky Mountain Bicycles took the reins as the round sponsor and not only did they provide over $2,000 in prizes to the medalis but they also handed out 200 free hot dogs to all in attendance, Smoky Mtn is has always been a great supporter of the bike race scene at Tsali.

Close racing was the order of the day and there was none closer than the pro men's class this weekend as Dylan Johnson won a tight one over points leader Bradford Perley.  In the women's class it was Jennifer Neilson taking the win and the points lead.

 

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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

The newly formed 60+ classes lifts off at Conyers.

2015 South Eastern Regional Championship series #2 / Georgia State Championship #2 - GIHP Trails - Conyers, GAl 3-29-15

Burrrrr!  it was 24 degrees when the sun came up at the famous former olympic mtb course near Atlanta but it warmed up nicely to almost 60 degrees by midday.  The course however was in great shape and laptimes were smoking fast.  The 6.5 mile course is known for it's flowing single track and then there are the two tough climbs in a row that come near the end of the loop that can make or break your ride.

C-Town bikes was the round sponsor which means they handed out over $2000 in prizes by the end of the day to the medalists.  The racing was close and notables were Thomas Turner winning the Men's pro class and Emily Cox took the top spot in the Women's expert / pro field.  This event was double header as well as racers racked up points in both the SERC and GSC at the same time.

 

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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

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.

  More on the Blog

 

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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

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