Howdy Race Fans,
Well, day by day, the sun gets higher and the days get longer. Summertime conditions have got to be just around the corner but the rain just doesn’t seem to want to quit. With the single wettest spring on record it’ll take a miracle to have truly dry conditions for this year’s race.
If you’ve been following the team registrations on grannygear.com then you know that registration is way behind last year’s 400 team field which was down by 150 teams from the previous year. The economy could certainly be taking a toll but clearly we have failed to deliver as rideable a course as most folks have wanted. In this communiqué we’ll fill you in on the trail work that’s taking place as well as other pertinent facts about this year’s race. First, though, some specific messages:
To the faithful
We ’d like to send out my heartfelt thanks to the 175+ teams of faithful hardcore who have already registered for this year’s race. Thanks for hanging in there with us. We’re really excited to see everyone at the race.
To those who have simply had enough
We understand. This IS a very tough course and three years of wet conditions has made it especially discouraging. We know that many of you have raced with us for years and would like to race with Granny Gear again if the course were more rideable. We’re in the hunt for a new race venue with a course that puts more fun-factor back into the race. (Any suggestions?) There are even some moves afoot to bring the race back to Canaan (these efforts are in their infancy, we’ll keep you posted on any major news). Even if you're not racing, we’d encourage you to come out to the race just to hang out, perhaps be support crew for one of the teams that is in the race.
To the “newbies” (there’s bound
to be a few of you)
If you really don’t believe the horror stories about how difficult this race is, well then you’ve got a little “comeuppance” coming to you. Our advice is to prepare yourself mentally and physically, as best you can. Condition those other muscles with some practice running your bike. (Even in the best of conditions, and especially at night, there’s long sections that can be faster running.) make a pact with your teammates to keep a good attitude and a good sense of humor, no matter what.
To those who are “on the fence” and
still thinking about racing
The 60 tons of crushed stone armoring that we did last year worked very well and we’re doing more for this year’s race (more on trail work later). Plus, a smaller race means more campsites, less traffic on the course and a more intimate atmosphere. We’re keeping on-line registration open until Midnight, Sunday, June 22nd and mail-in and walk-in registration right up until Friday night before the race. The tag-line of our ads says it all: Hurts So Good. It’s fair to say, there’s no race gnarlier. One thing’s for sure, you know it’s going to be epic. Register on-line this week at: http://www.grannygear.com/Races/Snowshoe/2003/registration.html
To the Cynics
For those who misinterpret the optimism of our communiqués as misleading or outright lies, who think we’re “in it for the money” and that we’re making piles of it, who think we don’t really care... well, you’re simply wrong. We're sorry (for you) if you can’t appreciate how much effort and expense that we’ve poured into this race and this course. We're sorry that you can’t recognize the good intentions and sense of responsibility that have guided our actions.
To the Pros
Over the past three years Granny Gear has awarded more than $200,000 in cash purses making The 24 Hour Race Series the single largest source of pro support in the industry. Fully $90,000 of that has been awarded at Snowshoe. I’m proud to support pro racing and we’ve certainly attracted some top-drawer athletes and had some epic battles. We’ve been fortunate to have generous sponsorships to make these purses possible. While we’ve never used amateur entry fees to pay for the pro purses, clearly the size of the events has made them self-supporting and freed up the sponsorship dollars for the pros. Obviously this year, that’s not the case. The ongoing success of our company has to be our first priority and the generous purses that we have been able to offer simply won’t be possible. That said, we have not eliminated them entirely. The Solo and Duo classes will remain intact, based on 50% cash back from entry fees but we’ve pared back the Co-ed Pro/Am purse to a maximum of $6,000 with the percentage payback based on the number of teams entered. You can read the details of the payback schedule at: http://www.grannygear.com/Races/Snowshoe/2003/prize_list.html
To the Amateur Teams
As a point of honor, we’ve always felt strongly that after racing your hearts out for 24 hours and having earned the right to climb the podium as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place team that you and your teammates deserve a real prize of real value, not just a water bottle and a blinky light. We’re very proud of the generous prizes that we’ve awarded year after year to the top three teams from all the (now twelve) amateur classes (that’s 144 individual prizes!). That tradition continues for this year with fully $30,000 retail value in prizes at Snowshoe and it’s all thanks to our sponsors and the substantial product portion of their sponsorships. Be sure to thank them personally when see them at the race. Supporting Sponsors include: NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems, BIKE Magazine, Cane Creek Cycling Components and The West Virginia Division of Tourism. Contributing Sponsors include: Shimano, Voler Team Apparel and TREK Bicycles.
To the Volunteers
You folks are wonderful. Thank you so much for coming back year after year. It’s such a miracle that folks like yourselves take your time to come help with the race. We know you have fun doing it and we’ll continue to make sure that it continues to be fun. We’re looking forward to working with you again this year. Thanks for you generosity, hard work and good humor. We couldn’t do it without you.
To make the best use of this communiqué, find the topics listed below that pertain to you and your teammates and then scroll through the document to read more about those specific topics. We’d really appreciate it if you would forward this message to your teammates if you think they may not be on our e-mail list. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please call us at our Silver Creek offices at (304)572-6977. Happy Trails!
Topics (in alphabetical order, I think):
24 Hours of Snowshoe Trail Conditions & Trail Work
24 Minutes of Snowshoe Kids’ Race
Contact Granny Gear Productions
Directions to Silver Creek Lodge
Late Waiver Fees/Changes
North American Trials Competition
Registration at Silver Creek Lodge
RFID Cards link to Fact Sheet
Rules & Regulations/AMTRI
24 Hours of Snowshoe Trail Conditions & Trail
We’ve had a crew working the course since last week and we’ll have staff working on the course right up until race day for the next two weeks. There were major ice storms this winter and lots of deadfall on the trails but we’ve got all of it cleared now. The trail bed itself is intact in some sections and worse than ever in other sections so there’s no shortage of work for us to do. The 60 tons of crushed stone that we put down last year has held up beautifully. This stuff just plain works! You can see the results in the lap times from last year. Consider this: Even though we had wet conditions for the third year in a row and last year’s course had more single track in it than ever before the RealTime results show that top Men’s Sport lap times were a full ten minutes faster than the year before. See for yourself:
2001 Fastest laps-Men’s Sport
2002 Fastest laps-Men’s Sport
There’s no question that the stone work has made a BIG difference and we’re going to do as much as we can in the next two weeks to increase the mileage of armored trail, weather permitting. There’s touch-up that needs to be done in some places where we laid down stone last year but all-in-all these sections are in great shape. For the new armored sections, we’re specifically targeting the upper section of Lower Beaver Dam from the entrance to the big deep ravine. (Our equipment can’t get beyond this ravine so the trail will stay natural between the ravine and the two bridges that cross the island on the rail bed that goes along the Black Run stream.) Also, we want to extend the gravel further up the rail bed on lower, Lower Beaver Dam to the two bridges that cross the island from where we left-off last year (this section is only 60-70 yards but it all helps). We’re also targeting the middle section of Enchanted Forest up to Impossible Rocks. (The first part of enchanted Forest is old rail bed and very solid. Our machine can’t get beyond impossible rocks but the center section has many long boggy sections that will respond well to armoring.)
Elsewhere, there’s lot’s that can be accomplished with manual labor. Beyond impossible rocks we can break-up many of the jumbled sandstones and use the rubble to fill and armor the trail bed. We’ll re-bench-cut the entrance to Aheadset. All along Aheadset to the top of the new Aheadset downhill (new last year) we’ll de-berm and open up the drainages. On the new Aheadset downhill, now that last year’s race has cut off the fresh topsoil, we can begin to build crib walls and hand armor the corners of the S-turns. Lastly, if it's possible to get gravel trucked to the top of the ski lift we can begin armoring Bobcat Alley. Like I said, there’s no shortage of work to be done. I can’t promise that it will all get done but we’re going to do as much as possible. While we haven’t had a formal trail work weekend we’d be happy to to have volunteers at any point during these next two weeks. The weekend prior to the race we’ll be leading an informal trail work weekend (not that any of our trail weekends were ever THAT formal). If you let us know ahead of time, we can have a place for you to stay the night. Just call us at our Silver Creek offices. We’ve got plenty of hand tools but if you want to bring your own we’ll be using pick-axes, digging bars, sledge hammers and round point shovels, primarily.
24 Minutes of Snowshoe Kids’ Race
Registration will be from 3 till 3:45 p.m. in the Granny Goods Tent. Helmets are required. Parents must complete an accident waiver for each little racer. The “LeKids-style start” will be at 4 p.m. There are four age brackets: 6 and under (parents are welcome to accompany their little racer while on course), 7-8, 9-10, 11-12. Boys and girls will race together, but results will be tracked separately. The 24 Minutes Awards Ceremony will be on the Podium after the last wave of racers cross the finish line. Granny Gear Productions sponsors all contestants, so there is no entry fee. This event is about having fun and making new friends. There will not be a cash purse!
The cost to camp is $52 per 20’ x 25’ campsite (a little bigger than last year). The campground is open from Wednesday afternoon through Monday morning. Reservations are required. If you haven’t made a reservation yet, there are still plenty of good campsites available. Just call Granny at (304)572-6977.
Campground check-in will be: Wednesday from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., and Friday from Noon till 4 p.m. at the Silver Creek Lodge “Kid’s World” building. Campground check-in and Registration will be Friday from 4 till 10 p.m. either in the Silver Creek Lodge lobby or under the Log Tent, weather pending. All registered campers will receive an email from Cheryl Cassell at the end of this week confirming their reservation. If you are arriving after business hours, please be sure you know where you are supposed to set-up so you only have to pitch your tent once.
There are hot, outdoor showers that run for a limited time only on Thursday and Friday, but will run all day/night during the race (see Shower Hours on the information Boards). Potable water is available near the showers. Small campfires are permitted, but follow basic precautions. Please use “low-impact” camping practices and clean your site before leaving. Trash bags are available from GGP staff and dumpsters are provided. Please carry your trash to the dumpster (otherwise, bears may get a little curious and we don’t want to jeopardize their safety). Camp in designated areas only (a map will be provided at campground check-in). Do NOT camp in the parking lot. Do not camp in front of Silver Creek Lodge.
Campground fees are used to help defray the costs for port-a-lets, hot showers (including propane & hauling of gray water), dumpsters, ground repairs, insurance and staffing. The campgrounds are divided into at least five different sections—be sure to camp in the section where you made a reservation. If your car doesn’t fit inside your 20’ x 25’ campsite dimensions, then park it in the parking lot. Your fellow campers appreciate your consideration. Imagine how you’d feel if you saw a nice flat campsite with a bunch of parked cars, and the only campsite left was in a ditch or on a steep hillside...
Snowshoe handles all RV Reservations. Many RV sites have electric hook-ups, but no sites have water or sewer hook-ups. Call Snowshoe reservations at (877)441-4386.
Contact Granny Gear Productions
Use the following address to FedEx or UPS your Team Entry Form and/or Accident Waivers only. Do NOT ship your bikes to GGP because we have NO storage space. Call Snowshoe’s Bike Shop (4848’) at (304)572-1000 to make arrangements for shipping/receiving/storing your bike.
Granny Gear Productions
c/o Snowshoe Mountain Resort
#1 Silver Creek Parkway
Snowshoe, WV 26209
Attn: 24 Hours of Snowshoe
Directions to Silver Creek Lodge
Here’s a link to our website where you can find travel routes from all compass directions to Snowshoe Mountain Resort: http://www.grannygear.com/Races/Snowshoe/2003/accommodations_directions.html
Granny Gear is hosting the 24 Hours of Snowshoe event at the Silver Creek Ski Area, which is located about 4 miles “up” Snowshoe Drive. If you get to the top of Snowshoe (about 6 miles), then you’ve gone too far. But take a look around while you’re up there, because the scenery is spectacular and the Snowshoe Village offers an assortment of shops and restaurants for your pleasure. Plus, folks who made lodging reservations with Snowshoe will check-in at the Brigham Center, which is at the entrance to the Snowshoe Village. For those who don’t know, you can find Snowshoe, WV on a map at the intersection of 219 and 66, between Elkins and Marlinton.
Gate Fee: There is none this year. Come one, come all. The more, the merrier.
Late Waiver Fees
If you or your teammates are turning in late waivers or making changes, then you will incur late fees. Late waivers and changes are $10-20 each, depending on how late you turn them in.
To check on the status of your team, go to:
Find your race class and click that link to see a list of all teams in your race class; find your team name and click that link to find your team page. Or simply type your team name in the appropriate field and that should take you to your team page.
The website will be open till Midnight Sunday, June 22. After that date, you will not be able to make online changes to your team page or roster. Each change or late waivers starting Monday June 23rd will require a $10 fee. Changes at Friday Registration will require a $20 fee. Remember, you can make any online changes to your roster this week for free.
However, to delete a rider or change your team name, you must contact Granny Gear.
North American Trials Competition (The NATs)
See Schedule of Events for a list of competition times. All Trials competitions will once again be hosted around the Silver Creek Lodge area. Granny Gear has generously donated $2,000 toward the cash purse awards (thanks, Granny!), so check it out. These athletes love a good crowd and put on a great show.
Parking space is limited at Silver Creek, so please park compactly. There is no Gate Fee this year. Parking is free. Camping is not. Do not camp in the parking lot. Do not get naked in the parking lot (this is a family event). Do not pit in the parking lot (reserve a campsite for $52 to use as your pit area). Do not block the race course with your vehicle. If you park illegally, your car will be towed and the nice guys at the towing company will be very grateful for your financial contribution to their retirement fund. Plus they love to test-drive. (just kidding,,,no really they do...nah, not really...oh yea they do...noooo, of course they don’t)
RealTime Scoring and RFID Fact Sheet
If this is your first race with Granny Gear, then you’ll really be amazed by our electronic RealTime Scoring System. The results for every lap of every racer of every team be available in the RealTime Scoring tent’s computers. We’ll also be broadcasting the results on a wireless network (for those of you with wireless capable laptops) and we’ll be posting the results, in real time, to www.grannygear.com. Now, your friends and family at home can follow your progress throughout the event too. Very cool!
Once you and your teammates see your results posted on RealTime Results—in RealTime—then you will understand the true power of your RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) card. Read the Fact Sheet and be prepared to impress your friends with you vast knowledge of this very cool tool. At the end of the race, turn your card in at one of the many raffle boxes and you’ll be automatically entered to win some commemorative 24 Hour Race Series merchandise or sponsor swag.
It’s important that you and your teammates understand how the RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification card) system works, and how you can prevent mistakes that might cost you a lap. Check out the RFID Fact Sheet:
If you have any questions about the RFID card procedures, please come to Registration and we’d be happy to clarify. Chances are, if you have a question, so do 25 other people who are too nervous or shy to speak up. We want you to get credit for each and every lap you ride, so let’s let technology work for you.
Registration at Silver Creek
If your team entry form is complete, and every teammate’s accident waiver is turned in or has been accepted online, then only one person from your team needs to come to Registration at Silver Creek Lodge on Friday afternoon to pick up your race numbers, RFID cards, and swag.
If your team entry form is incomplete and/or you are turning in late accident waivers or making changes, you must bring those missing accident waivers (signed with original signatures) to Registration and (patiently) stand in the “changes” queue.
Hours: Friday, 4 till 10 p.m.
There is NO Registration on Saturday, unless you’ve made special arrangements with Granny. If you absolutely, positively can’t get anyone to pick up your race #s on Friday, call us and we’ll try to accommodate you as best we can.
Reasons to come to registration early (rather than late): 1) You’ll have a better chance of getting your free, commemorative T-shirt in the size that looks best on you; 2) You’ll be able to purchase a custom 24 Hour Race Series cycling jersey, shorts and/or wind jacket, in your favorite color and size (quantities are limited, so hurry); 3) You’ll get to see Granny’s staff while they are cheerful and alert...the later it gets, the more likely one of us will need a nap and be grumpy!
Rules & Regulations
The rules: They are what makes the game. Laird wrote the Rules for the Inaugural 24 Hours of Canaan (Davis, WV) in 1992, the event that started it all.
You are responsible for playing by the rules. It’s more fun that way, don’t you think?
No amount of computer hardware will ever replace the hard working, fun loving volunteers who manage the baton exchange, RFID swipes and log boards. Volunteers are the best! And we make sure they have fun. If there’s anyone coming with you that you think would enjoy a front row seat, have them go to <www.grannygear.com/volunteer.html> or call the Granny Gear offices at (304)572-6977 to sign up. Or they can sign up to volunteer at Registration or at the Granny Goods Tent at the Venue on Saturday morning. All volunteers should be familiar with AMTRI Rules and RFID card procedures.
The entire state of West Virginia has received copious amounts of rainfall this Spring. The long-range weather forecast for Snowshoe is available at:
The weather can change quickly, but with as much rain we’ve had recently, it’s hard to imagine anything other than some soggy terrain. You should plan on chilly temperatures at night, just in case. So in other words, let’s hope for sunny and dry but be prepared for cold and wet.
Best of luck to you, your teammates and support crew. Have a truly great race!
Also, whether your racing or not, have a great summer of riding.
—from everyone at Granny Gear Productions