Winding climbs in Mt. Davis Challenge
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The Mt. Davis Challenge, a 42-mile road race up, over and around the highest point in Pennsylvania, will challenge the legs and lungs of its participants.
The race, sanctioned by USA Cycling, the governing body of amateur bicycle racing in the United States, will start at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 in Confluence in southern Somerset County.
The course will start at 1,353-foot elevation and climb to the 3,213-foot summit of Mount Davis via a series of narrow, winding two-lane country roads. It will drop down the eastern side of the mountain and climb to the top before returning to Confluence.
"Prolonged climbs, fast descents and some rough road surfaces make this a true challenge," said race organizers and veteran bicyclists Jim Sota and Adam Snyder, both of Somerset County.
Although the course travels through some of the state's most scenic rural countryside, there won't be much time to enjoy the views. The rough road surfaces and the climbs will demand most of their attention.
The "rain or shine" race, hosted by the Confluence Tourism Association, will award cash and merchandise prizes to the top male and female racers in various age and ability categories. The strongest riders are expected to complete the course in two hours.
Sota and Snyder said volunteers are needed to control traffic at intersections, staff water stations and assist at the finish line. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 814-926-2840. The Somerset County Amateur Radio Club will provide communications support during the race.
A USA Cycling license is required, but one-day licenses will be available on race day for $10. Racers can register for the race at www.USACycling.org. or from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 4 at Logan Place in Confluence.
The entry fee is $25 before Aug. 1 and $35 afterward. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Confluence Creative Arts Center.
Ray Silbaugh, president of the Confluence Tourism Association, commended Sota and Snyder for their year-long effort to organize the race, secure all the necessary state and local permits and secure sponsors for the first-time event.
Among the latter are Confluence Cyclery, Dirty Harry's Bike Shop, Bikes Unlimited, Somerset County Rails-to-Trails Association, Somerset Trust Company, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Somerset Hospital, Somerset Med Services, SOTA Construction Services, Traditions Restaurant, Hammer Nutrition and Guy Chemical Company.
For more information: www.visitconfluence.info/mtdavischallenge.
Bike Pittsburgh celebrated its 10th anniversary June 28 at its annual membership meeting at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty. Bike Pittsburgh presented awards to the following organization and individuals for their "outstanding contributions to advance bicycle advocacy in Pittsburgh."
Organization of the Year: Mullen Advertising, a Strip District agency that helped Bike Pittsburgh launch its Car-Free Fridays and Bike Friendly Employer programs. The League of American Bicyclists recognized the firm earlier this year as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Business.
Advocate of the Year: Michael Boyd of Wilkins, an associate professor of music at Chatham University, who was instrumental in helping the university become one of the first Bike Friendly Employers.
Volunteer of the Year: Erica Peters of Bloomfield. "[Her] commitment to Bike Pittsburgh goes above and beyond," said Becca Susman, the organization's Membership and Outreach Coordinator.
Outstanding Commitment Awards: Todd Derr of Squirrel Hill and Nathan Swartz of Black Mountain, N.C.
Derr, who staged a membership campaign at his workplace, Google, is a regular contributor to the organization's message board. Swartz of "ClickNathan Handmade Websites" redesigned Bike Pittsburgh's award-winning website in 2007 and will introduce a new redesign by the end of this year.
For more information: www.bike-pgh.org.
First Published July 7, 2012 12:00 am