2019 Hop Brook MTB Race

The Hop Brook MTB Race kicked off the 2019 season. It was the first race in the CCAP Spring MTB Series. It was my first mountain bike race since last year’s Vermont 50. However, I rode a full cyclocross season from August through December, so I was ready to go.

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The CCAP Team Horst Junior Squad kicked off their season in style with seven of our riders competing on the demanding course. Hop Brook is known for rocks. There are several descents that can be terrifying.

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It was a family affair for us. Dahlia came to watch while Debbie, Shepard, and I competed. Debbie and Shepard each scored 2nd in their age groups. They were on the course at the same time, and at one point Shepard caught up to his Mom and before he left her in the dust, I got a good photo of the two of them together. I did fine in the competitive singlespeed division. I kind of have my own division because I also ride a fully rigid bike (no suspension).

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I’ve been hemming and hawing about replacing my stiff carbon fork with a cushy suspension fork. It would certainly take the edge off as my shoulders, neck, and back suffer some serious pounding with my current setup. I looked to be the only one riding rigid, but that’s how I roll, at least for now.

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We had nice weather. It was cool, but sunny and the course was only wet in a few spots. The trails were in good shape, but as noted, very rocky. When we race at Winding Trails in two weeks, the course will feel easy compared to what we just experienced.

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Once again, the Laurel Bicycle Club and the crew from D’Aniello’s Amity Bicycle did a fine job at promoting this event. The only drag was the race results. They simply got botched and there is no reason for that in 2019. The technology exists to inexpensively produce spot on results within minutes after a race. Some events now have real-time results. Contrast Saturday’s adventure with Sunday’s. On Saturday, we did the Finally Spring 5K and with chip timing, we had flawless results literally seconds after the race was complete. On Sunday, the manual results were slow and they were wrong.

It’s no fun to end a post on a sour note, so kudos to the volunteers and racers for a fun day on the trails.

Race Results (will be posted when online)

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