And so, with the van loaded, Andrew and I, along with our friend Randy, headed south to the Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville, VA. We were pleasantly surprised to arrive in Harrisonburg with no precipitation falling from the sky, as we had driven most of the 4.5 hours from Pittsburgh in a steady rain. With just enough time to get the DR tents up, the skies again cut loose for a quick cloud bust that was followed shortly by sunny skiesâ€“which continued throughout the weekend.
We were all extremely excited about Saturday eveningâ€™s Super D race; an approximately twenty minute, five mile burn down the mountain. Starting riders every 30 seconds time-trial-style offered a clear view of the gnarly trail ahead for most riders, which was certainly a good thing. Now, I do my best not to get off my bike, particularly on descents, but there were sections on the first part of this Super D course that I simply couldnâ€™t find a line I was interested in attempting. After the burly ridge trail things opened up into some fast, flowy, bermed switchback trails that had plenty of opportunity to catch some air. Racing was tight; the first nine finishers came in with less than a minute separating them.
Sundayâ€™s festivities included cross country racing for all ability levels with courses ranging from 10.5 miles for beginners and sport riders, to 21 miles for pro/expert/open/SS classes, and a 34 mile marathon course. Sundayâ€™s racing was highly competitive as you might expect for an area that has produced, and is home to, so many accomplished racers.
One of the highlights of the event was having more than a handful of folks in attendance that participated in the 1st annual Hoo Ha! twenty years prior.
Another interesting note about the trail system on Massanutten Resort’s property; one must aquire a season pass in order to ride the trails outside of sanctioned events (such as the Hoo Ha). The Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club has partnered with Massanutten Resort to offer two different ways to obtain these passes. You can volunteer 8 hours of time doing trail maintenance, or purchase a pass for $50 per year.
Thanks to everyone for their warm hospitality and kind words of encouragement. It was an honor to celebrate twenty years of mountain biking with everyone in attendance.
Check out the Hoo Ha! photo gallery.