MTB Season Episode II: Return to Massachusetts

For week 2 of mtb season, we found our heroes in New England for “Northeastern's Wild Western Mass Weekend Shredfest.”  Say that ten times fast.  This week’s cast of characters included a healthy Steve Clayton, who returned to the crew as predicted. 

Saturday’s XC track featured rolling hills.  This proved to be an ideal terrain for Kirsten, who placed 2nd in women’s B’s.  This week, Penn State downhill riders did the unthinkable, and attempted the hilly Men’s C XC event.  Despite a valiant effort, all four of them were unable to finish, and they decided that racing uphill is no fun and best left to roadies.

Foul weather reared up on Saturday night, but subsided in time for Sunday’s races.  The damp conditions kept the Short Track XC and Downhill events appropriately challenging.  The Short Track race required good lungs and legs, and the wide doubletrack course was devoid of technical obstacles.  Kirsten won 3rd, and decided to sit out the Downhill event and bask in victory. 

Avi, with finger still intact (courtesy of Dave Kinney)

The afternoon Downhill race featured a good mix of technical sections and swooping banks.  Unfortunately, a rough crash in practice broke Avi’s finger.  Determined to make the most of the long car trip, he filmed a cool video of Penn State riders crushing the course (check it out on our Instagram: @psucycling).  Avi may not have raced, but he nonetheless won Team Player of the Week. 

#stayhansum (courtesy of Dave Kinney)
B racer Rob bumped a tree during the Downhill race, but nonetheless placed 5th.

Steve Clayton and Downhill Dan held it down in Men’s A’s, placing 9th and 11th respectively.

Will Penn State riders close the gap on UVM?  Will they ever get a van?  Tune in next week!


MTB Season Episode I: MIT Sliderule Shredfest

Six Penn State mountain bikers ventured to Charlemont, MA, for MIT’s Sliderule Shredfest.  Heavy rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning lead ECCC officials to alter the downhill course.  The revised course put Penn State riders into uncharted territory, but they were nonetheless able to excel.  The XC and short track races took riders across root-covered trails, tight singletrack, and slick loamy-silt.  Despite the muddy weekend, Penn State riders racked up points and earned 8th in the ECCC omnium.

Downhill Dan doing what he does best

Downhill Dan Lewis:

Dan took a break from crushing Strava descents at Rothrock to test his mettle in New England.  True to his nickname, he barreled downhill to a 10th place finish in Men’s A’s.  Needless to say, the only thing going up is his position in the ECCC leaderboards. 

President Hazlett:

Though well known for his speechcraft and rucking prowess, President Hazlett proved a force to be reckoned with in cat C downhill.  He rode his Specialized (named Air Force 1) to a 14th place finish. 

Will Vickerman:

Will Vickerman, luxury kit enthusiast, eschewed the beginners’ C category and went straight to B’s to race XC.  Nearly half the field DNF’d the race, but Will persevered, earning a 6th place finish.

“Handsome” Rob Shurer

Rob Shurer, Pinkbike celebrity, competed in his first collegiate race.  He likewise started in B’s and finished 12th in Men’s B downhill. 

Avi takes flight

Avi Moore: 

Avi took 5th in the men's B's dual slalom event.  The course was tight, and other riders found it difficult to maintain speed.  Not to be outdone, he also got 15th in the downhill race.  

Kirsten Pearsons:

Women’s B’s wasn’t ready for Kirsten’s return.  Kirsten competed in both the short track and XC races, and earned 2nd and 3rd.  Though a technical trail rider at heart, Kirsten is considering racing a downhill event next week. 


Steve Clayton, notable A rider, is still nursing his broken ankle.  His doctor has put him on a strict regimen of road riding, and Steve is often seen pedaling up Black Mo at speeds that rival PSU roadies.  The rest of the Mtber’s await his glorious return to downhill, and the restoration of balance to the Force.