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2005 Burn Photos
Up, up and away
A rider leaves the lakeshore.
Checkpoint Charlie
Volunteer Ellen Adams checks off a rider.
This rider slides through a tight turn.
Hammer Time
A weary rider on the homestretch
Look of determination
Rider rolls through the rock garden.
Happy Landing
Jason Hooks takes his DH bike home.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Spunky 11 and 14 year olds (at right) propel the Blackwater Steam Rollers.
A rider glides along the shores
of Kerr Scott Lake.
Free food anyone?
Scout leader Mike Adams
passes out the pound cake.
Decisions, Decisions
Riders had to choose a line carefully coming out of the rock garden.
Jim "Sprocket" Horton's happy to be handing off to teammate Brian Pierce.
Hot Pursuit
Where's the passing lane? No place to get by on this stretch of singletrack.
Gravity is your friend again
A rider rushes back toward the lakeshore after a long climb to the ridgetop,
Whatcha gonna do
when they come for you?
Greensboro bike cops win a prize
Red Sky at Morning
Dawn breaks over the tent village along Kerr Scott Lake

Photo by Richard Fink

Chad Oliver catches some big air

Photo by Jason Bumgarner
A Walk in the Woods
The hill on the jeep road is mighty steep

Photo by Dwight Levi
Rockin' through the rock garden
Brian Pierce of the Middle Ring Mafia

Photo by Richard Fink
Stand and Deliver
A young rider pushes hard

Photo by Dwight Levi
Kiddie Time
Why let the adults have all the "fun"?

Photo by Dwight Levi

Solo men's winner Bob Anderson on the Lake Loop
Photo by Dwight Levi

Solo women's winner Heather Mosely on the Lake Loop
Photo by Dwight Levi

Click here to visit Richard Fink's album of 2005 BURN photos

 Around the clock mountain bike race draws a big crowd to Wilkesboro
Hundreds "feel the burn" at Dark Mountain in 2005

About 200 mountain bikers pushed their bodies and bicycles to the limit at Wilkesboro’s Dark Mountain recreation area Memorial Day weekend during the Burn 24 Hour Challenge.

Racers vied for cash, merchandise and the right to compete in the world mountain bike endurance championships at Whistler, British Columbia in September.  The round-the-clock off-road bicycle race ended at noon Sunday, May 29th.

The race, staged by Burn energy drink, drew top riders from as far away as North Dakota.  The event also drew weekend warriors eager to test their physical and mental toughness against the six mile course through the hills overlooking Kerr Scott Lake.

Bob Anderson, 39, (the happy chap pictured at right with his prize money) finished first in the solo men’s category for the second year in a row.  Anderson, a funeral director from Crozet, Va., spent about 200 miles in the saddle over the 24 hours of the event.

Heather Mosely of Rexford, N.Y. bested the field in the solo women’s category.  She completed 23 laps of the Dark Mountain course, riding about 140 miles.

The Boneshaker Team won the two-person team competition, the Muffins Team won the female team division, and Team Deliverance took the male team category.  

Middle Ring Mafia, a local team, had an edge in the men‘s team competition.  

Since November 2002, several Middle Ring Mafia members have been involved in the design and construction of the trails at Dark Mountain.  The team finished third out of 20 teams in the male team category, completing more than 245 miles over the 24 hour period.  Members include riders Ethan Anderson, Kirk Brittain, Jim "Sprocket" Horton, Chad Oliver, Brian Pierce and team mechanic Richard Fink.

Click here to view complete event results from the 2005 BURN 24 Hour Challenge.

Round the clock event pushes the limits

The format of the Burn 24 Hour Challenge stretched riders to their limits.  Racers ran to their bikes at noon Saturday in a furious mass start.  About 40 riders in the solo category kept at it around the clock, taking only brief breaks, until noon Sunday.

The rest of the riders competed in teams of two to five, alternating riding with rest.  Top teams logged more than 250 miles of riding over the course of the event.

The six-mile dirt surfaced course included two steep climbs from the shores of Kerr Scott Lake to the top of Dark Mountain.  Once atop the ridge, racers blitzed through an curvy maze of rolling singletrack trails, encountering tight turns, a rock garden and several optional jumps.

The tough terrain took its toll.  One rider broke his collar bone and another was briefly knocked out after mishaps on the trail.  Wilkes Rescue Squad members were on hand for the entire event.

The course was unlit.  Racers used battery operated lights to penetrate the deep woods at night.  "It’s quite a sight at 4 a.m. watching the spiders drop from the trees, building their webs," said Middle Ring Mafia rider Brian Pierce.

Weary riders were buoyed by the support of teammates and a small army of local volunteers.

Team camps were scattered throughout the large grassy field near Kerr Scott Dam.  Family and friends offered food and encouragement.  Yells, cowbells and air horns greeted exhausted riders at midday Sunday as they completed their final laps.

Local Boy Scouts barbecued burgers, slung spaghetti and proffered pound cake to fuel the fatigued.  Deep in the woods, volunteers from the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club staffed a mid-course checkpoint and aid station, offering some much needed human contact during the dead of night.

Event draws riders of all stripes

The Burn 24 Hour Challenge drew a motley crew of riders and bikes.  Adults pedaled through the night alongside youngsters as young as 11.  Riders on expensive specialized mountain bikes raced against competitors on beach cruisers and single speed bikes.

Some of the toughest riders finished well back in the field:

Jesse Hooks of Charlotte raced for 24 hours on a bulky downhill bike.  His stout rig, designed for taking jumps, tipped the scales at about 50 pounds, or about double the weight of the bikes used by most of his competiton.
The Blackwater Steamrollers Team of Lynchburg, Va. (pictured below) finished third in the female team division with the help two spunky girls, an eleven-year-old and a fourteen-year-old.  "Who ran the late night laps (on the Steamrollers Team)?  The younguns!" announced event director Tyler Benedict during the award ceremony.
The Blackwater Bike Shop Onesies Team did more than 220 miles on one speed bicycles, finishing tenth in the male team division.  Most of their competitors took on the tough terrain riding bikes with 27 speeds.
Two Greensboro bike cops turned work into play, finishing fifth in the two-person division.

BMCC-built trails are a big hit

Burn riders raced on a network of single track trails built over the last two-and-a-half years by volunteers from the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club.

Burn riders first tasted the trails at Dark Mountain last year. Since then, BMCC members have tweaked the trails to improve durability.  They‘ve also rerouted a section of the trail to bypass a steep jeep road.

"The event followed the same course as 2004, just smoother, faster and more refined," said event director Tyler Benedict. "Everyone seemed to like the venue."

"We got a bunch of rave reviews on the trails," said Jason Bumgarner, BMCC’s coordinator for the Burn event.  "Attendance was up this year.  Overall, it was a very successful event."

Competitions like the Burn 24-Hour Challenge are putting Wilkesboro on the map with mountain bikers.

"Wilkes has become a destination for mountain biking," Bumgarner said.  On any sunny Saturday, the parking lot at Dark Mountain is filled with cars of out-of-towners who have driven in from Charlotte, Raleigh and other urban areas to enjoy the network of trails at Kerr Scott.

Trail building at Kerr Scott began in November 2002 with a trail building clinic presented by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.  The town of Wilkesboro gave trail building efforts a big boost in July 2003 when it granted $10,000 in tourism development funds to help BMCC acquire a mini-bulldozer.

Since then, the local bike club has built about ten miles of trails at Kerr Scott.  The Dark Mountain trail network is about six miles long. The Overmountain Victory Trail on the south side of the lake is about four miles long and still under construction.  Its trailhead is near the Visitor Center at Kerr Scott.

"We easily could end up with more than 20 miles of mountain biking trails at Kerr Scott," said Jim Horton, BMCC’s trail construction coordinator.

Profits from the Burn event are plowed back into trail development, as required by an agreement between the event promoter and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Last year’s event generated $1,075 toward trail construction and maintenance at Kerr Scott.

The event was sponsored by Burn energy drink, Sirius satellite radio, Big Wheel Rally bikes, Kenda tires, Sock Guy, Thomson, Light & Motion, Nite Rider, Road ID, Tioga Tires, Cook’s Sporting Goods, the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club and United States Army Corps of Engineers.  

 BMCC's own Middle Ring Mafia notches strong third place finish at 2005 BURN 24

Middle Ring Mafia team members Kirk Brittain, Chad Oliver, Brian Pierce, Jim Horton and Ethan Anderson mug for the camera at the 2005 BURN 24 Challenge awards ceremony May 29th. The team finished third out of 20, completing 41 laps of the six mile Dark Mountain course. Team Deliverance of Wise, Va. won the male team competition. Not pictured: team mechanic Richard Fink.

Middle Ring Mafia member Jim "Sprocket" Horton (right) is all smiles...his day at the BURN 24 is over! Brian Pierce clips in for his final laps in the 24-hour event.

Photo by Jason Bumgarner

Chad Oliver catches big air early in the 2005 Burn 24

Photo by Richard Fink
Chad Oliver is in obvious agony in this one. Here's the story from team mechanic Richard Fink:

The shots of Chad haulin' with his mouth wide open (were taken) at 11:58 a.m. He took the timing chip at 11:30 a.m. Some of the guys in the team couldn't believe he could lay down a 30 minute lap, so they started putting up their bikes and gear. They were wrong. Chad's last lap was 29 minutes flat!!! He crossed the line with a minute to spare.