If you’ve mountain biked in West Virginia, you may have heard of the West Virginia Mountain Bikers Association – or as we like to say WVMBA (pronounced wavumba). They oversee the mountain bike series in our state.I’m not much of a racer, but I have dedicated this summer to riding the various courses provided at several events. I still do all the preparation, paper work and get the race number (I’m number 765 this year) – got to have the T-shirt and free lunch.
I belly up to the start line with everyone else, ready to launch myself into the throng of fellow athletes. Once the countdown is complete, I’m off. It’s not long before I find myself at my usual spot, quickly falling to last place.
Although it appears my race career will not develop much beyond this position, I have a great time. This past Sunday was my second official competition. It was the Chief Logan Wilderness Challenge located at one of our state parks. (Side note: West Virginia has the best state parks I’ve ever explored – scenic, well maintained and uncrowded. I highly recommend a visit).
There were three of us that raced from ACE – Miri, Chris and me (see post-race photo). Miri and Chris competed in the sport class while I decided the beginner class was better suited for my endurance level. Since there aren’t too many women that race, my class maxed out at two. Yes, I was either going to be in first place or last place. I finished last by a whopping 20-some minutes. Yeah, that’s pretty bad, I know. But, hey, it’s not about winning, it’s about a great ride on a new stretch of trail.
For any of you who may be interested in mountain biking, I highly suggest dragging your bike out of the back of the garage or wherever it’s buried, and hopping back on it. You may be a little rusty, but trust me, riding a bike is like, well, riding a bike. You never forget how. And if you need a little more instruction, come visit us at ACE. We have some fabulous trails and very talented guides to get you going again.
Heck, if you might be interested in a race career, start with ACE’s WVMBA race on August 22. It’s called the ACE New River Bike Fest. There’s plenty of time to train, and our beginner course is a really fun 8-mile loop. And if you think you’re trained up for more, the sport class is a 13-mile loop while the experts do 26 miles.
And if you happen to be in my class, I bet you won’t finish last.