FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Neoen Australia has unveiled a massive new wind, solar and battery project for South Australia, adding to its suite of renewable and storage projects in the country, and taking the total pipeline of renewable and storage projects in the state to more than $20 billion.The Goyder South project is earmarked for Burra, in the state’s mid north, and will comprise up to 1200MW of wind, 600MW of solar, and up to 900MW of battery storage (the number of hours of storage is yet to be determined).The first stage, comprising about one third of the capacity, and totalling around $1 billion, may begin construction this year, while the second and third stages will depend on the timing of the proposed new inter-connector between Robertsown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in NSW. Even the first stage will be the biggest of its type in the country, and while the overall project would easily be the biggest in the state, its country ranking will depend on the fate of other projects also on the drawing board, such as 4GW Walcha project in NSW.State energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Goyder South project highlighted the importance of the new [transmission] interconnector, which he said would provide a “freeway for renewable energy” from South Australia to the eastern states and turn South Australia into an energy powerhouse. “Neoen’s plan for the enormous Goyder South project is a resounding endorsement of the interconnector and the Marshall Government’s policies for cheaper, more reliable and sustainable power,” van Holst Pellekaan said in a statement.Neoen’s head of development Australia Garth Heron told Renew Economy the proposed battery would likely to be scaled for arbitrage and “firm contracts” rather than the FCAS market where the Hornsdale battery installation now makes most of its money.Neoen has bought the undeveloped but permitted Stony Gap wind project from Pallisade, which will form the basis of the project. The exact location of the turbines will be decided after consultation with the local community. Neoen will open an office in Burra soon. The company hopes to lodge development approval later this year, with hopes to begin construction in 2021, and have the first stage online by 2022.More: Neoen unveils massive wind, solar battery project in South Australia Neoen plans massive solar-plus-wind-plus-storage project in South Australia
Study: California pension funds have lost billions on backward-looking energy investments FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Chief Investment Officer:A new study shows that the two largest pension funds in the U.S.—the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)—as well as the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association, combined missed out on $19 billion in investment returns over the last decade by investing in fossil fuel stocks.The study is the latest salvo by environmentalists in their battle to convince the large pension funds to divest their portfolios of the stocks of oil and gas companies, something the pension systems refuse to do.It found that the $380 billion CalPERS would have generated an estimated additional $11.9 billion in investment returns had the funds divested of fossil fuel stocks a decade ago. CalPERS is the largest US pension system by assets under management; CalSTRS is No. 2.The study found that the missed returns for CalSTRS were also substantial. The $238 billion system would have gained an additional $5.5 billion during the 10-year period.The third system, the $45 billion Colorado PERA, missed an estimated $1.77 billion during the 10-year period, the report found.The study highlights “that large fossil fuel companies pulled down overall performance, while technology, health care, retail, and entertainment boosted performance, the groups said.More: Green Coalition: Pension Plans Miss Billions by Not Divesting from Fossil Fuels
EIA: 2020 U.S. coal production to total 530 million tons, down 25% from prior year FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The U.S. Energy Information Administration further lowered its coal production forecasts for 2020, predicting a 25% drop in domestic coal production from 2019 levels in its most recent “Short-Term Energy Outlook.”As the coronavirus pandemic battered electricity demand and brought construction sites and manufacturing plants around the world to a pause, the EIA began to revise down its outlook, predicting a 22% drop in April and then a 24.3% decline in May. Continuing that trend, the agency said in a June 9 report that U.S. coal mines would produce 530 million tons in 2020 from an estimated 705 million tons in the prior year, citing a compilation of negative market factors including slipping demand for coal-fired power generation and faltering steel and metallurgical coal demand overseas.Global steel and coking coal demand have diminished met coal output, resulting in a projected 35% decline in output from mines in the Appalachian region of the U.S., the report stated. Meanwhile, production in the Western region is expected to see a 25% drop due in part to reduced thermal coal demand from key export destinations including India and lower coal-fired electricity demand in the U.S., according to the report.U.S. metallurgical coal exports are expected to fall 32.3% in 2020 to 37.3 million tons from an estimated 55.1 million tons in 2019, according to EIA’s outlook. Thermal coal shipments overseas are similarly anticipated to sink 30.2% to 26.3 million tons from approximately 37.7 million the previous year.EIA maintained a view stated in May that production will recover in 2021 to roughly 549 million tons and that U.S. met coal and thermal coal exports will also rebound, a projection some market observers have disagreed with. In addition, the average delivered coal price will decrease from an estimated $2.02/MMBtu in 2019 to $1.98/MMBtu before increasing to $2.03/MMBtu in 2021, according to the report.[Jacob Holzman]More ($): EIA expects U.S. coal production will drop 25% below 2019 levels this year
Ørsted signs world’s largest corporate renewable PPA with Taiwan’s TSMC FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ReNews.biz:Ørsted and Taiwan-based TSMC have signed a corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) for all the production from Ørsted’s 920MW Greater Changhua 2b & 4 offshore wind farm. The Danish energy giant said this makes it the largest-ever contract of its kind within renewable energy.The 20-year fixed-price contract period starts once Greater Changhua 2b & 4 reach commercial operations in 2025/2026, subject to grid availability and Ørsted’s final investment decision.Under the agreement with TSMC, the Greater Changhua 2b & 4 offshore wind farm will receive a price for power including T-RECs (Taiwan renewable energy certificate) during the 20-year contract period that is higher than the feed-in-tariff which was originally secured via Taiwan’s first offshore wind auction in June 2018.Ørsted said the PPA improves the project’s financial viability and helps it mature Greater Changhua 2b & 4 towards a final investment decision.Ørsted Asia-Pacific president Matthias Bausenwein added: “The agreement between Ørsted and TSMC signed today underlines Ørsted’s pioneering role in the development of renewable energy in the Asia Pacific. In Taiwan, we are already constructing the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farm. Combined with our Greater Changhua 2b & 4 project, which is now one step closer to a final investment decision, we are making offshore wind a cornerstone in Taiwan’s transition from fossil-based to renewable energy.”More: Ørsted signs ‘world’s largest’ renewables PPA in Taiwan
Plaid shirts won’t die. They only continue to evolve. Disciples owe great thanks to the rebels of the Scottish highlands, who first donned the criss-crossed tartan on kilts in the seventeenth century, as a mark of clan identity. American factories (R.I.P.) started churning out the checkered patterns in pre-Civil War times, and through the years an inexplicably diverse array of cultural demographics have adopted the trend. What other piece of clothing at some point in time could have been a defining look for rail workers, rednecks, lumberjacks, cowboys, farmers, truckers, hippies, hipsters, Mr. Fix-Its, feminists, grunge rockers, gangster rappers, surfers, and skaters?Of course, the outdoor world has been a steadfast supporter of the resilient fashion phenomenon for decades—from old-school hikers to dirtbag climbers to a recent explosion among terrain park air junkies. With that in mind, we look back at some of plaid’s finer moments in history.1746 Plaid banned by the British for four decades after Scottish Rebellion.1850 Woolrich unveils the two-tone plaid Buffalo Check shirt, which is still available today. According to the Pennsylvania-born company’s history books, the pattern designer owned a herd of buffalo.1914 Ad copywriter William Laughead personifies lumberjack folk hero Paul Bunyan in a series of pamphlets for the Red River Lumber Company. Bunyan’s legend has since been immortalized in cartoons, statues, trails, and theme parks.1939 Red Flannel Day is started in Cedar Springs, Michigan, after the town became nationally famous for producing red flannel sweaters. The town still holds a massive Red Flannel Festival over the last weekend in September and first weekend in October.1963 The Beach Boys make the Pendleton plaid shirt famous by wearing it side by side holding a surfboard on the album “Surfer Girl.”1978 In his quest for the Tennessee governor’s office, now senator Lamar Alexander walked 1,000 miles across the state in a red and black flannel shirt. The populist stunt helped earn him the office for eight years.1979 “The Dukes of Hazzard” first airs on CBS. Guys suddenly started making wives and girlfriends wear their plaid shirts.1990 The Red Flannel Run debuts in Des Moines, Iowa. Earlier this year, 1,600 plaid-clad runners entered the race.1991 Pearl Jam debuts video for “Even Flow.” Flannel becomes scarce in Seattle for the remainder of the decade.1993 In his video for “Today was a Good Day,” Ice Cube wears the gangsta’s top-button flannel with a hood. 1998 Earl Shaffer commemorates his flagship thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail by completing the trail again 50 years later wearing his trademark blue flannel shirt and pith helmet.2007 High school student Danielle Cook starts the Flannel Fridays Club in Oneida, N.Y. It has since gone viral on Facebook.2010Burton designs Olympic uniforms for the U.S. Snowboarding Team featuring Gore-Tex jackets that look like plaid shirts.
Three guys walk into Boone High School in North Carolina’s High Country to watch “Into the Mind,” a new breed of ski film that follows a skier’s quest to ski mountains in the Himalayas, Bolivia, and Alaska. Forget ski porn. This is ski art. Picture these three dudes, all skiers themselves, coming out of the movie psyched to make some turns. Picture them practically rabid for the powder stashes and tree lines that surround the small college town of Boone, N.C. The only problem? It’s early December, 50 degrees, and not a snowflake in sight. So picture the three dudes going to the local brewery to talk about skiing the powder stashes and tree lines that surround the small college town of Boone, N.C.So goes the life and times of the High Country Nordic Association (HCNA), an unofficial, completely grassroots, barely organized group of free heel skiers who are somehow managing to expand backcountry ski access, legitimize Southern resort tree skiing, and proselytize the joy of ski touring to anyone who will listen. Covering a relatively snowy belt of the North Carolina mountains surrounding Boone, the HCNA is the southernmost Nordic association in the U.S. The terrain in the group’s backyard is incredible—5,000 foot peaks with forgotten fire roads, mile-high balds, and hill-side pastures, along with the occasional backcountry Appalachian Trail hut. But the snow is…fickle, at best.“The snow is hit or miss for sure,” says Lynn Willis, a long-time telemark skier and one of the founding fathers of the HCNA. “It’s challenging being a skier in the South. The reality is, you spend a lot of time skiing at night getting blasted by snow guns.”That’s not to say there isn’t any natural powder to be had. The mile-high mountains that line the North Carolina/Tennessee border outside of Boone get an average of 100 inches of snow a year, and most of it is packed into a couple of solid months between January and March.“In 2010, it snowed almost daily for three months straight,” says Kristian Jackson, a professor of recreation management at Appalachian State, and founding member of HCNA. “I got 50 backcountry ski days in that winter. Most years we’ll see about 30 days with probably 10 good-to-great days. Even during warm winters, you can count on a handful of great days.”Nordic Nirvana from Kristian Jackson on Vimeo.It was enough snow to support a backcountry guide service during the ‘80s, and four years ago, it was enough snow to prompt Jackson, Willis, and Russ Hiatt to fill the hole left in the community after that guide service went under. The HCNA started as a message board to share snow reports, then quickly turned into an online hub for cross country and telemark skiers to plan off-piste ski trips. After the banner snow year of 2010, the group organized further, sponsoring backcountry ski films and spearheading an annual telemark festival at Beech Mountain. There are no membership dues, no official board, no non-profit status—just a group of skiers stoked on free heeling powder. From the beginning, the underlying purpose of the HCNA has been to grow that stoke in the High Country.Russ Hiatt is a patrolman at Appalachian Ski Mountain and de-facto president of the HCNA. A teacher by profession, Hiatt’s singular purpose seems to be to get more people on telemark gear. “I love how contagious skiing is,” Hiatt says. “That contagion is the kernel of our group. We exist to get people excited about skiing.”Every day, while patrolling Appalachian, Hiatt gets asked about his weird free heel skis and often prompts those curious folks to take a run on his own boots and skis. In Hiatt’s garage, there’s an arsenal of ski equipment that the HCNA has worked hard to collect. Only one shop in the entire state of North Carolina rents cross country gear, and nobody rents telemark gear. Hiatt’s garage fills that void. It’s like a lending library of boots, skis, and poles that anyone in the community is welcome to borrow.“The biggest hindrance to people getting into Nordic skiing around here isn’t a lack of snow,” says Hiatt. “It’s the lack of gear.”Jackson and the HCNA are also negotiating for more Nordic ski terrain at Beech Mountain, the highest ski resort in the East, and at Elk Knob State Park, one of North Carolina’s newest state parks, just north of Boone. Elk’s elevation (5,500 feet) and position on the western slope put it directly in a snow zone. A mountain directly west of Elk acts like a giant snow fence, depositing massive drifts onto Elk, which has a northern aspect with an open hardwood forest. You can ski the park now on a network of roadbeds, but Jackson has started discussions with the rangers about developing a legit cross country trail system throughout the park.Slacker Country from Kristian Jackson on Vimeo.An expanded trail system at Elk and more tree skiing at Beech will be more feathers in the cap of the High Country’s impressive Nordic ski portfolio. The bald peaks, trails and roads surrounding Roan Mountain are already legendary, and locals in the know have access to privately owned snowy mountains close to town. Now, the free heelers are just waiting for the snow.The fickle nature of Southern snow only makes the skiing more compelling, says Jackson. “The unpredictability of the snow turns ski touring here into a gift, because you know it won’t last. If you hit Yellow Mountain or Roan during one of those wild, snowy moments, it’s not like being in the South. You’re transported somewhere else.”
3 State 3 Mountain ChallengeChattanooga, Tenn., May 3Cruise through Tennesee, Alabama, and Georgia during this grueling century ride. Beginning in Chattanooga and heading south, racers should be ready for a number of steep climbs and fast, technical descents. They’ll go up and down three burly mountains – Raccoon, Sand, and Lookout – before catching a break on the new flat homestretch back into Chattanooga. This year, retired professional road cycler George Hincapie and his crew will be returning to lead the ride. chattbike.comWintergreen AscentRoseland, Va., May 3That’s right folks, this course is all up and no down. Convene at Devils Backbone Brewing Company and follow the road for six miles up the mountain. Ranging from 7.4 – 14 percent grade incline, this route is a thigh buster for sure. The course will gain 2,626 feet in elevation before the finish line; anyone who starts down the mountain before then will be immediately disqualified. If you work hard during the race, you can always refuel on those extra calories by drinking hard later at the brewery. vacycling.orgAssault on Mt. MitchellSpartanburg, S.C., May 19Since its modest beginning in 1975 by a group of local riders, this century race has quickly grown to become one of the most iconic rides in the region. Starting in South Carolina, the course cruises along the state’s backcountry roads before connecting with the Blue Ridge Parkway and heading into North Carolina to climb Mount Mitchell. With 10,357 feet of elevation gain, be prepared in particular for the last 25-mile stretch: you are, after all, trying to pedal up the highest peak in the East. freewheelers.infoBlood Sweat and Gears CenturyValle Crucis, N.C., June 28This fully supported road race is an Old North State classic. Winding through the heart of North Carolina’s High Country, the BSG is defined by its hilly terrain and curvy back roads that climb 8,800 feet. The course highlights include 21 scenic miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 4,500-foot climb over Snake Mountain, and a well-deserved 10-mile flat stretch on US-421. bloodsweatgears.orgSix Gap Century & Three Gap FiftyDahlonega, Ga., September 28Whether you’re pedaling over three mountains in the 50-miler or six mountains (yes, six) in the century, if you participate in these Georgia classics, you’re going to be climbing some steep stuff. For over 104 miles, the Six Gap course features 11,200 feet of vertical climbing with one incredibly trying climb in particular: Hogpen. This seven-mile stretch averages a 7 percent grade with some parts as steep as 15 percent. cyclenorthgeorgia.comBest of the RestSnowball CriteriumChesapeake, Va., March • bikereg.comFouche Gap Road RaceRome, Ga., March 30 • romevelo.netJJ The Rooster Memorial Road RaceMillington, Tenn., April 5 • buildpeakcompete.comTour of Georgia Gran FondoClayton, Ga., April 13 • granfondonationalchampionshipseries.comRough Roubaix 109-MileHarrisonburg, Va., April 19 • mtntouring.comSunny King CriteriumAnniston, Ala., April 20 • sunnykingcriterium.comAthens Twilight CriteriumAthens, Ga., April 25-26 • athenstwilight.comStorming of Thunder RidgeLynchburg, Va., May 18 • stormingofthunderridge.orgThe Georgia 400 Hospitality Highway CenturyRoswell, Ga., June 29 • ga400century.comHot Doggett 100Mars Hill, N.C., July 12 • hotdoggett.mhc.eduBlue Ridge BreakawayWaynesville, N.C., August 16 • blueridgebreakaway.comRide Like a ProWhen professional cyclist Jeremiah Bishop moved to Harrisonburg, Va., he actively sought out training rides that would push him to his limits and offer a sizable challenge. Having toured the world cycling in the industry’s most prominent races, Bishop knew what made a good course. Wanting to start and end in town, he eventually wandered far enough into West Virginia and back out again with a route that covered 107 miles of some of the most scenic and challenging terrain he had ever encountered.“You pop out into these alpine meadows and it really reminds me of my time racing in Europe,” Bishop says. “I named it the Alpine Loop and since then it’s become an annual pilgrimage of sorts, but at first, no one did it. I couldn’t talk anyone into riding it.”Bishop eventually let himself “get talked into” hosting an event, something he knew would require a lot of time, effort, and resources. With the help of a number of local volunteers and the town-wide support in Harrisonburg, Va., and Franklin, W.Va., the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo has seen remarkable growth and stands as one of the most respected achievements in the road cycling community. The event also promotes awareness about prostate cancer, giving cyclists an even better reason to come out and support this grassroots race.With three different course options (32, 75, and 107 miles) the Gran Fondo annually brings cyclists of every caliber to the Shenandoah Valley. The big ride challenges even the most experienced riders with its 12,000 feet of climbing and 17 miles of rough, dirt roads.When Bishop isn’t training on the Shenandoah Valley backcountry roads, he’s tearing it up on the trail. If off-road is more your style, Bishop recommends the Pisgah Stage Race (the toughest race in the Southeast), Fool’s Gold 100 (his favorite 100-miler), and the Iron Mountain 100K._______________Check Out Our Other Race Ahead GuidesTrail RunningRoad RunningRoad BikingMountain BikingClimbingPaddlingMultisportsSnowsports
Not to brag, but I have awesome knees. Sure, they aren’t the prettiest things you’ve ever seen, but considering the beating they get on the trail year after year, they’ve held up nicely. I attribute their sturdiness to good luck and good hiking poles. If you haven’t noticed, hiking poles have gone high-tech. Several companies, including Black Diamond and Leki, have developed collapsable, ultra-light, super tough poles that weigh next to nothing yet are engineered to last a lifetime.Even though high-end poles can sport a hefty price tag, they are an investment that will be worth every penny. Entry-level poles with rudimentary twist-lock telescoping sections have also gotten more affordable (more in the $50 range) and these poles are still light enough that they won’t weigh you down.As much as I like the classic whittled branch hiking stick, modern poles can’t be beat. I love ‘em and so should you. Here’s my top five reasons why I’m proud to be Pole-ish.1 – They Save Your Knees on Descents Downhill sections are where poles earn their keep — especially in loose, off-trail conditions. Extend your hiking poles until they are about shoulder height; that way they will take the initial impact of each step rather than your knees. Besides providing balance, they also let you scope the terrain for sketchy rocks or other unstable terrain.2 – Poles are Useful Year Round Nearly all poles are compatible with snow-baskets that give them extra float in powder. Poles are essential for snowshoeing and most high-end poles double nicely as cross country or backcountry ski poles (though the older, twist-lock models have a habit of collapsing if they aren’t tightened all the way). And as an added bonus, most poles have height-measurements printed on them for adjustments, which happen to also be the perfect way to measure snow depth!3 – They Gladly Share the Weight of a Heavy Load I wouldn’t lug a heavy pack anywhere without poles. Backpacking with poles can spare you an aching back and help keep you steady under the weight of the load. River and stream crossings are much safer with poles when wearing a heavy pack, especially in fast-moving water. Poles in hand also prevent the bad habit of hooking your thumbs through your pack straps — the cause of more than one bloody nose from an unbraced tumble!4 – Most Poles Pack Up with Ease In the past, I would avoid bringing poles on scrambles because they tended to be more trouble than they are worth. Nowadays, three-section poles fold up small enough to easily pack away in most daypacks (I can slide mine into my low-volume Camelbak pack, no problem). When you need your hands free, collapsible poles will quietly step aside until they are called for duty.5 – Great Versatility in Campsites Poles are ideal camp tools (sometimes they can even be used as your tent poles!) Drying rack, fire poker, emergency tent stake, you name it — poles are good to have in the backcountry. And if things get pear shaped, you can use tent poles as a splint or even as part of an evacuation litter in an emergency!
Over the last ten years, Bristol (TN/VA) has become one of my favorite places in the world. Long regarded as the center of the country music world, Bristol is home to my favorite music festival – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion – and some of the best mountain music you’ll find this side of the Blue Ridge.It’s been a while since the Trail Mix blog has featured an artist and the Our Town format. When I found out that Bristol troubadour J.P. Parsons was releasing a record, though, it was a no brainer. We are featuring “We Were Once Heroes,” a track Parsons cut with his latest project, The American Bandwagon, for the band’s recent release, Until This Day Is Done.Blessed with a raspy growl reminiscent of Steve Earle or Chris Knight, Parsons has been honing his songwriting craft in and around the Bristol area for fifteen years. An avid supporter of the local scene, Parsons has hosted songwriter showcases, performed with a number of bands – including Hundred Acres, another local favorite – and is a regularly featured local artist at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.Trail Mix caught up with Parsons to chat about Bristol, his hometown. Considering that Bristol was named by this here magazine as the Best Music Town in the Blue Ridge, these places, along with many others, would be worth checking out the next time you buzz down through Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.BRO – Best cup of joe?JP – Andy’s Market on Commonwealth Avenue. It’s strong, truck-stop coffee that’s so thick it’s hard to stir. Plus, the customers make for some interesting fodder for songwriting.BRO – Favorite local band?JP – Steve Gilbert. Steve has a fantastic neo-Townes van Zandt meets a punk rock Bruce Springsteen style. And not only does Steve play in multiple projects, he is also CEO of Self-Destruct Buttons . . . . and he’s my neighbor.BRO – Favorite place to catch some live music?JP – The Pickin’ Porch, which is located in the Event Foundation at 620 State Street. It’s a weekly two hour bluegrass and old time music show featuring some of the best musicians in the region. The Mountain Music Museum is also right next door.BRO – Favorite place to play some live music?JP – O’Mainnin’s Pub & Grille, right here on State Street. It’s dark, smoky, and rowdy, with a fantastic outdoor stage during the summer and fall. I did my first album release there. The owner, Dave Manning, is a big – if not the biggest – supporter of local original music in Bristol.BRO – Interesting tidbit about Bristol that an out-of-towner should know?JP – The most recognizable landmark in Bristol, the Bristol Sign, was originally erected on top of the Interstate Hardware Company building on the Tennessee side of State Street in 1910. The original slogan said, “Push! That’s Bristol!” Sometimes, the bulbs would burn out and it would read “Pu ! That’s Bristol!” or “ sh! That’s Bristol.”J.P. Parsons will be out and about with his guitar on Thursday, August 7, at the aforementioned O’Mainnin’s Pub & Grille in Bristol. He will be at the Holston River Brewing Company, also in Bristol, on Friday, August 15, and at the Sleepy Owl Brewery in Kingsport, Tennessee, on Saturday, August 16.For more information on J.P. Parsons & The American Bandwagon, surf over to www.reverbnation.com/jpparsons.
Hold your ground! Hold your ground!Sons of Charlottesville, of Albemarle, my brothers,I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.A day may come when the courage of men fails,when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of ridership,but tomorrow is not that day.An hour of slick trails and shattered dreams,when the age of grown men comes crashing down,but tomorrow is not that day!Tomorrow we fight!!By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,I bid you stand, Men of the FOOF!!!– Lord of the Two Knobby TiresYes, the 2015 Heard’s Mountain Classic danced on the precipice of collapse due to April showers, but cooler heads and hearty spirits prevailed. The Heard’s Mountain Classic continued for a third year, in a little known mountain hamlet on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Virginia.An event like this doesn’t just materialize out of thin air, but rather is the hard work of driven individuals making their dreams, and ours, a reality. Captain Hoy and Porter are the masterminds behind this one day Spring Classic. Not only do they wrangle together 20 some riders, but for years they have tirelessly been putting in miles of incredible backcountry single right out their front doors. Hats off to these gentlemen!Waking up to 40 degree temperatures and steady rain the morning of the race wasn’t ideal, but reputations and glory were on the line. Figuring the dreary weather was nothing coffee couldn’t fix; I gathered my supplies and headed south to Hoy HQ. I was greeted with a bonfire, my fellow riders, and more coffee—not to mention a break in the weather—and things were looking up.“5 Minutes!” shouted the Director. Gathering around the fire, we listened in to the pre-race meeting. Armed with a detailed map drawn on the back of a pizza box, we got the low down on the coming events.“We’re going to pedal over here and race a bit. Pedal over there and race a bit. Pedal over yonder and race a bit. Then come back for beer and food. Sound good? Great, let’s roll!”I won’t bore you with an explanation of each timed section, but just imagine multiple 15 minute or less timed sections at an all-out effort. There were downhills, uphills, multiple xc loops, and a team time trial that gave the winning team members a 10 second bonus. Arguably the TTT is the best event and allows for spectacular spectating and shit talking. 5 hours later after the dust settled Dave Tevendale emerged victorious. After relentless attacks, calculated moves, and mostly following directions, Dave laced it all up to get the trophy and the glory.But don’t fret, as a BRO athlete I know my reputation was on the line, especially after flatting out at my last event. So I managed to snag third place, just getting edged out by Chris Cunningham. Pretty psyched on the result, especially after riding the 4 days up to the event, and hopefully I can keep the good mojo rolling!While the Heard’s Mountain Classic isn’t an open event, it doesn’t mean you can’t go start your own grassroots classic. Get your friends together, link up some sweet trail, maybe time a few sections if you’re so inclined, and you have yourself a classic…just don’t forget the post-race beers!