Here the come.
My son and I arrived at the staging area an hour before the start so that we could mill around and gawk. Initially it didn't seem like a large turnout but taking into consideration such short notice for the event and the absence of any real advertising in bike shops and such it seemed okay. The highest number I observed was just nearing 150. We could see ways everything could be improved but for the first race to be held in 20 plus years we felt they did a good job. As the riders meeting was going on we started down the track to our spot on Rough Go trail where the participants would be coming down in their final mile.
We spent a fair amount of time trying to scope out the most promising photo opt spot...meaning where most likely crashes would take place. Settled in, soon the first runners appeared. There was a 12-mile cross-country run which began after the bikers took off and their route ran up Rough Go. Rough Go is a steep uphill rocky grind and the first runner a mile into the race was a young woman surprisingly. Even more surprisingly was the fact that their were very few runners...only a few dozen. Hopefully this event will be held again next year with more publicity and many more participants as the ultimate benefactor from the proceeds is Annadel State Park.
After about an hour the first mountain biker began to appear coming down the rough rocky trail. These were those who did the "beginner's" loop of 9 miles. An hour later came those who did the intermediate route of 18.5 miles. Lastly after 3 hours of riding came the 25 milers. Of that group two or three rolled through and we found ourselves sitting there for the longest time wondering "Where are the rest?". That was it! Everyone rode the two shorter routes.
The two of us packed our gear and hiked on down the mountain. We were expecting something like what we experienced riding the Rockhopper back in '87...it wasn't like that. All the riders were stretched out from one another by the end of the trial so their was no real competitive effort towards then end which could of led to some good over the handlebars crashes. Most all were quite cautious through the rock garden. But we both felt that next year we'll do this. It's very low key and the only thing that would make it hard would be myself pushing my pace faster than I should. I'm looking forward to it as too is my son...I think.
This is about as close one rider ever was to another.
Here is my chosen spot thinking something was bound to happen. The rock behind his rear wheel many riders were clipping with their right pedal. It was only a matter of time someone would get spun around and crash. Finally towards the end it happened. The poor fellow landed on the boulder in the lower left hand corner of the frame. I kid you not, I saw the boulder move.