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Super D at Rocky Knob

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Apr. 17 | Modified: Apr. 27
Super D at Rocky Knob

Mountain bikers of all skill levels will take to Rocky Knob Park next week for the first Super D mountain bike timed race event.
Photo courtesy of Timothy James Photography



Dirt, rocks and maybe even some sweat and tears will fly loose next week for Boone’s first ever Super D Southern Series mountain bike race at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park.

The mountain shredding and pedal pumping excitement kicks off on Saturday, April 26. Rocky Knob Park is located on U.S. 421, just east of Boone. Registration opens at 9 a.m., and a racers’ meeting at 11:30 a.m. leads up to the noon start of the races. The entry fee is $30.

The single-rider timed format will kick off the Super D season, which features linear downhill races geared to test the mettle of riders in the areas of peddling, taking curves and pure grit.

“Super D, or a downhill race, is a unique race in that it is a point-to-point race on a trail that is mostly downhill,” trail boss Kristian Jackson said. “Unlike a cross country race, which is like a loop over a variety of terrains, this is designed to go from high point to low point.”

Rocky Knob is a unique course in that it was specifically constructed for mountain biking.

“It’s pretty physically challenging for racers,” Jackson said of the course and race. “The course is pretty rocky, and there are some real pitches … it’s a fast, gravity-fed (course), but with several sections that are flat and slightly uphill where riders will have to pedal.”

Riders will not be the only ones who can enjoy the rush of precarious downhill racing, as the format of the race is also visually appeasing to spectators.

“Some of the areas are really fun to watch, as the racers come through those rocky areas,” Jackson said.

The park has become a draw for tourists and locals alike — and not just on race day.

“Within a few minutes of the downtown, you are into beautiful terrain,” Jackson said in an earlier interview. “The park is on the north side of a mountain, so you can spend a short bit of time out there, and it feels like you are in the middle of a natural forest somewhere. It’s a lot of escape for a place so close to Boone.”

In addition to bikers honing their skills, the race has also been a learning experience for a group of students at Appalachian State University that was tasked by Jackson to help plan the event.

“This has been an opportunity to take what we learned in the classroom and actually put it into real practice,” Jackson said. “These students are facing pressures of what pulling off an event is really like. This is an authentic experience for them, and they are very excited to be a part of it.”

For more information, visit http://rockyknob.wordpress.com.

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