Our home mountain bike race is always a weekend I look forward to all year. This year my team was lucky enough to host the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Cycling’s conference championships (whew alliteration) 🙂 On Saturday we hosted a cross country race at Beech Mountain on the Emerald Outback trail system. These trails claim to be the highest in elevation on the east coast, and they are notorious for having foggy and rainy conditions. Luckily, for the first time in my undergraduate experience, we had sunny weather and clear skies! The trails were rooty and technical, giving our team an advantage because of our frequent training under challenging conditions. I won the women’s A race, and my teammates swept the podium in the Men’s A race.
Another reason why I love this weekend so much is because my parents and all four younger sisters always come out to support me. It was great being able to see them and I’m really lucky to have such a solid support team like them behind me. Sunday was held at nearby Rocky Knob Park, which is right outside downtown Boone on highway 421. Pouring rain was forecasted, but luckily it held off until the late afternoon.
It was an early morning start at 8am with an uphill time trial to the saddle of the mountain. We used the technical rock garden skills to our advantage and included the challenging roman road trail to get up to the top. Following the ITT, we hosted a short track race in the saddle that included a short steep gravel climb and bermy switchbacks with jumps. The final event of the day was the super-D, a timed downhill event back down to the parking lot. I was able to win all three events and defend my title as the ACC Conference Champion. We were so grateful to our teammates and volunteers that put in so much work to make sure our races went off without any trouble, and I can’t believe that my final home race weekend is already over. It’s been a great ride with App State and I can’t imagine where I would be without them.