Photo: Headerpic2.jpg
News Article
Back to the front page.

Catawba Race Weekend Page 2
Regional Mountain Bike Racers Celebrate the Swan Song of Catawba Riverfront Park

(continued from Page 1)

Sunday was dedicated to the cross-country contingent, with their nimble, light weight racing bikes. Catawba offers something for everyone on the scenic but challenging course. Averaging 26 pounds or so, the hi-tech rigs swallow bumps, drops, roots and rocks as the racers traverse the 8.3 mile course. After dodging showers late Saturday and early Sunday, the trail was in excellent condition for the races, which were started in waves of three, with Beginner, Expert and Sport races being spaced throughout the morning to early afternoon.

But Catawba is known to bite, and to bite hard. During the Sport event, a rogue thunderstorm unleashed its full force on the racers and volunteers. The zip and crack of lightning and the immediate boom of thunder signaled a shortened day for the Sport riders, as their races were abbreviated to just one of the two scheduled laps. With the trail turning to a heavy rushing creek bed, all riders safely made their way to the finish line, wet, muddy and with drivetrains that had lost the crispness of shifting, long before the end of the ride. But even with all the fury Mother Nature could muster, there were nothing but smiles on the faces of the contestants.

The excitement of the weekend was somewhat tempered by the fact that the park we all know and love today, is changing. Construction of the US National Whitewater Center, scheduled for the coming fall, will rest on the grounds of Catawba, now referred to as Historic Tuckaseegee Ford Park. The footprint of the park, while currently somewhat nebulous, will probably be at the cost of at least three miles of sweet, volunteer built and maintained, singletrack. With new local municipalities coming onboard and inviting the Trailblazers to construct trails in their towns (Davidson, Mt. Holly and Harrisburg, to name a few) the future appears bright for mountain biking around the Metro-Charlotte region. But the loss of any trail at our beloved Catawba playground is a bitter pill to swallow by the mountain bike community.

May the Catawba of the past, and all of her memories, rest in peaceā€¦


Back to the front page.
Tarheel Trailblazers | 182 Saddle Road | Mooresville, NC 28115
DHTML / Menu by OpenCube