Blake Dining Hall at Falling Creek Camp on 10-23-11Blake Dining Hall at Falling Creek Camp on 10-23-11
Morning Watch on the Upper LakeMorning Watch on the Upper Lake

Falling Creek Camp hosted the Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League Race Series Championships on Sunday, October 23, 2011. It was a beautiful fall day! Here is a link to all of the photos from the day.

Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League 11/12 Yr. Old Race StartCarolina Youth Mountain Bike League 11/12 Yr. Old Race Start

The races were staged based on age groups with the 13/14 year old girls and boys kicking it off at 9am, followed by the 11/12 year old’s at 9:35am.

The 6 and Under Racers Push Hard To The FinishThe 6 and Under Racers Push Hard To The Finish

The 6 and under boys and girls were so excited to get in on the action, and the large crowd made it even more fun as they cheered them on.

Chris Fuge at the Overlook Trail - CYMBL Championship 10-23-11Chris Fuge at the Overlook Trail - CYMBL Championship 10-23-11

All of the boys and girls who competed enjoyed the views of the Green River Valley as they passed through the Overlook section. This Falling Creek Camp course was broken up into a longer 3-mile loop for the older age groups and a shorter 1.5-mile loop for the younger age groups. The older age groups rode the loop 3 and 4 times, which was 9 and 12 miles, and climbed over 1,000 feet in elevation. We know they will all be sleeping well tonight.

FCC Camper Mike Albrecht at the start line of the CYMBL 2011 Championship RaceFCC Camper Mike Albrecht at the start line of the CYMBL 2011 Championship Race
Mike Albrecht's parents, Michael and Adrienne, and his Aunt, cheering him on at The OverlookMike Albrecht's parents, Michael and Adrienne, and his Aunt, cheering him on at The Overlook

There were several Falling Creek campers who participated including Chris Fuge (Flat Rock, NC), Ben Warren (Asheville, NC), and Mike Albrecht (Augusta, GA). Annie and Mary Pharr have also participated in all five races in the series. Lucy Pharr unfortunately has been sidelined with a stress fracture, but enjoyed participating in the earlier CYMBL Races. A special thanks to Steve Drewry, long time FCC camper and counselor, for serving as a Course Marshall for these CYMBL Championship Races.

Annie Pharr and Famous FCC camper and counselor Steve Drewry at the CYMBL Finish LineAnnie Pharr and Famous FCC camper and counselor Steve Drewry at the CYMBL Finish Line
Liberty Bikes presenting a very generous Pedal Link Donation to Todd Branham of CYMBL and Stephen Jaynes of Trips For KidsLiberty Bikes presenting a very generous Pedal Link Donation to Todd Branham of CYMBL and Stephen Jaynes of Trips For Kids

Just prior to the awards ceremony, Liberty Bicycles, one of the key sponsors for CYMBL, made a special Presentation of Pedal Link Donations for CYMBL & Trips for Kids. Both were very appreciative of this kind gift!

Annie Pharr. far left, and Mike Albrecht, far right, receive their awards in the 2011 CYMBL Race ChampionshipAnnie Pharr. far left, and Mike Albrecht, far right, receive their awards in the 2011 CYMBL Race Championship
FCC Camper Ben Warren takes 2nd place in the 2011 CYMBL Championship RaceFCC Camper Ben Warren takes 2nd place in the 2011 CYMBL Championship Race
Mary Pharr takes 3rd place in the 2011 CYMBL Championship RaceMary Pharr takes 3rd place in the 2011 CYMBL Championship Race

Marisa and Annie Pharr, and Ben Williams of Falling Creek Camp, joined forces with Mountain Bike Race Guru’s Todd Branham, and Heather Wright of Blue Ridge Adventures to create CYMBL and the establish the Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League series. Todd is also world renown for his trail building expertise through his work with Long Cane Trails. Long Cane built a series of excellent trails at Falling Creek Camp, which were used in today’s CYMBL Races.

Annie has been a strong catalyst at her school, Veritas Christian Academy, in starting a mountain biking club. Ben Williams has been an outstanding coach for the group and they ride trails in Bent Creek and DuPont Sate Forests for practice. She, Marisa and Ben have been encouraging some other schools in the area to grow mountain bike clubs with the hope of Mountain Biking becoming a varsity sport at the local high schools. This is very fitting given that we have some of the best mountain bike trails in the southeast right here in our back yard. And several of the colleges in the area have very successful mountain bike teams including Appalachian State University (ASU claimed the 2008 USA Cycling Mountain Bike and Cyclocross National Championships), Mars Hill College (With consistent performances at both track and mountain bike nationals last fall, the team claimed a tenuous #1 ranking last December with a 2nd place at cyclocross nationals. After winning road nationals in May, the team secured it’s #1 national ranking for 2011.), Brevard College (2009 and 2010 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Champions), and Warren Wilson College.

We hope that you will come join us for any or all of the races in the 2012 CYMBL Race Series. Check the CYMBL website and CYMBL facebook page for news and schedule.