GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #17: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #17: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 3:20 PM
Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 3:20 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

The weeks continue tick by in 2018 and we now roll one week closer to returning to GNCC Racing. We’re about to head north for the first time this season for the second annual X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana. We’ve got our fingers crossed for good conditions at this year’s X-Factor event so the venue can live up to it’s true potential, which is pretty high! I feel like I say this about every track, but the X-Factor course will offer up a little of something for everyone with it’s mix of tighter and faster sections, plus some really cool up, down and off-camber sections. 

This time next week, we’ll be knee-deep in the X-Factor woods getting things prepared for the race, but it’s never too early to look further ahead in the season and an announcement this week provides some details on cool new racing opportunities that will arise at several rounds this season. Beginning at The John Penton, we’ll be hosting a few rounds of eMTNB bicycle racing, which promises to be a pretty popular addition to the series. 

E-Bikes have become very popular the past few years among riders looking to check out the course prior to the race, and get around in a good amount of time. These pedal-assist mountain bikes are really cool but get a bit of flack from the hardcore mountain bike crowd because they’re a bit different than a traditional mountain bike. However, this leaves the door open to race them on a course that is a good bit different than a traditional mountain bike racecourse. If you’ve never ridden one, there’s no throttle and no sort of motor that makes the bike go by itself. You still have to pedal, but an electronic motor further assists your pedaling efforts, which in turn makes you able to ride faster and make tough climbs with ease. 

eMTNB racing will kick off at The John Penton, then continue at Snowshoe, Mason-Dixon and round out the year at Ironman. We’re testing the waters with these events, so this is not a points paying series but each event will offer a total of six classes and have awards to top finishers in all six classes. Check out the press release HERE for more details.

A few of us, myself included, have already ventured out to Indiana but we’re not at X-Factor just yet. We actually have a round of the ATV Motocross National Championship taking place at Ironman this weekend, and since we’re working hard out here, this week’s edition is going to be a bit on the light side. However, don’t worry, we’ll be back in full-force next week to get you geared up for X-Factor. We hope you enjoy this week’s quick version of Quick Fill and we’ll see you in Indiana! 

It's almost time to go GNCC Racing once again! Don't miss out!
It's almost time to go GNCC Racing once again! Don't miss out! Ken Hill

Catching Up With Ken (Ken Hill)

So the news broke this week about the new E powered bicycle races that will be held at four select events this year. At first I was kind of skeptical but I have learned to withhold opinions until I see what unfolds and after a quick search through social media, it appears this may be something that can be grown into something really special. The growth of mountain biking and racing has been pretty good over the past few years and even several of our racers compete at different levels in several styles of competition, so this should be an easy addition. I am pretty sure there will be a ton of info coming out about this so stay tuned to the GNCC website for updates and announcements. 

Looking ahead at the next round at X-Factor Whitetails, my first thought was actually a prayer and it was for better weather leading up to and during the race. I recall seeing the landowner right after the race Sunday and while he was more than welcoming to the GNCC crowd, he had a look of sadness seeing his property in such a muddy mess. Of course the rest of us know things happen when it rains and the crew are experts at putting the facility back to the way it was. After seeing him staring at the mess, I knew he needed to get his mind off things so I grabbed Thad Duvall and asked him to chat with him. After a few minutes of talking hunting, the worry started to fade and I asked if he would join Thad for some victory pictures and soon he was smiling and cutting up and started talking about the “next” race. It is hard enough gaining the places needed for holding a race and to get one like this doesn’t come along every day. 

With that said, please make sure you keep a clean pit area and not let trash get away from you. I know, many different events have now taken place here but we need to worry about what image we show to this landowner and it starts with respect. Do not run off the roadways or in areas marked as off limits and do your very best to keep any area you venture into clean. Enjoy your weekend and race for sure, just take an extra step or two this round if you can. 

Being we have an off weekend, I am running around like mad getting the gardens prepped and tree cuttings planted before another non-stop run in the schedule. I think I actually work less at the races than I do here this time of year, so if I look a little haggard you know why. And just when I am tending to blisters and sore muscles, my thoughts turned to Alicia McCormick, who was injured at the Steele Creek round, so I dropped her a message to check in and see how she was making out. I half expected to hear she was already back to running, cycling and racing her ATV simply because she is double tough. Here is what she had to say: 

“Hi Ken! I'm doing ok. I have ups and downs, but more ups than downs. I came back to work Monday but still can't teach spin classes yet. I got released from the wheelchair and am able to drive now, which is a huge relief. I'm sore everyday but nothing too crazy. I am ready to have my normal life back. I don't sit or rest well. I go back for a check up in 3 weeks and am praying for good news. The estimated recovery time is 6-12 weeks, I'm really hoping for 6!” 

I know everyone wishes her a speedy recovery and it sounds like she is on the mend physically. The toughest part for her is watching and not competing so I expect her to push hard to get back to training as soon as she possibly can. 

That is all from me this week although I have been witness to Big Steward Baylor and his feathered friend “Ruby”. It seems Big Stu has a chicken that is really enjoying hanging out and participating in his outdoor lifestyle! If you can’t have fun, life is going to be really boring so take some time to enjoy the gift we have. Be safe in all you do and may God bless you all!