Black Bear 40k MTB Race

General Race Information

Part of the WVMBA race series, the 32nd Annual Black Bear 40k MTB Race will feature a new course layout comprised of short sections of asphalt and gravel, with a solid mix of singletrack terrain. Racers convene in the Pool Parking lot at 11:00 for the MANDATORY pre-race meeting.  From there, beginner categories will have a neutral roll out to the back of the forest where racers will be staged by category.  RACE STAGING AND STARTS WILL BE AT THE JOHNSON HOLLOW PARKING LOT. Remaining categories roll out at 11:30 to the start. Beginners launch at 11:30, Experts at 12:00 and Sport racers at 12:05. All racers finish at the Pool Lot (same place you registered!). WVMBA and USAC rules apply. We have only one rule: BE NICE!

This year’s race is also the USAC WV State Championship and a USAC Nationals Qualifier – check out for more details. This year’s National Championships will once again be held in Snowshoe, WV on during the week of July 17, 2018! It’s a fantastic event, don’t miss out. Check out details from last year’s nationals here, including qualification info.

Register for $35 online HERE. On-site registration is $45 and opens Saturday May 26 @ 8:00 am at the pool parking lot. Unless already a member of each, a one-day USAC and WVMBA membership (total of $10) is required. Directions available HERE. Fully stocked aid station provided and you can leave drop bottles at registration. The schedule is as follows:

  • Registration opens at POOL LOT @ 8:00 am
  • THE COFFEE CAMPER will be on hand to satisfy all your pre-race beverage needs!
  • Free Chitlins (Kids!) Race @ 10:30 am (A dedicated kids course will be set up near the registration and finish area) @ POOL LOT
  • Volunteer Meeting @ 10:45 am POOL LOT
  • Mandatory Racer Meeting @ 11:00 am POOL LOT
    • Beginners, arrive ready at 11:00 am meeting ready to ride escorted to the Johnson Hollow Shelter Parking Lot for staging. Sports and Experts, convene and roll escorted at 11:30 am to the Johnson Hollow Shelter for staging. No going back!
  • START – Beginner/Youth – 11:30 am @ Johnson Hollow Shelter Parking Lot.
  • START – Open/Expert/Vet/SS/Junior 12:00 pm @ Johnson Hollow Shelter Parking Lot.
  • START – Sport – 12:05 pm @ Johnson Hollow Shelter Parking Lot.
    • Ask locals for good spectating spots – one really good one is the Black Bear MTB Trail, very near the Johnson Hollow Parking lot, where the race starts.
  • Food from Ridge View BBQ available from 11:00 until 5:00!
  • Podiums/Awards @ 3:30
    • Crowning the WV State Champs!!

TOP MALE AND FEMALE EXPERT FINISHERS RECEIVE $500 + equal payout determined by number of registered riders per field. Minimum of $300 purse in Elite Men and Women’s categories, paid FIVE deep. All other Expert categories receive equal cash payouts for the top three in each category.  Sport and beginner categories receive prizes! Everyone leaves with a smile!

Expert Course

The whole enchilada! A true all-arounder’s course, this year’s race is approximately 17.5 miles of mixed terrain with approximately 2,900 feet of elevation gain. Experts will descend the notorious Black Bear MTB Trail! Buckle up! Experts will pass two fully stocked aid stations. It is highly recommended that expert and sport racers leave an extra tube/bottle/etc. at the bottom of Black Bear Trail, very near the start line. EXPERTS PLAN TO LEAVE THE POOL LOT AT 11:30 AM SHARP FOR NEUTRAL ROLL TO LOGTOWN!! Download a PDF course map HERE. Note that with one slight deviation (Enduro 2) Black Bear Trail), the Expert course downhills will be identical to Sunday’s Enduro stages – a huge advantage if doubling up!

Detailed Course Description:  SPORT AND EXPERT RIDERS PLAN TO LEAVE THE POOL LOT AT 11:30 AM SHARP FOR NEUTRAL ROLL TO LOGTOWN HOLLOW PARKING LOT!! Riders will be staged at the back of KSF at the gravel parking area (Logtown Shelter). GO! Set the tone up 4 Mile Road on 1.5 miles of pavement toward Middle Ridge Road.  Take a left onto Middle Ridge Road (where pavement meets gravel, turn left and go through the RIGHT gate) and traverse gravel .3 miles onto the Road-Formerly-Known-As-Hell-Ridge, going straight at the split. Power up “The Wall” and proceed another .7 miles, bear left onto Roller Coaster Trail. Top speeds will be set here! How fast can you go? After blasting the ‘Coaster, Wallfork Trail (Enduro Stage 1) is in your sights. Keep moving straight after exiting the trail onto a gravel descent and take a hard left onto the dirt road at the bottom. Proceed with abandon down Wallfork Trail for much lumpy fun over 2.1 wondrous miles. Don’t flat! Proceed onto 2nd Amendment Fun. After you emerge from the woods, shake out the hands and take a left onto Hoffman Road (aka Gun Range Road). Climb Hoffman Road (doubletrack and gravel) 2.2 miles. It starts as double track and ends with crushed gravel until the intersection with Middle Ridge Road. Honestly, this climb goes on for a looong time – stay on the main drag until the obvious T intersection. Go right .2 miles until you hit Black Bear. Turn left onto Black Bear and *immediately* go left again onto Middle Ridge Trail (aka Black Back) for .5 miles. Take a hard right onto Laurel’s Trail for .8 miles. Keep it together (if you can) and stay left onto that mean ol’ Black Bear MTB Trail. Good stuff! At the bottom, take a moment to gather yourself at the aid station, and head straight across the road to Pigeon Roost (Beginners join course here!). Hit the climbing singletrack, and stay left as you climb to Boundary Road.  Once you hit the road, take a right .5 until the road splits (Sport and Beginner racers go STRAIGHT here!) Experts turn right at the split and then take the first left – .1 miles. Warp speed – go .8, climbing a bit past the gas wells and then take a right onto Pine Ridge Trail (Enduro Stage 3). Engage the dropper and descend one of our most challenging and standout downhills for 1.2 miles. Don’t take the old school left after the rocks – stay straight. Still with us? At the bottom, again gather yourself, and then take a hard left through/around the gate and follow the markings to Dunlop Trail. Strap on your hiking boots for a short but punishing hike-a-bike. Shake out the cramps. Almost done. Maybe. Once you emerge from Dunlop Trail after 1.6 miles (Aid Station here, Sport and Beginner courses re-join Expert Course), follow the double track and course markings to Wildcat Trail, taking a right to begin the rolling upper portion of the KSF classic. Stay on it, and at the Beech Glen intersection, stay right and begin the final descent (and Enduro Stage 4). Once you emerge, immediately turn left and head up Polly Trail for the final reminder that this is a really tough mountain bike race. Take the first hard right switchback down, and then follow the trail to gravel. Go right. Go through the gate and go left at the pavement. So close. Turn right off the pavement onto Davis Creek Trail and your final taste of roots an rocks for the day. Cross the bridge and go left. Don’t fall in the creek! Pop out at the Pool Lot and finish strong. Rest assured that you are a tough bike rider.

Sport Course

Download a PDF course map HERE.

Course Info: 15 Miles, two aid stations. PLAN TO LEAVE THE POOL LOT AT 11:30 AM SHARP FOR NEUTRAL ROLL TO LOGTOWN!! Sport riders follow the expert course except they do not do Pine Ridge down or Dunlop Hollow up. See expert course description for details.

Beginner Course

We aimed to give beginners a fun, challenging and achievable race course.  Based upon rider feedback, we came up with 5.6 miles of awesome riding! You won’t be let down! Trails include Pigeon Roost, Wildcat, Polly Hollow and Davis Creek! Download a PDF course map HERE.

Course Info: 5.6 Miles, one aid station. PLAN TO LEAVE THE POOL LOT AT 11:00 AM SHARP FOR NEUTRAL ROLL TO LOGTOWN!! From the Start, beginner riders immediately turn right onto Pigeon Roost Trail and follow the Sport course markings! See expert course description for details.