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Markham FSC by Tom Pike

2014 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #5 / Coconut Cup #1 Markham Park - Sunrise, FL 10-26-14

The 2014 Specialized Florida State Championship headed to South Florida for a packed weekend of racing at Markham Park in Sunrise, FL. Besides being the 5th round of the FSC series, this weekend also kicked off the first race of the South Florida Coconut Cup Series. Plus the always exciting Short Track race on Saturday.

It's always the best when you're racing at a home park. Obviously local trail knowledge is great for your confidence. It also can give you a psychological advantage. A "home game" also means a short car ride to the park and sleeping in your own bed.

As a South Florida rider I enjoy the combined format of the FSC series with the first three CC races. It gives me a chance to race with friends who may only be doing the Coconut Cup. It also adds a new challenge to the state racers as they have to go up against new faces.

Now it's no secret that Markham has a rep for munching on bodies and bikes. The pits are full of war stories about cuts, bruises, stitches, bones and busted bikes... and this weekend was no exception. What's intriguing to me is that Markham is a 90% technical park, not unlike Oleta, Alafia or Carter Road. Those parks also collect their share of bodies and bikes, but for some reason those parks don't seem to have the same mythology Markham has. Go figure. I'll just chalk it up to a home court advantage no matter how they lay out the course.

Speaking of which, for those of us that ride Markham all the time it was nice to have the course laid out in the direction that we always ride. Turtle Slide and Semper Fi, which are part of the AMTB(adaptive mountain bike) loop, where nice additions and new way to go around Crime Scene. The redesign of the end of Outback Extension matched low gear switchback climbing with a steep downhill feeding you into tall banked corners for a corkscrew exit that I know had some people doing the death grip on their handlebars.

As for the condition of the tails the Markham Park trail maintenance volunteers continue to do a fantastic job building and maintaining the trail system here. These guys and gals do a lot of fund-raising and invest hundreds of hours to support the trails and it shows. If you only come to Markham for the races you've noticed a lot of building and improvements.

Of special note is the AMTB(adaptive mountain bike) loop which this crew recently completed. It runs about 4 miles and was used for the kids course. They also provide the bike patrol for the races and weekends. You guys rock!

So now it's onto Haile's Trails. Rumor has it that there's two new miles of trail and that Dave Berger is spicing them up by invoking the spirits of the original Razorback trails. I hope the rumors are true.

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 Coconut Cup kids get ready to race at Halpatiokee

2014-2015 Coconut Cup South Florida series #6 - Halpatiokee Park - Stuart, FL 2-15-15.

Well the series seemed to fly by and now that it is over we can declare it was a perfect season for weather and competition.  For those that remember last year the Stuart race was a mudder but not this year, the 7.5 mile course was a little on the long side but appropriate for the final of the series.  Although the trail is not technical nor does it have much in the way of elevation but it is still a fun and fast course that improves every year and as always, no race course is ever easy.

Special thanks go out to Phil Pacini of Mission One Racing and to the Airborne Bicycle club for prepping the course, marking, marshaling, layout and clean up!  Also many thanks to all that pitched in to help with announcing and clean up, as the GR team is still a bit short handed.

Tim Zimmerman was the big winner in the top men's category while Josselyn Gutierrez was the top female.  

The series awards presentations were held immediately following the days racing and numerous champions were crowned and plenty of food and bench racing.  Special awards were handed out to Salvador "Coco" Gonzalez for sportsmanship and most improved rider Damian Sarrania.  Congratulations to all.

Next event is 2-21-15 in Ocala, Fl - the 12 Hours of Santos!

 

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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

Women Cat 3's celebrate at Markham Park

2014-2015 Coconut Cup South Florida series #5 - Markham Park - Sunrise, FL 2-1-15.

Perfect South Florida race weekend as the shortened series made it's second to last stop at Markham park. The 6.5 mile loop was challenging as always and thanks to the volunteers with the Markham trail building club and the mountain bike patrol, it was in great shape and safe throughout the race.  Special thanks to Carlos Galvis for the course design and for all of the others that pitched in to help make the event another success.  Other notables were John Voss, Julian Dasilva and Farmer Brown (honestly there are too many others to name).    Allison Anjos took the men's overall win in a talented field and Josselyn Gutierrez was the top female overall.  

The next Coconut Cup race will be in Stuart, Florida which will also be the series final and awards ceremony.

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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

Henry Santillana chasing down Carlos Benedeti at the 369e

2015 Amelia 369 endurance race - Amelia Earhart Park - Hialiah, FL 1-24-15.

Another great race at one of the most popular South Florida courses, although it was a busy weekend event wise a good size turnout for this annual event.  It was a windy day but the trails were in great shape with some of the fastest laps in the 35 minute range on the 8.7 mile loop.  Winners included Samual Mejia in the 3 hour solo male class while Tanya Johnson was the top female 3hr racer.  In the 6 Hour classes it was Josh Perez taking the men's category and Brooke McFerrin was the female 6 hour winner.  The Best Bike Shop team of Vinny Silva and Allison Anjos topped all the 9 hour teams while Doug Deweese was the 9 hour solo champ.  Beata Wronska held the lead from the begining and held on to a comanding lead in the women's 9 hour solo female class.

Many thanks to all that chipped in to help make the event happen, as many of you probably know I (David Berger) had suffered an accident the week before and was hospitalized at the time of the race, the amount of support and well wishes were simply overwhelming and much appreciated.  I look forward to get back at the races soon but in the meantime our capable crew and volunteers will keep the events rolling each week.

Thanks again to the Amelida Trail Crew who as always have the trails in super shape and this time got a chance to showcase most of this fantastic trail system for the race, challenging and fun.

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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

Nixon takes off at Amelia

2014-2015 Coconut Cup South Florida series #4 - Amelia Earhart Park - Hialiah, FL 1-3/4-15.

Awesome start to the new year of racing in South Florida as over 200 racers hit the trails at this very popular park.  Saturday kicked off with an XTERRA trail run followed by the series Time Trial event for bonus points,  Jonathan Perkinson won the 5k run while Rodolfo Burges took the top spot in the 10k men's classes and Adriana Neves was the top female overall.  The 4.5 mile individual time trial course was basically set up using the East side of the trail system while the next days 6.3 mile cross country layout utilized the West side but on either course it was Bob McCarty taking the overall male spot with a time of 16:44 in the TT  while Lauren Roswell topped all the women in TT and then won her class in Sunday's XC race.  It was however Simone Berger taking the top female XC overall spot with her win in the women's cat 2 race.   

Thanks to the Amelida Trail Crew who as always have the trails in super shape never fail to amaze with creative features and race layouts.  The race will be at Virginia Key trails in Miami and will also feature a trail run on Saturday morning followed by the cross country Coconut cup race on Sunday.

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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

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