Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Charlottesville, of Albemarle, my brothers,
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails,
when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of ridership,
but tomorrow is not that day.
An hour of slick trails and shattered dreams,
when the age of grown men comes crashing down,
but tomorrow is not that day!
Tomorrow we fight!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, Men of the FOOF!!!
– Lord of the Two Knobby Tires
Yes, the 2015 Heard’s Mountain Classic danced on the precipice of collapse due to April showers, but cooler heads and hearty spirits prevailed. The Heard’s Mountain Classic continued for a third year, in a little known mountain hamlet on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Virginia.
An event like this doesn’t just materialize out of thin air, but rather is the hard work of driven individuals making their dreams, and ours, a reality. Captain Hoy and Porter are the masterminds behind this one day Spring Classic. Not only do they wrangle together 20 some riders, but for years they have tirelessly been putting in miles of incredible backcountry single right out their front doors. Hats off to these gentlemen!
Waking up to 40 degree temperatures and steady rain the morning of the race wasn’t ideal, but reputations and glory were on the line. Figuring the dreary weather was nothing coffee couldn’t fix; I gathered my supplies and headed south to Hoy HQ. I was greeted with a bonfire, my fellow riders, and more coffee—not to mention a break in the weather—and things were looking up.
“5 Minutes!” shouted the Director. Gathering around the fire, we listened in to the pre-race meeting. Armed with a detailed map drawn on the back of a pizza box, we got the low down on the coming events.
“We’re going to pedal over here and race a bit. Pedal over there and race a bit. Pedal over yonder and race a bit. Then come back for beer and food. Sound good? Great, let’s roll!”
I won’t bore you with an explanation of each timed section, but just imagine multiple 15 minute or less timed sections at an all-out effort. There were downhills, uphills, multiple xc loops, and a team time trial that gave the winning team members a 10 second bonus. Arguably the TTT is the best event and allows for spectacular spectating and shit talking. 5 hours later after the dust settled Dave Tevendale emerged victorious. After relentless attacks, calculated moves, and mostly following directions, Dave laced it all up to get the trophy and the glory.
But don’t fret, as a BRO athlete I know my reputation was on the line, especially after flatting out at my last event. So I managed to snag third place, just getting edged out by Chris Cunningham. Pretty psyched on the result, especially after riding the 4 days up to the event, and hopefully I can keep the good mojo rolling!
While the Heard’s Mountain Classic isn’t an open event, it doesn’t mean you can’t go start your own grassroots classic. Get your friends together, link up some sweet trail, maybe time a few sections if you’re so inclined, and you have yourself a classic…just don’t forget the post-race beers!