Friday, March 20, 2009

Mountain Bikes to Descend on Devils Backbone Brewpub

Mountain bike enthusiasts will soon converge on the newly opened Devils Backbone Brewpub in Nelson County. A chance encounter, at Devils Backbone, between owner Steve Crandall and mountain bike enthusiast Woody Elliott led to the creation of the Devils Backbone Challenge. Crandall lives on 700 acres of mountain wilderness near the brewery, and is making his property available for the event.
On March 28, ... the first-ever Devils Backbone Challenge will go off from the Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Wintergreen. The race will be the centerpiece of what the mountain biker, Richmonder Woody Elliott, and the owner, Steve Crandall, intend as a celebration of fat tires and beer in one of Virginia's most stunning settings. They hope to create a party atmosphere with live music, an outdoor barbecue, even Big Wheel races in the brewery parking lot for friends and family of racers.

Shawn Tevendale, an expert/pro-level racer with Charlottesville's The Bike Factory, has worked hand in hand with Elliott to organize the event.

"Races that I've done in the past: What made them successful from a racer's standpoint?" Tevendale asked. "Things that jump out to me about the best events I've been to is when it's a festival-type atmosphere. It's a mountain bike race, but it's got a festival, it's got a party."

Several courses will be set up for the races and will showcase the beauty of the region. Says Crandall, "This area's been one of the best kept secrets, I think, in the state." I think his statement applies to both the natural beauty, and the burgeoning craft beer scene in the area. That's a secret we want people to know about.

Read more on the Devils Backbone event here. Race registration information is here.

Update: Nelson County Life has pictures from a practice run of the bike event. See their story and pictures here.

Update, March 26: Due to inclement weather the Devils Backbone Mountain Bike Challenge will be postponed until Saturday May 23.

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