Granny Gear Announces
(The race is scheduled for June 10th & 11th,
2000. This announcement
Several years ago The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sought to establish Canaan Valley as its 500th Wildlife refuge. They recruited support from various recreation-based business people in the area, including myself. I accepted the fact that the USF&WS wouldn't allow racing on refuge lands. I became a strong supporter of the wildlife refuge, based on two things: 1) the Refuge Management Plan allowed for on-going recreational mountain bike access; and 2) the assurances that the USF&WS wouldn't be purchasing property in the more developed southern end of Canaan Valley (including Timberline) because "it had little value from a wildlife management stand-point." In fact, I was instrumental in convincing the county commissioners to vote in favour of the wildlife refuge, which provided the political alignment that Senator Byrd wanted before he would sign- off on it.
Once the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge was established, the various recreation-friendly policies went out the window (unless your form of recreation involves shooting and killing animals, which is allowed). Then the USF&WS began to actively buy land in the southern end of Canaan Valley, despite its previous assurances that they had no real interest in doing this. When Timberline sold a large parcel of land to USF&WS in the spring of 1999, it became apparent that someday soon Timberline might sell more of their land, including the property where most of our course was located. In August, that's exactly what happened.
I have had many conversations with the refuge manager, Kevin DesRoberts, trying to find a way to keep the race at Timberline, all to no avail. Kevin, it seems, feels bound to enforce the strictest interpretation of USF&WS policies and will not allow us to use the property that we have been running the race on for the last six years. As it was, the race course was compressed into a relatively small area of land. As it is now, there is simply no way we can design a course on what little land Timberline still owns.
I'm sad that we have been forced to look for a new venue for The 24 Hours of Canaan. This is my home, where I started as a mountain bike race promoter in 1983. I have worked hard over the years to promote this area as a mountain bike destination with the 24 Hours of Canaan as its hallmark. (For anyone whose only exposure to this area was the 12-mile race course, you should know there is still an incredible amount of riding up here, much more than you might imagine, USF&WS purchases notwithstanding.)
Granny Gear Productions would like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks at Timberline for hosting us over the years. It was, after all, Timberline that saved the day when we were forced to move from our original course in Davis (due to other unrelated land access issues). And, it was the venue at Timberline that helped The 24 Hours of Canaan become the world renowned mountain bike classic that it has become. We would also like to thank all of the local folks and businesses that have supported us over the years, we couldn't have done it without them.
That said, Granny Gear Productions is proud to announce the Inaugural 24 Hours of Snowshoe! Yes, we sealed the deal on November 30th, 1999. While it's sad to say good-bye to Canaan, there is a lot to be excited about in our new Snowshoe venue. Snowshoe has three times the lodging than the entire Canaan Valley area, lots of restaurants, more parking, a great venue and killer terrain. Here are the details:
Best regards to you and yours for a very happy holiday season, Keep the rubber side down, Your friend and fellow mountain biker,
Granny Gear Productions, Inc.
©1998-2012 Granny Gear Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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