On a recent sunny Saturday, dozens of American mountain bikers raced through the Pfalz forest ― striving to find out who had legs of steel.
The local race of the 2011 U.S. Forces Europe Mountain Bike Race Series was held July 9 on trails winding through picturesque forests and meadows, roughly 10 miles southeast of Kaiserslautern.
More than 30 racers travelled from U.S. Army garrisons across Germany – to include some from Illesheim, Katterbach and Hohenfels – and tested their skills at Mountain Bike Park.
The three-kilometer course winds through woods and fields, the climbs a knoll known as “Heart Attack Hill.” Racers then slalom down a steep and demanding hill back into Sportclub Schopp.
It’s the third year that Kaiserslautern Outdoor Recreation, part of U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, held the race in Schopp, said director Steve Selvey.
“What makes this race unique is its location,” Selvey said. “Not only do we have the choice of many different routes through the woods, but we also have the support of the Sportclub and all its facilities.”
Previously, races were held in Grafenwoehr and Aviano, Italy. Upcoming races this summer are being held in Bamberg and Spangdahlem.
Racers earn points for participation. They competed in divisions for men, women and children.
Their placing count towards the IMCOM series ― which culminated with a Labor Day championship race “the Fat Tire Spectacular,” held this year in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.