Rod McCollough, right, keeps morale high during the 9-mile race at the Ridin’ High at the Ranch event at Susanville Ranch Park. Photo by Makenzie Davis

Ridin’ High at the Ranch declared great success

Glen Schall keeps pace during SABA’s Ridin’ High at the Ranch May 26. Photo by Makenzie Davis

The 2018 Ridin’ High at the Ranch cross country mountain bike race was held May 26 at Susanville Ranch Park.

The sixth annual race was hosted by the Susanville Area Bicycle Association and drew in more than 100 cyclists participating in the three categories.

The race held at Susanville Ranch Park featured 90 percent of the single-track trails in the park. It is one of the most challenging courses in California and was praised for being well organized and superbly marked by the local club.

The scoring for the event was conducted by Linda Powell’s Bizz Johnson Running Company and there was a USA Cycling Official in attendance to verify the results.

There were three courses for racers of all abilities and age groups including a free kids race.

Professionals and experts faced a challenging course of 26 miles with 4,000 feet of elevation gain, sport riders faced a course of 19 miles and 3,000 feet gain and novice riders took on a course of 9 miles with 1,000 feet elevation gain.

Rain during the week and the drizzle on race day morning added to the challenge and made for slippery conditions on parts of the course.

The professionals battled for cash, while the amateurs were looking for championship points and bragging rights.

According to SABA Dirt Rider member Mark Kovacic, the event raised its status by becoming round four of the USA Cycling sanctioned California State Cross Country Championship series in partnership with YBONC.org located in Nevada City, California.

The five-race series includes races at Monterey, Nevada City area and the final at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort on July 8.

At the Ridin’ High at the Ranch race, 143 professionals and amateurs from California and Nevada competed for points toward the California State Mountain Bike Cross Country Championship series.

Sean Buehler, center, starts the course at the annual Ridin’ High at the Ranch, presented by SABA Dirt Riders, Saturday, May 26. Photo by Makenzie Davis

The race series also awards points regardless of residence to qualify for the National Championship races to be held in West Virginia.

Riders traveled from as far away as Washington state to accumulate points at the Susanville event.

Regarding results of the Ridin’ High at the Ranch event, Susanville had a total of 11 participants.

In the professional category, Sean Buehlerearned sixth place in the expert men’s 40-49 division with a time of 2:47:13.929.

Lindsy Campbell earned first place in the expert women’s 19-39 division with a time of 3:51:53.826.

In the sports category, Frank Winters finished in first place in the men’s 60+ division with a time of 1:58:18.866.

Glen Schall finished second in the men’s 40-49 division with a time of 2:16:30.107, and Aaron Johnson finished in fourth place of the same division with a time of 2:26.18.868.

In the beginner’s category, Logan Growdon and Zak Schall earned eighth and ninth place in the boys’ 8-14 division, respectively, with times of 48:28.317 and 55:05.220.

Dean Growdon earned fourth place in the men’s 40-49 division with a time of 49:47.893. James Stevens finished in sixth place of the same division with a time of 53:43.380.

Lisa Marie Urquizu earned fifth place in the women’s 40+ division with a time of 59:28.412.

Rod McCollough earned first place in the men’s 60-69 division with a time of 49:44.499.

Prior to the Susanville Ranch Park race, rider local favorites Winters and Buehler who were first and second in their respective classes at round two near Nevada City competed along with other SABA Dirt Team Riders Johnson, Diane Rittenmeiser, McCollough, Dean Growdon, Logan Growdon and Stevens.

Winters also won round three at the Hoot venue and Buehler, Kovacic and Johnson accumulated points.

The SABA Dirt Riders expressed their gratitude and thanks to the many volunteers that made this race safe and successful. Because of the hard work from volunteers, this was the largest racer attendance in the six-year history of the Ridin’ High at the Ranch race as word continues to spread of the great trail system in the Susanville area.