And we bid adieu to another season of mountain biking
SUMMIT COUNTY – Not only has the first snowfall dusted Summit County, so has the second snowfall, and, somewhere behind us, as well, is the mountain bike season. So, before the third and successive snowfalls turn Summit County into a premier ski and snowboard destination again, let’s take one last look back on the 2003 fat tire experience.
Two Summit County racing events turned 17 this year – Montezuma’s Revenge and the Summit Mountain Challenge. The new and improved Fall Classic hit the terrible 2s, crying a weekend’s worth of tears and soiling its diaper in a muddy tantrum unparalleled in any outdoor event this summer.
The mountain bike little league also turned 2, but unlike the unruly Fall Classic, this toddler is showing maturity as race organizers from the across the country have approached Jeff Westcott and Mike McCormack of Maverick Sports about initiating similar programs elsewhere.
Westcott and McCormack both had a lot to say about this summer, ranging from the little league to the Firecracker 50.
“One kid, Chris Rice, wasn’t going to sign up for the little league,” McCormack said. “He was kind of shy, and I had a dialogue with him about why we wanted him to be in the program. He ended up getting back in, and that kid had an amazing season. That’s what mountain bike little league is supposed to do.”
Westcott related this story about Cullen Moran, who, along with his friend Nick Raymond, were the two youngest competitors in the Fall Classic. Moran came into the start-finish during the second stage, the circuit race, hysterical over a broken rear derrailleur.
Westcott was among a small party who helped him get back on trail.
“The poor kid is just looking around for help not knowing what to do,” he said. “So we got him going and sent him off.”
During his final lap, Moran managed to close a gap to Raymond from seven minutes to two.
Westcott also reminisced about how strong a showing the juniors had at the second SMC race, the Tour de Trash in Dillon.
“Mike (McCormack) organized a group photo up on a hill, and it was pretty apparent at that moment that we had a lot of kids in the program. The energy behind that was pretty rewarding,” Westcott said.
In the world of adult racing, the stories keep on flowing. McCormack’s high point was watching Scott Tanner win the Gold Run Rush in June when everyone else was worried about how badly Tim Graczyk and Tim Faia were going to beat each other up.
“He let all the racing hangups slide out of his mind and opened himself up to the best race of his life,” McCormack said. “He kind of epitomizes the competitive spirit of Summit County.”
Westcott got to see a new side of the Firecracker 50 this year which celebrated it’s third year this Fourth of July.
“Being in the lead vehicle for the first time, I was able to look down Main Street at not only the racers but the spectators as well,” he said. “I was completely moved by the experience.”
Shauna Farnell, who covered local mountain biking for the Summit Daily News before moving to Europe this summer remembers one particular group ride where McCormack had some technical issues with his bike.
“Mike got a flat about 15 minutes into the ride and ha
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