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Saturday, April 1, 2000 - Sunday, April 2, 2000 -- Oak Hill, WV
Spring Bike Fest
Stories by Buzz Johnson & Marty Lamp

[Details] [Coverage] [DH Results] [XC Overall] [XC by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Spring Bike Fest
Phil Tintsman flying low

Saturday, April 1st 2000, no joke its race time again! Spring came to the hollers and hills with perfect weather and eager downhill racers. This 1st running of the Anguish at Arbuckle downhill brought out everyone from lil' kids to expert cross country racers, and for a special treat the Iron Horse Pro downhill boys.

The course was deceptively easy, but it's no secret that the faster you go, the more timing and precision is needed. The right side of the run was a steep fall down to Arbuckle Creek if the turns were over cooked, and a couple of wet rocky drop-offs were getting a few riders...but every one was safe and smiling at the end.

Spring Bike Fest
David Bishop enjoying the day
Each racer took off for the 1.2 mile downhill course all alone, with starts staggered at roughly 3-4 minutes apart. The combined times of the two runs were tabulated, with the lowest combined score winning.

When the dust settled, Phil Tintsman(3:49.11) of Iron Horse was smokin' with a first run of 1:55.42, and a second descent in 1:53.69. Tintsman recorded the two fastest runs of the day, both under 2 minutes, enroute to his overall downhill win.

Kyle Ebbett(4:05.05), also of Iron Horse, finished second even after an impromptu water break in the creek (slippery WV rocks!) with runs of 2:05.69 and 1:59.36. Than White(4:15.05). of Virginia, finished third for the males.

Spring Bike Fest
Just another day for Kyle Ebbett
For the ladies, it was Amy Crawford(5:16.41) of Independent Fabrications getting the win with runs of 2:38.94 and 2:37.47, respectively. Crawford finished over a minute and 1/2 ahead of second place finisher Angela Adams(6:47.65). Kim Mitchell(8:06.03) finished third in the female class.

All the racers looked good and had a great time in the sun. At the awards ceremony, the daring Iron Horse pros,with a wink for the ladies and a smile for the kids, did a few tricks, like bunny hopping a 35lb DH bike over and onto a picnic table. The pros are not of this planet skill wise, but they are nice guys and left West Virginia with great memories. Thanks to Tug and ACE for a great day. The downhillers will be back!

Spring Bike Fest
The Experts take off... Le Mans style
Sunday morning, April 2nd, and as the parking lot at ACE Adventure Center started to fill up with racers, the skies moved in dark grays and a light rain fell. However, this did nothing to dampen the spirits of all the two-wheeled speed demons aiming to test their mettle on the cross country course at the 1st ever Spring Bike Fest, held just outside of Minden.

The fine folks at ACE made sure that everyone in attendance was treated with the kindness and concern that seems to have been forgotten at some racing venues. One would never guess that this was their first ever bike racing event by how smoothly the event ran. Did anyone mention that the "10 dollar late fee" was dropped, giving race day registrants something to smile about right from the beginning.

Spring Bike Fest
Ryan O'Connor finishing his third lap
The 7 mile course started lakeside, with a Le Mans start, at the ACE Adventure Center, taking riders along a dirt road by the mountain chalets before heading into the woods for some gradual, muddied uphill. Some two miles later, racers were perched atop a grassy plateau for some rolling, rocky single track before a fast-as-you-dare downhill. Some brief stints on dirt roads led to a rolling railroad grade high above the New River, with the classic town of Thurmond hundreds of feet below. This gave way to cranking up the Arbuckle Trail (the previous day's downhill course) before coming back to the start.

All expert classes pounded through three laps, while Sports, Masters, and Clydesdales raced through two laps, and beginners faced one lap.

Spring Bike Fest
Sue Haywood enroute to another win
To the surprise of very few, Pro/Ex rider Ryan O'Connor((1:25:44), rode away with the overall victory. O'Connor seemed to have little problem jumping out in front, and staying there. He enjoyed roughly a 4 minute lead half way though the second lap, with Joel Maynard(1:28:04) in hot pursuit. Two thirds through the last lap, however, O'Connor was still in the lead, but Maynard and Benjie Klimas(1:31:41) were chasing hard. O'Connor would not be denied, though, as he won his 2nd WVMBA race in as many weeks. Maynard would finish 2nd overall, while Klimas finished third.

In the Women's Pro/Ex, the always fast Sue Haywood(1:44:35) took the checkered flag, while finishing 11th overall. Susan George(1:55:07) kept Haywood honest while finishing second in the class, and 13th overall.

Spring Bike Fest
Steve Viers cruising lakeside
In the Junior Expert Class, Nick Waite(1:32:21) was feeling strong as he won his class by more than 8 minutes, and finished an impressive fourth overall. Ryan Hobbs(1:40:44) and Brett Hixson(1:41:31) battled hard, with Hobbs finishing second, and Hixson finishing third in the class. Hobbs and Hixson finished 9th and 10th overall, respectively.

Other class winners include Laird Knight(2:13:23) for the Vet Experts, and Amara Franks(1:28:34) for the Women Sports. Sean Wehr(1:09:00) won the Men's Sport Class by over 7 minutes, while Richard Watts(1:21:04) won the Men's Masters, and Than White(1:26:15) edged out Buzz Johnson(1:47:28) to come in first for the Clydesdales. In the Men's Junior Sport Class, Karl Waite(42:11) took the win with Matt Pack(48:45) finishing close behind.

Spring Bike Fest
Some of the enthusiastic help at ACE
For the Beginners, Colleen Laffey(55:13) hopped out of her race boat and onto her race bike just in time to finish first in her class, and Adam Lewis(41:23) won the Men's Beginner Class.

When all was said and done, just about everyone went home with a prize, not to mention the custom T-shirts handed out at the registration. A great race like this is only possible through the hard work and good sense of many people. ACE Adventure Center is blessed with many hard working souls, who take it upon themselves to ensure that you have a good time while you are there. This race was directed by Tug Chamberlin, and the course was put down by Tug and Chris Banks. Thanks go out to Tug, Chris, Cindy Dragan, and all the ACE staff who worked the course. If you managed to miss this event, do yourself a favor, and make it a point to be there next year.