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Note: The following communiques are in reverse chronological order. Please read both communiques to get all of the most recent available information.

Racer Communique - June 6th, 2001

Howdy Again 24 Hour Racers and Fans,

First, the Weather Update: We've had some significant rain this week even though most of the big stuff has missed us. Nevertheless, it's been too cool and too cloudy to get much drying. It looks like we’re in for a bit of a mud fest. Plan accordingly. The work that we've done will definitely be of help, but this is going to be one tough course. Depending on how wet the course stays, we may shorten the course somewhat. The good news is that the forecast is for partly cloudy and relatively warm for Friday through Monday. Once again, here is the link for local weather.

Camping, Parking and Racer Drop-off: We've received a few irate e-mails about the camping this year. Let me clarify a few things so, if you’re feeling the same way, you can see things from a different perspective. First, Snowshoe is implementing a space rental fee instead of a per person fee because there were so many people last year who didn't pay for camping. Space is easier to manage than people. It was Granny Gear's recommendation that they move to this model and we think it's fair. Remember, last year's fee was $5 per person per night. If you had 3 or 4 people camping for 3 nights, you would have paid $45 - $60. This year, a 15 x 20 ft. space is renting for $50 for the entire time from Wednesday night through Sunday night. Yes, they are charging for pit areas as well, but it's practically impossible to discern between camping and pit so they lumped them together. Snowshoe is bringing in a professional shower truck—so that means HOT showers and lots of 'em. Also, each camping/pit area reservation will get one Parking Pass so you can park you car in the parking lot and have more room in your camp site (you can park in your camp site if you choose and use the parking pass for another vehicle).

Yes, there is a parking fee this year. It's $5 per car, per day for any parking in the Silver Creek Parking areas. These fees off-set the cost of running the shuttles from the top of the mountain, which are free. We hope that by putting a premium on parking that we can reduce some of last year's parking nightmares and have more folks using the shuttle (which, practically speaking, will really only accommodate spectators, as Snowshoe will not allow bikes on the shuttle). Each Team will get one "Team Shuttle Pass" which will get them past the gate to drop off their teammates, but will not serve as a Parking Pass. When using the Team Shuttle Pass, teams will drive through the Racer Drop Off Area, located on the South side of the Silver Creek Lodge (near the showers, bike wash and bike check tent). Once you've dropped off your racers, you must move through to make room for more vehicles. You can then park, if you have a parking pass, or head back to the top of Snowshoe.

Available Lodging: The camping/pit areas and RV spots around Silver Creek are now booked up. Lodging is your only option, this late in the game. There's still some rustic lodging available at Spruce lodge. Call Snowshoe Reservations at (304)572-5252.

Real Time Scoring System: It looks like the Real Time Scoring system is going to be up and running. Keep in mind that we are in the "Beta testing phase" while using it at Snowshoe. We'll still be keeping score using the log boards as our ultimate backup. One thing that is very important when using the electronic scoring system is that you log out using your RFID before your teammate logs in. Failure to do this will cause your lap to be cancelled. We can fix the error, but it creates a lot of work on the administrative side. So be certain to log out before your teammate logs in. Important note: the team baton must be passed from the racer logging out to the registrar, who records the log-out time, and then from the registrar (after the log-out time has been recorded), to the racer logging in, before the racer logging in may start his or her lap.

In case you haven't heard, the great Folks a the West Virginia Division of Tourism are paying for a fire-works display to celebrate our Tenth Anniversary Party. The show starts at midnight, with the shells launching from the top of Silver Creek's mountain! I'm sure it's going to be a show worth waiting up for.

Registration: Teams may pick up their racer numbers and swag bag on Friday from 12 Noon to 9 p.m. in the Silver Creek lobby. There is a $10 fee for any late waivers or changes made on Friday. Late Registration is Saturday from 8-10 a.m. Race day changes or late waiver submissions will be $20 each.

Volunteers: Granny wants you! She’s still looking for volunteers who want a front row seat where all the action is. Call Granny’s trusty sidekick, Suzanne, at (304)572-6977 and she’ll sign you up. Volunteers who commit to one full shift will receive a volunteer t-shirt, a mug and a meal ticket. We ask that volunteers be at least 16 years old and please leave Fido at home (15,000 spectators might be too much for him to handle!). This is a great way to be part of the action!

Happy Trails!
Laird


Racer Communique - June 3rd, 2001

Howdy Granny Gear Racers and Fans,

Well, I have to apologize. We've all been incredibly busy getting ready for the big ten year anniversary celebration and I haven't yet told you about all the big news surrounding this year's 24 Hours of Snowshoe. So here's the scoop along with some other information that you'll want to know:

A Course Update: In the last two weeks of May, Snowshoe received 14 inches of rain in 14 days. Since then, there have been showers, on and off. The course has been really greasy, but there has been some drying since the big rains, too. The 10-day forecast shows scattered showers through Thursday and no rain in sight, after that, through the weekend. That's good, but the course hasn't had as much time to dry out as it did last year. It looks like we're in for a mud fest, even if the weather is good over the weekend. You can keep tabs on the weather at Snowshoe by clicking here. Remember to subtract between 5-10 degrees from the high and low temperatures, for when you're on top of the mountain.

Big News: Plan to attend the Opening Ceremonies so you can be there to see John Stamstad receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. On the heals of his induction to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, John has decided to retire from his incredible career (check out his new business). He has set the standard for ultra-endurance mountain biking. Indeed he practically created the sport of ultra-endurance mountain biking, single handedly. In 1992, he traveled to Australia for the first crossing of that continent by bicycle-The Australian Bicycle Challenge, a 3500-mile off-road race through the remote Outback. Also, that year, he entered his first Iditasport, a race in Alaska, in February, along the famous Iditarod Trail. Stamstad won that race in 1993, '94, '95 and '96. In 1997, the race was changed to the Iditasport Extreme and the distance of the race was increased from 170 miles to an arduous 350 miles and went across the Alaska Range of mountains. Stamstad was the winner again with a time of 5 days, 5 hours. Stamstad followed that with victories in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Stamstad also holds the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association 24 Hour Off-Road World Record of 352 miles, and in 1996, Stamstad was the first person to ride The 24 Hours of Canaan solo and he has gone undefeated at Canaan/Snowshoe ever since, frequently besting more than half of the teams. In 1999, Stamstad conquered the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route-the longest off-road trail in the world. He completed the 2500 miles and 200,000 vertical feet of climbing in 18 days, 5 hours. John's Lifetime Achievement Award is being hand-crafted by Jeff Fetty, a world renowned, West Virginia-based iron smith (and ardent mountain biker) . A second, identical trophy will be created and awarded on an ongoing basis to the solo champion of The 24 Hours of Snowshoe, in John's name. No doubt, the Stamstad trophy (a.k.a. "The Iron Crank"), will become one of the most prestigious awards in the ultra-endurance world.

More Big News: Granny Gear Productions, in collaboration with the IT wizards at iPlayOutside.com is developing a state-of-the-art, real-time scoring system that will post to the internet the on-going results of the race by class and overall. The front-end of the system will consist of a radio frequency identification or RFID (in the form of a credit card) that will be carried by each racer and RFID readers at each of the log tables. Whenever a racer needs to log-in or log-out, he or she will simply waive their card over the reader; their log times will be recorded and their lap times will be calculated automatically. (Note: It is very important that a racer log out before his teammate logs in) The back-end of the system will take the data generated by the RFID readers and post results on www.grannygear.com. There will also be a network server on-site which will post the results to a local intranet of six computer workstations near the scoring tent. Additionally, there will be six physical ethernet connections for folks who want to connect their own lap-tops using a hard-wired network card and a local wireless network (with a 500 ft. range) which can be used by folks (up to 250 at a time) who have wireless network cards (using the 802.11 standard) in their portable computers. In addition to posting real-time results by class and overall, there will also be various flags that automatically alert you to lead changes and record lap times. Also, you will be able to see the virtual log-sheets for each team, showing the rider order and team lap times. Tell your friends and family to go to www.grannygear.com and follow your teams progress as Granny Gear and iPlayOutside set a new standard for internet based webcasting and scoring. All of the new lodging at Snowshoe (Rimfire and Highland House) provides internet connections. At other locations, you will need to use a dial-up ISP. You can sign-up for a temporary dial-up account by contacting www.neumedia.net. We will provide information for the local intranet configurations (both hard-wired and wireless network) in a following e-mail and in a hand-out, on-site.

We've Hit the Big Time Now: We learned last week that Sports Illustrated will be covering this year's race! They are sending a senior editor and two photographers. The article is slated to be published in the June 18th edition. Folks, this is the real deal. We're talking about national press in a magazine with a circulation measured in the millions! I have a sneaking suspicion that the folks from Sports Illustrated are going to have their MINDS BLOWN by this truly awesome event.

Commemorative Team Jacket: Granny Gear is producing a limited number of Commemorative Team Jackets with the folks from Open Air Technical Wear. We've custom spec'd this jacket to be the ultimate cycling shell. It's made from GoreTM Windstopper fabric and will be available in Spruce Green, Gun Metal Gray and Deep Lake Blue. The front chest will have a small 24 Hours of Snowshoe commemorative logo and the back will have "Ten Years of Mud, Sweat and Gears" printed in reflective ink. Check out these other specs:
* Full zip front with slash pockets (maximum ventilation and warm hands);
* Drop tail back (keep the spray from going down your shorts);
* Pit zips (even more ventilation);
* Rear cycling pockets;
* Reflective trim across front and back yokes (safety first);
* Velcro closures on the cuffs (adjustable for comfort or added ventilation).
Check them out when you get to the race. They'll be available on a while-supplies-last basis for $85 each.

That's all for now folks. Thanks for coming to Granny's big birthday party. It’s sure to be one of the most amazing mountain bike events ever.

Happy Trails,
Laird

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127 Springfield Ave
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Phone: 304-259-5533
Fax: 435-608-1699

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