Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 19, 2014

Bicyclists gear up for Crying Wolf Challenge

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Bicycle enthusiasts took advantage of cool temperatures and sunny skies Sunday to pit their skill and endurance against the trails and rolling hills of Bluefield’s city park.

The Crying Wolf Challenge presented by Cole Subaru is a mountain bike race in the hills above the city park, said Don Pellillo, the race’s director.

“It’s a seven-mile trek,” Pellillo said of the course. “Beginners go around one time. Intermediate level riders go around twice, and professionals go around three times.”

The race, now in its fifth year, is part of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association Point Standing, he said. Mountainous terrain and the distance make it a test for mountain bikers at any level of skill.

“It’s a very challenging course. Many of the riders are from out of town, but we have some local riders, too,” Pellillo said. “Lots of people who bike back there ask, ‘How do you ride back there?’ but they do.”

Riders prepared their bicycles and equipment before warming up with some laps on the road going around the city park. Joe Michael Gordon, 13, of Lynchburg, Va., said Sunday’s race was the first time he had taken the Crying Wolf Challenge in Bluefield. When asked why he raced, he replied, “Just for fun.”

“He loves to ride, he’s very competitive, and he wants to win,” said his mother, Lisa Huff Gordon.

Joe’s father, Ryan Gordon, knew there was going to be a price to pay for challenging the hills.

“It’s going to be painful, but it’s going to be worth it,” he said.

Eight-year-old Jerry Gordon was going to run the kids’ race on the road going around the city park. Besides bicycle riding, he also competes in a triathlon and swimming.

“I’ll be riding in the expert class,” said Jake Poling, 43, of Buckhannon. “Last year was my first time. We did four laps, and it took two and a half hours. It’s a lot of long climbs. I think we’re going to do 1,000 feet. It’s a very fast course; hopefully the mud will dry out today.”

His friend Sarah Rice, 25, of Buckhannon said Sunday would be her first experience with the race. Rice and her friends rode on the course Saturday to familiarize themselves with the route.

“It’ll be challenging for me with all these climbs we have to do,” she said.

Contestants followed pace cars around the park before heading into the hills and testing their skills against the rugged terrain. Race results were pending Sunday.

Additional sponsors included Grant’s Supermarket, J104.5, Pocahontas Land Corp., Brown Edwards Certified Public Accountants, and Veterinary Associates of Princeton and the Bluefields.

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