Mt. Motorcycles, WV- The inaugural running of The Go-Race Beast Mode TT is in the books, just as the leaves start to cover the challenging terrain.
Start of the 2015 Go-Race Beast Mode TT. Photo Credit: Lisa Atwood Hawkins
After a cold and slow start to the day, a fast paced qualifying round heated things up and got the racing action started. The qualifying test was a little over 2 miles in length, consisting of tight and technical single track, grass track, a rock obstacle, a climb, and a descent. The terrain in qualifying was far from extreme, but riders definitely had to remain on their toes during the fast paced warm-up.
Stephen Edmondson, of Rocky Mount, Va, laid down the fastest qualifying run with a time of 6:42.5. He was followed by fellow Virginia rider Tim Henion (6:45.3), and Butler, PA’s Eric Kriberney (6:46.3). Bel-Ray Husqvarna rider Graham Jarvis, in typical Jarvis fashion, saved his energy and focus for the more technical terrain that would follow in the 2nd test. The King of Hard Enduro produced a qualifying time of 7:41.25, which was 17th fastest, respectively.
Once all the riders had qualified, staging began for the start of the 2nd test. Racers would again start one at a time, based on their qualifying runs, and set off to attack the challenging 10 mile course. The Beast consists of mild and flowy single track trail through varying terrain, with intermittent nastiness along the way.
Riders struggle in the Ibex section. Photo Credit: Lisa Atwood Hawkins
The first 2 miles of the long lap consisted of rocky and tight single-track, that may have left some riders wondering how “The Beast” got its name. Just when things may have seemed a bit too easy, they arrived at Zig Zag, the first extreme section of the loop. In this section, riders zig-zagged their way up a wooded ravine, switching from one off-camber to another before making a steep climb out.
One mile later, the riders encountered the first significant rock section of the lap, as they climbed a spiny ridge to the top of the mountain. After crossing the deck of our main lodge, riders descended a rocky bluff onto The Ibex Trail. Here, they picked their way around the bluff, until they were faced with The Corner of Hell. The rocky, uphill switchback led the riders up the face of the bluff, and back onto level ground.
Top qualifiers Edmondson, Henion, and Kriberney, who were the first to begin the test, were still leading the pack physically at this point. All three riders made it up the cliff unscathed.
With Jarvis carving quickly through the pack, and leading on corrected time, the trio of amateurs up front blistered through Hare-X and the motocross section as they closed in on the Garden of Bleedin’. The nasty boulder garden is the most technical and challenging rock obstacle on The Beast. Although it is wide and has plenty of lines, no line is a very good one. The rocks are sharp-edged and unpredictable, some being fixed and some being loose. The key here is to keep it moving and avoid breaking the bike.
Racers can only help each other in the Garden of Bleeding. Photo Credit: Lisa Atwood Hawkins
Again, the frontrunners made it through unassisted and charged toward Everest, which was waiting patiently just two miles down the trail. TM rider Eric Kriberney, who had qualified 3rd and was putting in a solid 2nd test, cleared the monster hill with little trouble. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvanian had trouble navigating the stretch of trail after Everest, and dropped from the race. In a true display of sportsmanship, Kriberney went back to The Garden of Bleedin’ and assisted fellow racers thru this demanding section. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Everest was the biggest climb of the day, and the section was 300 feet wide. Racers had an entire mountainside valley to use, as they blasted their way up. Tim Henion and Stephen Edmundson were riding together at this point in the race. Henion cleaned the hill on his first pass, and squirted across the top. Edmondson, on the other hand, bobbled and lost momentum. He was forced back to the bottom for another run. His second attempt was successful, but the mistake allowed Henion to put a few more seconds between them.
The two rode on together to the checkers, picking their way through challenging rock obstacles such as Granny’s Biscuits and Rocky Log. The two VCHSS aces had the added challenge of navigating a course that in many areas was fresh and hard to follow. However, they kept their composure, scanned for arrows, and picked their way to the finish without getting lost.
Graham Jarvis passes other riders in the Ibex section. Photo Credit: Lisa Atwood Hawkins
Graham Jarvis had started modestly from the 17th row, but used a scorching pace to physically pass all but Henion and Edmondson during the course of the second test. The Englishman crossed the line in 37:08, an impressive 7 minutes and 38 seconds faster than 2nd place Tim Henion (44:46). Stephen Edmondson rounded out the top 3 with a time of 45:36.
As is the case with many events trying to get off the ground, The Beast Mode TT had its share of setbacks and challenges. But with a patient group of riders and plenty of support from the sponsors, the day ended with lots of great riding and anticipation for next year. Terra Kings Extreme Enduro has high hopes for 2016, and welcomes the opportunity to improve!
The crew at Terra Kings Extreme Enduro and Mt. Motorcycles would like to thank the racers, spectators, and hands-on sponsors who all pitched in to make the race happen. Go-Race Incorporated, Wayne Cycle Shop, Poisk Adventures, Goldentyre USA, SRT Offroad, Xotic Concepts, and BikeMatrix.net, all came together in a truly grassroots effort. These fine organizations are highly valued and will be relied on in the future to help grow the event. Please support them and thank them for all they do for the sport!
For more information about the venue, or to purchase a membership at Mt. Motorcycles, please visit www.mtmotorcycles.net.