Monday, May 23, 2016

Bear Mountain Classic - Review & Report

In January, I made the commitment to ride the Wilmington Whiteface 100k mountain bike race...on a single speed. While this sounded like a good idea and a 'fun' challenge, I must have blocked out the training necessary to complete a 100k mountain bike race let alone on a single speed.

The winter was filled with numerous hours in the boiler room watching movies and logging miles on Zwift.

Once spring rolled around, I knew I would need some real outdoor miles that included hills.

First on the calendar was the 2016 Bear Mountain Classic.


Sometimes simple is better.

A parking lot in a big park with some 10x10's, race officials, start/finish line and on.

Sign-up/Price:  Easy sign up; if you've ever been on you know what I'm talking about. $75 is a more than fair price for an event that has a good course, marshalls, timing and all the proper race operations elements.
Pre-Event Communication:  Good emails leading up with the race book published well beforehand.
Packet Pick-Up:  Simple and straight forward in a parking lot.
Venue:  Bear Mountain State Park is a special location close to the city and make this an annual 'must do' race for many.
Course:  Excellent course.
Awesome loop with fast downhill to a great rolling climb section through the trees.
Course Markings & Volunteers:  Great. The only sketchy part was at the roundabout in the rain with the pack splitting around the island and no clear direction.
Clear signage along the course and well marked cone sections for bike lanes. A well staff split point for full and half bike course separation.
Post Race Food:  Not sure there was any as it was pouring rain and cold, so I split for home.
Race Photos: Nothing official, but some great shots from some local professional photographers.
Photogragh by Phil Penman

Post- Event Communication: Good

Travel: Easy drive from Long Island to Bear Mountain.

OVERALL: This is a great early season race in a special venue. I'm not a big road racing guy so the CRCA team vibe is not for me, but that is the norm for all road cycling events.


Looking at the weather forecast (that's what all endurance sport athletes do and obsess over in the weeks, days and hours leading up to a race), I could see that rain was in the cards...
Photograph by Phil Penman
Photograph by Phil Penman

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