2017 Mountain Bike Schedule: Planning the Coming Year

Matching outfits.

BQT – Matching outfits.

The OMBC and Tri-State 6-Hour series both released their 2017 schedules and I’ve started building the “official” Quickdirt mountain bike calendar.  These two series provide the backbone for my training goals, but I will also try to squeeze in a few new events as well.

Overall, I’m trying to limit myself to 2 events per month.  This works out in every month except August (and April too, I guess), when there is an OMBC or Tri-State race every weekend.  I’d love to do all of them, but I’m worried that if I do them all it might lead to burnout, which is a very real possibility.  This year after the final OMBC race, I could hardly stand to look at my bike for several weeks.  We’ve since patched things up and our relationship is flourishing.  Furthermore, doing too many races takes away from valuable family time …trying to keep a little balance in my life.  Somewhere in here I still need to squeeze in a family vacation or two as well.

I start off the year with the Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Series that is sponsored by Combo.  These four races are aimed at fat bikers, but since I don’t have a fat bike (maybe next year), I will be racing in the mountain bike division.  …and defending my title from 2016!

In March, I’m hoping to do the Barry Roubaix Gravel Road Race, which is billed as the largest gravel race in the world.  If it lives up to its billing, then it will be the largest biking event that I’ve ever been a part of.  It’s also located near my wife’s cousin’s house in Kalamazoo, Michigan, so I’m hoping to turn this into a fun family event.

I’ve already booked my flight to Moab, Utah for the Combo Annual Trip in April.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.  We will be hitting a lot of the epic trails that you read about in Dirt Rag and Mountain Bike Action.  I can’t wait to experience these challenging trails with a great group of guys.  I’m guessing there will be a blog or three about this adventure.

By May, I will already have 4 of the 10 OMBC races logged.  That’s a big chunk of the 5 races that are required each year.  After that, I will be working on dropping my lowest scores and improving my series score in the Expert 40+ division.  May is also when the Dirt Rag Dirtfest is held.  I’ve always wanted to go, but usually have scheduling issues.  Since camping for this event sells out early, I will probably only go if I can find someone with room for an extra tent on their campsite.  Let me know if you plan on attending this event.

Dan Fausey, Joe Worboy, and Max Tanuma at the Mohican 100

Obligatory mountain bike photo to add visual interest to article – Mohican 100 2016, Joe Worboy finishes 100 miles.  Teammates give “Atta boys.”

June will be marked by the start of the big endurance rides.  The Mohican 100 is one of my “A-races” this year.  I will be logging a lot of miles in an effort to get a PR for the 100k version of this race.  June also marks the start of the Tri-State 6-Hour Series.  I love these events.  They are held on great courses and despite being really challenging, have a cool laid-back vibe that I really enjoy.  I really hope I can squeeze in all four of their races this year.

In July, Combo holds its 2nd Annual 6-hour race at Chestnut Ridge.  I’m really excited for this.  It’s my local course and if all goes well I should be in excellent shape for it.  I know a lot of my fast, local homeboys will be signing up, so this should be a hard day in the saddle.  Later in the month, I will be forced to choose between my two favorite series because both the OMBC and Tri-State are holding a race on the 23rd.  I’m going to wait to see how things are going in both series before I make my decision about which one to attend.

UPDATE 1/5/2017 at 10pm:  After seeing the scheduling conflict on Quickdirt.com, the Tri-State 6-Hour Series moved their East Fork race from July 23rd to July 9th.  Now there is no scheduling conflict and I can complete both race series.

August, as I mentioned before, is super-busy!

In September, I would like to attend the Shenandoah 100, part of the NUE series, but it comes the weekend after 4 straight races in August.  This will be on my wait-and-see list.  On the 10th, we will have our big local OMBC race at Chestnut Ridge.  This should be tons of fun, because we should have a lot of Breakaway Quickdirt Trek teammates in attendance.  More Cowbell!

October marks the end of the OMBC series and might be the end of my season.  We will see how burnt out I feel after the championship race on the 21st.

In November, I might sign up for Ice Man.  I’ve always wanted to do it, but I’m usually tired of racing at that point in the year.  Plus, it sounds really cold.

So, that’s the plan.  I’m still waiting to see the 331 Racing schedule and to hear about some of the one-off 6-hour races at John Bryan and such.  I may modify a little, but i definitely don’t need any more events.  If anything I might have to drop one or two.  This is going to be a busy and fun year and I’m looking forward to pushing myself and seeing if I still have any room for improvement.  Bring it!

Which events will I see you at?  What must-do race or festival should I add to my calendar?  What is your favorite biking event of the year?  I’d love to hear your feedback.  Here’s to 2017!

Here is the calendar:

Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Race Series 2016

Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Race Series 2016

January

  • 14 Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Series (Mountain Bike Division)
  • 29 Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Series (Mountain Bike Division)

February

  • 11 Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Series (Mountain Bike Division)
  • 26 Chestnut Ridge Fat Bike Series (Mountain Bike Division)
Mike Whaley, James Knott, Ben Michels, and Chris Boyle

OMBC Mohican State Park 2016

March

  • 18 OMBC Mohican State Park (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 25 Barry Roubaix (New)

April

  • 4 OMBC Mountwood (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 9 OMBC East Fork (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 22-29 Moab, Utah Trip (New/Combo Annual Trip)

May

  • 7 OMBC Scioto Trails (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 18-21 Dirt Rag Dirt Fest (New/Tentative)
Mohican 100 2016

Mohican 100 2016

June

  • 3 NUE Mohican 100 (Singlespeed Division)
  • 17 TriState 6-Hour Versailles State Park (Singlespeed Division)

July

  • 9 Tri-State 6-Hour East Fork (Singlespeed Division)
  • 15 Chestnut Ridge 6-Hour Race (Men’s Open or Masters)
  • 23 OMBC Lake Hope State Park (Expert 40+ Division)

 

James Knott races Max Tanuma at West Branch State Park

West Branch 2016

August

  • 6 Tri-State 6-Hour Hueston Woods (Singlespeed Division)
  • 13 OMBC West Branch State Park (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 19 Tri-State 6-Hour England Idlewild (Singlespeed Division)
  • 27 OMBC Dillon State Park (Expert 40+ Division)

September

  • 3 NUE Shenandoah 100 (New/Tentative) (Singlespeed Division)
  • 10 OMBC Chestnut Ridge Metropark (Expert 40+ Division)
James Knott and Mike Whaley race at Mohican State Park

OMBC Championship Race 2016

October

  • 7 OMBC Great Seal State Park (Expert 40+ Division)
  • 21 OMBC Mohican State Park (Expert 40+ Division)

November

  • 4 Iceman (New/Tentative)

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