This weekend we put a close to the 2013 mountain bike season with the Ohio Mountain Bike Championship (OMBC) series awards. Expert, sport and novice riders gathered together to celebrate another season for the record books.
This is what it’s all about. These guys don’t get paid or have a chance to win big sponsorships. They are doing it because they love the sport. 10 weekends a year they drive anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to gather at some state park or piece of private land and test their strength and endurance against other weekend warriors. They plop down their $30 entry fee and if they are lucky enough to win they get it back, plus a little extra for gas and Taco Bell on the drive home.
After a long season of riding, April to October, they gather together to celebrate their achievements. It was a festive atmosphere with plenty of Great Lakes beer on tap (Silver & Gold IPL & Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter).
In the expert men’s category, Ben Ortt took home the top prize over Steve Twining. It was a nail biter. With over 600 points available, these two were separated by only .71 – 596.73 to 596.02. This was Ben’s 3rd time winning the title. Here is a link to the OMBC Overall results.
The women’s expert category was won by Heidi Shilling who had a perfect score of 600. This was Heidi’s 4th series win.
For my part, I finished 3rd in the Sport Veteran 30-39 class. I was in second place in the standings heading into the championship race. The championship race was the only course where your score could not be dropped. It also happened to be the one trail where I made a wrong turn. Long story short, the third place racer, Cato Coleman passed me in the standings at the final race. Congratulations to him and to Tony Mellott for his first place victory in Sport Veteran. This was easily the fastest and most competitive sport age group this year and it was a blast contesting these races with such strong competitors.
For my third place finish I received a framed photo commemorating the season. I also got some cool swag – a KMC gold 10-speed chain which sells for $48 bucks on Amazon, Darn Tough Socks & some Squirt dry lube.
The real highlight for me was winning a special prize for finishing all 10 races in the series. Only one other racer, Jeff Rupnow, had the same distinction. We were each awarded a Velocity Blunt SL wheelset worth several hundred bucks. They are for sale for $749.99 on Velocity’s website. If any of you have any experience with these wheels, then please let me know in the comment section. I hope to do an article in the future about going tubeless with these (I know, I know… why am I not already running a tubeless setup).
It was fun hanging out with all the riders and talking about plans for next season – who will move up to expert & who won’t, off-season training plans & new bikes that people want to buy.
My mountain bike is hanging in the garage. My spin bike is set-up in the basement. This is the first season that I have finished where I wasn’t completely burnt out by the championship race. It’s going to be a long winter spinning in the basement. I will miss riding the trails and I already look forward to racing next season. I can’t wait until the schedule is released so I can start planning for more fun.
More Photos from the 2013 OMBC Series Awards