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Sunday, May 19, 2002 -- Douthat State Park, VA
Middle Mountain Momma - VA Pts. #2 (iPO Event Id#: 4805)
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Jeremiah Bishop's Race Report]
[2000 Coverage] [2001 Coverage]

Race Pic
Ride it if you can!
It is rumored that the Virginia Series (official website, series schedule) is the only epic mountain bike series in the State. And to back that statement up; just consider all of the riders that showed up from around the Mid-Atlantic region to ride on this "world-famous" course. Not only were the locals in abundance, but numerous intrepid folk drove in from Richmond, Baltimore and the greater DC area. Record numbers of racers in pretty much every category, made this a possible record turn-out!!

Men's Pro/Ex 2nd place finisher, Charlie Storm, made a 4-hour (one way!) drive to ride the rocks and mountains that he doesn't get much of in the Carolina's. This, after participating in a crit on Friday, a road race on Saturday, and still having some legs left to take a go at Sunday. Mr. Storm, who rides for Cycling Spoken Here, is preparing for the NORBA event at Snowshoe Mountain, and thought that this race would be a good preparation event. First place finisher, Trek's Jeremiah Bishop, who had also raced the day before in PA, managed to snag a new course record with his time of 1:48:06. Rounding out third was one Paul Joshua Buschi.

Race Pic
Racing through Douthat State Park
Meghan Ryan, of City Bikes, in her usual animated fashion, exclaimed, "It's not a mountain bike race unless you have mountains!" We couldn't agree more! Ms. Ryan, who finished 2nd in the Pro/Ex Women's category, had a great day duking it out with the excellent field of women riders. Part way through the race, Meghan, who was tailing eventual 3rd place finisher Theresa Richardson, witnessed Theresa's bike, with Theresa following, launch up into the air and begin to tumble down an embankment. Meghan was certain that there was an injury and had some adrenaline pumping in case she was needed to ride for help. After pausing to make certain that Theresa was okay, Meghan continued on her way, still pumped up with the thought that she may have had to go for help. This may have been what propelled her to a strong finish, behind the women's winner Trish Stevenson.

Along these lines, many thanks should go out to the riders who rode above and beyond, in getting news relayed back for help to the riders that went down. We hope that all is well with those that had to finish off their ride in an ambulance, and hope for a complete and speedy recovery!

Race Pic
A great day to ride and take in the view
The beautiful day allowed for post-race lolling in the sun, and catching up with old friends. And everyone enjoyed the meal of vegetable soup following the race.

Many thanks should also go out to Kyle and Debbie Inman for all of the hard work they do in getting this series put together. Another big hand to proud sponsors Shenandoah Bicycle Company of Harrisonburg. Be sure to stop in and see Thomas, Tim and Ruby on your next trip to the 'Burg... Harrisonburg, that is!

As always, we can't be everywhere at once, and if you have an adventure to tell, drop us a line! Especially you wickedly fast XXC'ers, who I didn't manage to see much of.

Everyone should mark their calendars for race #3 in the series, the Massenutten Hoo Ha!, August 10 and 11th, 2002.

Jeremiah Bishop Race Report: Middle Mountain Momma

The big mountains of southwestern Virginia greeted the large field of racers attending this backcountry epic of a race at Douthat State Park. The race was hot from the gun with riders sprinting down the pavement-start toward one of the race's three big climbs! (Yes they're big, really big).

The technical first section was lead by Harrisonburg's own, Jeremy Wimpey (Gary Fisher) and Paul 'the punisher' Buschi (Trek/VW), with Charlie Storm (Klein) and myself in tow. I snuck into the lead when Paul informed Charlie "the course goes this way"! I smiled and got on with the pace setting.

I was feeling good so I tried to put the race on my terms as soon as possible. Twenty minutes into the first climb I was still hammering as hard as I could and managed to put a dent in Charlie, the 2001 winner of Sea Otter's Semi-Pro! race. Second place in that year's Sea Otter; Paul Buchi was riding strong just seconds behind us.

I dug in some more but to no avail, he was rock solid. The two of us sped into the enormous, sweet decent that followed. I put on as much pressure as I could without wrecking. Charlie slipped in one of the turns giving me a small 20-second lead margin. Coming into the second of the race's relentless switchback climbs I was hard pressed to hold him off and kept seeing glimpses of him just behind on the next switchback down!

I pushed the limit of my speed, almost losing it on one of the tight switchback turns. I crossed a sketchy swinging bridge and looked back for Charlie. I couldn't see him though he was only 40 seconds back. I pushed out the last three miles hoping to hold onto the lead. The course record of 2:01 that was announced by promoter Kyle Inman kept me motivated to really dig. I finished in 1 hour, 48 minutes for a new course record.