Monday, May 19, 2008

Vulture's Knob and other happenings

I've been getting alot of "What you've been up to's" lately and realized I have not been posting much here. It's not been from lack of not happenings, quite the opposite. After racing 4 100 milers and numorous other races last year I decided to take a rest this year (particially due to wife's work schedule and lack of training time) but this has afforded me the time to spend more time with my son then ever before and seeing the world through the eyes of a 3 year old is truely an amazing journey! But on the flip side, in addition to running the Big Valley Race Festival in September I got rope-a-doped into running the Legenday Vulture's Knob Mountain Bike Course. Not only the 6 race series but the entire facility...125 acres of kick ass terrain to play with - the Knob was my main MTBR influence, the place that started my racing 10 years ago, well Camp Manatoc was my first race but this was my first race series and I did alot of the 24 hour races here.

First course of business was whipping the course back to shape and many, many, many people came out to lend a hand. I think one day after it snowed in January/February we had over 30 guys show up to lend a hand and got a 3/4 mile section of new trail completed. Its amazing when you get alot of guys with trail building knowledge together, alot gets done fast! I want to say again,,,thanks to everyone who lent and is giving their support for the Vulture's Knob Revival, both individuals and sponsors, its been great working and learning from everyone. After getting snowed and rained out in future trail days we thought we'd come up short on our punch list before the first race in April but we all pulled together and over 1.5 miles of new trail was completed and nearly all the problem spots have been addressed, bridges have been rebuilt including the suspension bridge and the famed cradle. We have some more new trail in the works but we're also looking at bringing the hard efforts of the freeride scene back to the Knob and we are looking at zoning out a few sections for the Downhill/Freeride course and a jump park.

All this has meant nearly every weekend I've been making some effort to be in Wooster to give some lovin to the trail system and thus my fitness has taken a beating this year. I've ridden my bike less then 10 times this year but the funny thing is, I'm not bummed out at all. Last year I was focused on getting 10-20 hours of saddle time each and every week and I'm not missing that at all this year. It seems as if the year on, year off approach might help find some balance in the mental and physical side of things. I'm just plain having a good time building trail, its what I love to do and I missed that while logging the miles for the hundies. Once Connie gets the summer off from her new teaching gig I'll start riding to work again (50 mile round trip) and I'm hoping that gets my fitness back on track.

Here are some photos of the Cradle at Vulture's Knob. It actually broke during the first race we had in April, 125 racers beat the snot out of this wonder bridge, luckly we had made a seperate bypass bridge a month early do to some quick thinking by Jason the cradle was closed before anyone got hurt and the bypass was utilized. We are getting ready for our second race of the 6 race series this Saturday night. We're lighting the burn pile on fire during the race and a DJ will be spinning a few tunes as we kick back and enjoy a few beers from on of our new sponsors. Stay tuned for more updates.

The beginning, tearing out broken boards and repracing

Never notice how much vert it until I was standing next to it

The new trail leading into the Cradle