Biking on the Beech
Beech Mountain Resort has been named host for the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships, to be held Sept. 22-25.
The popular High Country resort has also been awarded the 2012 championship and is the first resort in the South to host the event.
"Beech Mountain Resort realizes the increased popularity in cycling, and the demand for a facility with lift access, " said Ryan Costin, general manager of Beech Mountain Resort. "We are pleased to host Gravity Nationals, while also producing a facility for all mountain bike enthusiasts."
The resort will begin construction of the facility in preparation for the championships, which will bring mountain bikers from around the country to the area.
Brevard native Christopher Herndon, 2007 Dual Slalom National Champion, and a Southeast leader in course design, will oversee construction. "We feel confident that Christopher Herndon will design a unique facility ensuring that Beech Mountain Resort will produce an innovative product," Costin said.
Beech will offer a world-class venue for competitors in a spectator-friendly atmosphere, filled with plenty of family-friendly activities, organizers said.
Ultimately, Beech Mountain Resort plans to provide local cyclists with a mountain bike destination in their own backyard.
"There is a lot of untapped terrain on Beech Mountain, ultimately providing a unique facility for Gravity Nationals," said Shaw Brown of Boone Bike and Touring. "We are thrilled Beech is producing a legitimate mountain bike facility in the southeast."
Michael Thomas, a Boone resident and 2008 and 2009 collegiate downhill champion, said, "This will be the first time that the national championships have ever been held in the South, and it's a big step forward in the progression of downhill racing here. We have great mountains to ride in, but actual downhill specific trails to ride on have been very limited until now."
To find out more about USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity Nationals, visit skibeech.com.