Granny Gear Productions, based in Davis, West Virginia, points to an un-friendly economic climate as a major factor in the decision to cancel the race this year. Laird Knight, founder and head of Granny Gear Productions, also stresses that the event is not finished for good. Knight plans to simply “reset” the event by taking some time to assess things and see how it can be improved for the future: “By taking a breather, I can set up a good marketing program to grow the event for 2011.”
Granny Gear Productions’ 24 Hours of 9-Mile, scheduled for July 31 and August 1, 2010 in 9-Mile Forest, Wisconsin, has also been canceled. However, Knight wants everyone to be sure the cancellation of Big Bear and 9-Mile will now allow him and his staff to devote even more energy to the 24 Hours of Moab, set for October 9th and 10th. The 24-Hour National Mountain Bike Championships were originally going to run along side of the 24 Hours of Big Bear. As a result, the Championships will now run concurrently with the 24 Hours of Moab.
The 24 Hours of Big Bear was to be held over the weekend of June 13th and 14th. Since the race is canceled, Knight is tentatively planning on inviting anyone who’s interested to the site of the race for a weekend of riding the trails and course, and to participate in a very grassroots and informal feedback session about the race. Check the Granny Gear web site for more info in the coming weeks for that.
The 24 Hours of Big Bear began life in 1992 as the 24 Hours of Canaan, the original 24 hour mountain bike race in the United States. The event remained in the Canaan Valley, albeit in a couple different venues, until 2000 when it moved to Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in Snowshoe, WV. In 2005, the event moved to Big Bear Lake Camplands near Hazelton, WV.
Along with Granny Gear staff, Knight grew his 24-hour mountain bike racing empire to include events all over the country: Georgia (24 Hrs of Conyers), Vermont (24 Hrs of Killington), Utah (24 Hours of Moab), California (24 Hours of Temecula, 24 Hours of Tahoe, 24 Hours of Donner Pass) and Missouri (24 Hrs of Landahl), among others.
Here’s a gallery of photos from the 2008 24 Hours of Big Bear.
Dirt Rag and these events grew up together, and we have a lot of memories from the races over the years. Leave a comment below to share yours.