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Sunday, October 22, 2000 -- Oak Hill, WV
Bridge Day Weekend Fall Fest
Story and photos by Dave McKain

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

Hurdler Rose Petrick shows her form
Mountain bikers traveled to the ACE Adventure Center in Minden, WV for the Bridge Day Weekend Fall Fest MTB race. Besides providing a great course with a mixture of single and double track, difficult climbs and descents and a bevy of support personnel, ACE also called in a beautiful fall day with more than comfortable temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

The course, and 11 mile loop, wound its way around the ACE territory with plenty of intermediate climbs, off-camber runs, and intimidating downhills to keep the racers on their toes. To make things interesting, several log jumps were also laid out on the course. In addition, a fresh coat of fallen leaves helped to conceal many of the rocks laying in wait for unsuspecting (but not for long) riders.

Momentum is your friend
With the start of the race approaching, only one racer, Junior Expert Matt McDonald, had signed up for the three lap expert course. Seeing the opportunity for a nice payday, mild mannered raft guide "Danger" Bob Turley headed to the registration table to sign up for the Expert class. Being the lone entrant in the class, "Danger" Bob would face only the course in his battle to take home a nice paycheck.

The racers headed out into the wilderness with rider Brian Mollohan establishing an early lead over Mark Johnson. While Johnson did put in a valiant effort, he could not close the gap over the rest of their two laps finishing 11 minutes back of the charging Mollohan (2:21) who would hold the lead for the remainder of the race to take first place in the sport class.

Happy to cross the finish line - you bet
Clydesdale racer Jim Pike (3:01) cruised to a big lead over the rest of the class coming in 50 minutes ahead of second place finisher Mike Miller. Danielle Aubelle came all the way down from Pittsburgh, Pa. to compete in her first MTB race. Aubelle decided to pick up the sport after the doctors told her that her heel/ankle injury and subsequent reconstruction couldn't hold up to the pounding of soccer (hopefully MTB racing will be a little more gentle). It turned out that the experience of running around kicking a ball for 90 minutes was good conditioning as Danielle (1:37:02) was able to hold off Rose Petrick (1:48:33) for a win in the Female Beginner class.

"Danger" Bob feeling the effects of 5+ hours on the bike
Meanwhile back at the farm, reports from the field on the status of "Danger" Bob continued to trickle in. "Bob just stopped and got a Mountain Dew and a candy bar" came over the radio. When coming through to start his final lap (almost 4 hours into the race), Turley weaved into the support tent to grab an orange and a water bottle, expressed his state of mind to the crowd, and headed out into the wilderness.

Finally, to the cheers of the crowd, "Danger" Bob headed down the final stretch, crossing the finish line after 5 1/2 hours on the bike to win the Expert class. From the looks of things it is hoped that he will invest some of that money into a massage therapist or put a down payment on a hot tub.

In the end, everyone came through the race in good shape and the hard work of the staff of Ace Adventure Center was apparent from registration to the prize table. This reporter would especially like to thank the people at Ace for their hospitality and somewhat more gracious accommodations than what he is used to (e.g. - sleeping in the front seat of his car).