Youngsters had races geared especially for pint-sized participants, and fun-lovers had costume events and single speed bike races. The really hard-core riders, of three category levels, had two impressive-to-watch and challenging-to-ride events. One was the short track races held at Achord's Elk Ranch half-mile mototrack. Races of 15, 18, and 20 minutes plus two laps were run, length depending on the rider's category.
The granddaddy event, so to speak, was Saturday's Downhill Race on the Lake Leatherwood "Downhill Challenge Trail." This race was a one-way downhill trail race which started at the top of the mountain across from Angler's Grill and ended adjacent to Leatherwood Park fields. The race is on a one-mile serpentine route that to the casual observer sometimes appears straight down.
On both the race at Elk Ranch and the downhill to Leatherwood allowed riders the opportunity to catch air, that is allow the bike to take flight. And on the downhill race there was extreme air to take. The height of the first jump off a huge rock and was close to nine feet high. Only experienced category 1 and 2 riders attempted that jump. But there were plenty of other places down hill where speeding riders could either catch air or ride around the jump. The fastest way down, though, involves taking the jumps... and the risks.
At press time the only known injury on the downhill was not by a rider but a spectator who made a mis-step negotiating his way up the mountain to watch the action. A complete list of results will appear in a later issue of the Carroll County News.