If it was not for all the camping, fishing, barbecuing, live music, and free beer, it would have been just like any other bike race! This was the third year for the VisitPA Mountain Bike Stage Race Weekend, and undoubtedly the best yet. Despite the torrential downpours and flooding the week before the race, hundreds of riders and their families came out to enjoy the festivities on the farm.

These festivities consisted of a Friday Night Time Trial, a Saturday XC Race, and a Hill Climb and Short Track XC Racing on Sunday. As if that was not enough, some riders chose to compete against the clock in Saturday’s Enduro XC Race, seeing who could do the most laps in six hours!

For the more laid-back crowd, there was camping, fishing, a nature hike, a slow race, a kid’s race, live music, and plenty of free beer to keep everyone happy.

Despite all the fun and distractions, the racers put in some serious effort out on the twisty, six-mile course. Although there were very few rocks, there were enough sharp turns and logs to hop to keep the racers on their toes. The Visit PA MTB Team was a strong favorite for some podium finishes, but they faced stiff competition from other teams like Bear Naked/Cannondale, Trek, and Wild Blues.

The first racer for Friday’s ITT set off on the course as darkness set in. Racers then started at 30 second intervals and raced about five miles in the dark. At the end of the night, it was VisitPA’s own Ryan Leech and Ray Adams posting the two fastest times. Wes Schempf, aboard his singlespeed, captured the fourth place spot.

With five expert racers at the line, VisitPA was poised to claim more podium spots in Saturday’s Cross-Country Race. Flyin’ Ryan Leech and X-Ray Adams had good starts and moved to the front of the pack, where they were joined by Trek’s Kyle Hammaker and Cannondale’s Brandon Draugelis, with SSWES Schempf and Wild Blues’ Aaron Snyder not far behind.

Hammaker pulled away early but Leech kept him in his sights, managing to pass him later. Going into the last lap, Leech had a short lead on Hammaker. Leech was looking strong but Hammaker managed to pull away and secure the win. Leech came in second about a minute behind, followed by Adams, who out-sprinted Draugelis at the line. Other notable VisitPA performances include SSWES finishing in seventh and Michelle Schneider taking fourth in the elite women?s race.

After spending the day racing in the hot sun, racers were treated to some live music, free beer, and a bonfire Saturday night. Then it was time to rest, as racing resumed Sunday morning at 9 AM!

Sunday’s first race was the Mass-start Hill Climb. This race started out on dirt and paved roads but quickly switched to a steep, rocky singletrack ascent through the woods. Since this race ventured outside of the main venue, Sutliff Hummer provided a Hummer H1 to use as the pace car!

When the gun sounded, the elite riders attacked with blazing speed, almost catching the Hummer as it slowed for some sharp turns! At the first incline, VisitPA?s Zack Blaser launched a solo attack and immediately put a gap between him and the pack. This caused some other riders to chase and use up their energy, which allowed Ray Adams to slowly make his way to the front on the singletrack and secure the first place spot!

With three races under their belts, it was not time to rest, but time for a fourth race! The Short Track XC brought riders back to the farm for a short and fast course full of excitement. After 30 minutes of intense racing, Ryan Leech pulled off the win with Ray Adams coming in second and Kyle Hammaker a close third.

With all those top finishes, Ray Adams claimed the Overall GC Win, with Ryan Leech up there in second. Michelle Schneider also had a top five finish, coming in fourth overall for the weekend in her category.

The weekend was almost over, but it just would not be complete without the last event: the Huffy toss! While waiting for the awards ceremony, some riders tested their ability to see who could toss an old Huffy the farthest. Everyone had fun and the Huffy was broken by the end!

After the awards, everyone left with smiles on their faces and nothing but good things to say about the event! The timing was perfect because as soon as the farm was clear, the skies opened up for the first time since the past Wednesday!


Enjoy this video from the 2005 event:


For more information on the race, visit: HighSpeedCycling.com and the Mid Atlantic Super Series.

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