NORTH CREEK - Bikers headed to Gore Mountain over the weekend and braved the snow and cold for the annual "The Snow Won't Stop Us" Mountain Bike Duel Slalom. Despite the temperature lingering in the mid-20s, 12 competitors raced down The Arena for a chance at prizes from Inside Edge Ski and Bike shop in Queesnbury. Riders, however, mostly did it for the thrill.
Gore Mountain takes pride in providing mountain biking terrain in it's off-season, according to Marketing Director Emily Stanton. This event gives the bikers an opportunity to stay involved year-round.
"I love to ride and the snow usually slows me down a bit," said competitor Steve Battaglini of Ballston Spa, who has been taking part in this race since 2002. "I use any excuse to get out and ride."
The snow does create some navigational and breaking problems for the bikers and their equipment. All competitors are required to wear helmets and some equip their bikes with spikes and thicker tires for the event.
"You're better off unhooking your breaks," said Battaglini. "Because they just don't work in the snow."
Riders raced on two courses and their times were totaled for a final time that was matched against competitors in varrying age brackets. Nick Simon IV of Johnstown had the fastest time of the day with 49.51 seconds in the 19-29 division.
Alex McAlonen of Bakers Mills won the 18 and under division with a time of 58.7 seconds and Mike Mullen of Hudson Falls took home the 30 and over division with a time of 55.96 seconds.
North Creek local and mountain bike enthusiast, Richard Sibley stumbled across this event in a rather unorthodox fashion.
"I came to Gore looking for a job and saw the publicity for the race," he said. "So, I thought - why stay at home?"
Sibley also fixes bikes in his spare time and was riding a basic mountain bike with no frills this year. This was his first year competing and he plans to be back next year.
"I use this event as an opportunity to carry over my riding from summer and get out on my bike," Mullen said.
This event proved that local bikers will do anything for a chance to get back to riding.
Results for the competition are as follows:
18 and Under
1st - Alex McAlonen of Bakers Mills:58.7 seconds
2nd - Travis Mosher of Johnstown:59.76 seconds
19 - 29
1st - Nick Simon IV of Johnstown:49.51 seconds
2nd - Chaz Volcheck of Rensselaer:51.35 seconds
3rd - Eric Fisk of Mount Upton:51.83 seconds
4th - Jason Mass of Ballston Spa:56.1 seconds
30 and Over
1st - Mike Mullen of Hudson Falls:55.96 seconds
2nd - Steve Battaglini of Ballston Spa:56.63 seconds
3rd - Eric Aable of Carmel:60.81 seconds
4th - William Potter of Mohawk:65.16 seconds
5th - David Paquette of Rome:69.01 seconds
6th - Richard Sibley North Creek:69.66 seconds