We have no idea how this race always scores the best weather of the Spring but the boys at Plum Grove Cyclery have done it again! Perfect conditions for fast and furious racing over 13 hours on the best singletrack in Leesburg, Virginia. Here’s a few words and images from the Gripped Racing crew:
The day started early with our first ever Junior racer heading out on an abridged lap at 8am. Here is what our youngest rider, Nick Ambrozy had to say:
I think it was awesome to be out there in the mud today racing. I like how it is very, very competitive and I really enjoyed my first race with the team.
Another junior visited our campsite later in the day – Leah Timms and her parents Sean and Laura!
A family that races together…is our kind of family!
Matt Lee came back from Denver for the race and wasn’t afraid to unveil his 2015 Cannondale Team Scalpel – special thanks to Bicycle Pro Shop for helping get it tuned and race-ready in time. Even little Leah could tell it was one special bike.
From Jason Berry:
I have to give Mike Davis special thanks for taking my place at the last minute. I hated to miss this race however with back surgery a few days after Bakers I figured it was more prudent to just take photos, hand out beers and watch the action. If you haven’t done this race put it on the calendar, it’s one of the best on the East Coast and keeps the soul of mountain bike racing alive and well. Thanks as always to for providing us with plenty of brew for both the promoters and participants!
Jason tended to the other riders, their bikes and nutrition but no one did a better job of keeping the team fed than Alcy and Alex Manente. These guys were grilling all day and everyone greatly appreciated their culinary skillz and positive energy.
Equally impressive in the beer department was Glenn Elliott’s setup with Alex and Paul (out on a lap during this photo).
Bakers Dozen 2015 was a great race. Going into the race I was concerned about conditions. The course has some great challenging feature which really test your skills on a good day let alone on a day when the course is sloppy. First loop on the course when it was just drying out had some spots where the ground was like peanut butter but by laps 2, 3, and 4 the course dried out, got faster, and was a blast. The course was still challenging but so much fun. My favorite lap was number 3 when I set up and launched off the drop in the pines. Lots of air, speed, and that feeling you only get when it feels just right!! Thanks Bakers and Plumgrove for another great year, see you in 2016!
Another new rider for Gripped Racing, Claudette decided Bakers would be a great first mountain bike race – along with her outstanding friends Jono and Alex. She couldn’t have picked a better day:
Once upon a time, a roadie got lost in the woods…and loved it. I’m less than six months into learning to mountain bike. Three of those months were too cold and too wet to ride the trails, so it seemed like a *great idea* to go ahead and join a co-ed mountain biking team for the Leesburg Bakers Dozen with supportive (and crazy) friends who have a combined 50+ years experience. The race was terrifying…it was exhilarating…it was challenging…it was awesome.
From Mat Berthet:
As for my thoughts, Bakers Dozen was my first MTB race, 4th time ever on a MTB, and by far the most challenging 9 mile loop I’ve done. Yet, after every lap, I felt a little more accomplished and had a great time getting to meet more of the team. Apart from the sport, it was awesome to see the energy and “tailgating” for the sport! Can’t wait to do more with Gripped Racing!
From Monika Kornhauser:
After I finished my 5th lap I felt cooked and was having sharp pain in lower back. At that point I was disappointed and felt that my race is over.
Luckily Vashek never planned to give up so he kept riding and covered an extra lap for us. Resting and recovering for about 2 hours miraculously put me back to race for another night lap! Many teams abandoned the race before the dark and we could hear the bluegrass from nearby fire, people having beer and pizzas.. It was definitely hard to keep going and stay motivated, but after I rode the first night lap, that turned out to be my fastest lap of the day, I was happy. I must say that I love night riding so the night lap was a blast.Vashek rode one night lap, then I finished the last 15th loop around 10:30PM, there were many others coming in behind me and since I did not know where in race we stand, I was just trying to keep going, looking back for lights, so I don’t get passed at the finish line . We had no idea where we finished, because the timing software was broken and the results were not available. So we just packed up and drove home that night. Next day, as the email arrived, we learned that we finished in 4th place, that was the moment when we were ready to celebrate. Great team support and great weather was the combination to great race day at Leesburg Bakers Dozen 2015.
Tim Abbott boldly signed up for the solo category despite a lack of training miles this Winter. He kept a solid smile on and kept us all laughing as he rode past listening for the cheers.
Stephanie didn’t race but she still came out to support and got her first ride on Rob’s new Fat Bike and couldn’t stop smiling. If you haven’t tried one you really have to – they rock!
From Matt Lee:
After the amazing experience I had at last years Baker’s Dozen, I’ve been looking forward to this race all year. It is one of the most fun race environments I’ve ever been a part of. After a lot of worrying about the weather in the weeks preceding this year’s edition, we ended up being fortunate with a great sunny day. I had a little extra excitement as well, as it was first ride on my new Scalpel Team 29er that I picked up from the awesome crew at Bicycle Pro Shop in Alexandria. The first lap was hectic as usual, and a little slick in spots, and I got the new bike broken in mountain bike style by going down pretty hard after clipping a tree trying to take a corner a little too far to the inside. By my next time up (after my teammates Rob Russell and Mike D crushed a couple laps) the trail was dry, ripping fun, and I really got to see just how amazing this new scalpel is. All around great bike and super light and fast, I did as many laps as I could at about 90% until my legs finally told me I was done (5 was the final count for me…) All around a great day on the bike, with great support from the team. Can’t wait for the next one.
Thanks for reading!