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The Women Cat 3's charge towards the first turn at FSC #1

2014 8 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #1 Tom Brown Park - Tallahassee, FL 9-13&14-14

Special thanks to Tom Pike for writing this article...

2014 Specialized race FSC #1 Tallahassee Florida....

98. I will not slack on training before the first FSC again.
99. I will not slack on training before the first FSC again.
100. I will not slack on training before the first FSC again.
... And so went my mantra driving home from the opening race of the 2014 Specialized Florida State Championship at Tom Brown Park in Tallahassee, Florida.

As expected the first race of the Florida State Championship was exciting and a great reunion. I never get tired of telling folks about how reconnecting with all my mountain bike friends is a crucial part of this first race. Everyone feels it, and it speaks to the spirit and air of camaraderie that is a staple of this Gone Riding series.

The conditions for this first race were near perfect. It had rained Friday night so the trail condition had set up nicely, it had a good grip. The volunteers that work the trail did a great job smoothing out and fixing parts of the trail that had started to deteriorate last year. The flow was back and the race times proved that.

A new trail addition called Gun Range was the talk of many riders I heard in the pit. It is an open field trail about a mile from the finish that is reminiscent of the old days when we had a long grind up the entire length of this hill. Several times on this trail I heard people say "shut up legs". Which I think was more to lighten the moment and coax a smile out of the suffer fest than anything else.

A real factor in this weekend's races was the heat and humidity of Tallahassee in September. The weather app on my phone put the humidity at 95% both days. Waiting my turn for the Individual Time Trial all I saw was soaked kits, glistening skin, sweat running down cheeks from under helmets and sunglasses... And that was just from standing around! Dave could have charged extra for a session of hot yoga at the line. Hydration was critical this weekend and I know several riders had a tough time because of the heat.

The individual time trial seems to be growing in popularity every year since its inception. I don't know if this popularity is necessarily driven by the points as it is the fun of being timed riding a portion of the XC course as fast as you can. I think the points are just like playing the lottery for most of the riders, there's always the chance you'll have a great run and can get an early jump on your competition.

Sunday's XC races give us a glimpse into what this season is going to be about. What struck me as I was looking around at the field of riders was the depth of strong riders not only in the expert class but in the sport class also. And from what I've seen of the results that holds true for the base class too. It was encouraging to see.

The Grandmaster classes are the biggest I've seen. The Women's classes seem to be growing and the Junior classes have some major talent. Plus the middle of the pack is holding strong! And with so many Florida riders finding success in the national races last year, they have become an inspiration for all of us whether just starting the sport or having been in it for years.

This years Specialized Florida State Championship series promises to be a great one. I'm looking forward to being a part of it. I also can't wait to see some of the duals that are going to happen as the season progresses. A big thanks to all of the round sponsors you guys and gals are the ones that make it happen!

Ride Hard! Ride Safe!
Peace, Pike!

 

Tom Pike is an Ellsworth Team Rider. Tom has won a Silver Medal at the USAC National Mountain Bike Championships and is a two time Florida State Mountain Bike Champion. In his “spare time” he works teaching Film Production at Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami, Florida.

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* New this year Gone Riding is now offering an optional membership for $30 and includes a t-shirt, sticker and a $5 discount off regular entry prices. This membership can be purchased at any Gone Riding event, the Gone Riding store or online at First Place Racing.com. Also USAC licenses will also be honored at all cross country events and receive the same $5 discount.

*Also new is the Gone Riding Store including our new Gone Riding Jersey

 

mountain bike racing

Mountain bike racing

The Women Cat 3's charge towards the first turn at FSC #1

2014 8 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #1 Tom Brown Park - Tallahassee, FL 9-13&14-14.  Sunshine and good times at the opening round of the FSC series as hundreds of eager MTB racers hit the popular trail system in Florida's capital city.  A rainy Friday night made for super conditions on the trail although the heat of the summer was still around so riders had to make sure they stayed hydrated to get their maximum performance.  Saturday 160 racers lined up for the Individual Time Trial with those all important bonus points and it was Bob McCarty taking the overall win (with a time of 14:08): and Shelly Allen taking the top women's spot.  Sunday the day kicked off with the Torque Group kids series and the racing was close in all the classes, even the 3-5 racers were in a 4 way battle for the win at the line, good stuff!  At 9:30 the yellow wave hit the trails and it was a first for the new "Elite" format where all the Cat 1's 19-49 started together (althought scored separately) and they did an extended parade lap through the BMX track with was exciting to say the least.  In the end it was Ricardo Giraldo taking the XC win but it was Bob McCarty taking the Leaders Jersey and the Elite points lead virtue of his Time Trial points, this class is going to be fun to watch this season.  Multi time champ Shelly Allen swept the weekend with a win in the cross country as well.  The First Place Racing Fast Lap Fifty went to Shawn Smith in the 30-39 class with a smoking 25:79 lap time.  Many thanks to the round sponsor Higher Ground Bicycles as they handed out over $2,000 worth of prizes to the racers and to the City of Tallahassee and the SORBA club of Tallahassee for having the trail in such good shape!  Congratulations to all the racers and a special thanks to all of the sponsors that helped make this happen.

 More on the Blog

 

altFacebookaltalt

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* New this year Gone Riding is now offering an optional membership for $30 and includes a t-shirt, sticker and a $5 discount off regular entry prices. This membership can be purchased at any Gone Riding event, the Gone Riding store or online at First Place Racing.com. Also USAC licenses will also be honored at all cross country events and receive the same $5 discount.

*Also new is the Gone Riding Store including our new Gone Riding Jersey

 

mountain bike racing

Mountain bike racing

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