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Space Race Rumpus ~ June 9-11

Cyclists of all ages enjoy a weekend of fun and challenging rides at the annual Space Race Rumpus at the Green Bank Observatory. Activities include the slow ride, above, where cyclists race to be the slowest rider. S. Stewart photo

It’s a festival. It’s a race. It’s group rides. It’s a clinic. It’s a fundraiser. It’s a tradition.

The Space Race Rumpus takes place each year in June in Pocahontas County, which has some of the most scenic roads and trails in the mid-Atlantic. The rides and races explore both the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s unique property and the surrounding area.

Come participate in guided road rides ranging from 20 to 50+ miles in length and guided mountain bike rides which range from absolute beginner through expert.  Compete in low-key, beginner-friendly road and mountain bike races near radio telescopes.

There will be rides and races for all ages and levels, as well as cycling clinics and vendors. We’ve improved the trail system and added some awesome new beginner courses this year.

Each night will be a social event with local brews, group meals, tours of the night sky, bonfires, refreshments, live music and even a down-home square dance.

Come for the main event on Saturday.

Come to camp.

Come to try a race for the first time.

Come for the challenge.

Come for the kids’ camp.

Come for the Ladies’ Clinic.

Come for the Toddler Trek.

Come to support local charities.

Come to reconnect with family.

Come because we’d miss you.

Just leave your cell phone at home and come.


Friday, June 9

Off-Road Cycling

1 to 4 p.m. – Beginner/Intermediate/Challenging ride

Road Cycling

1 to 4 p.m. – Beginner/Intermediate group road ride

4:30 to 6 p.m. – Mini Time Trials. Begins at gate by old tour center. Individual start time given at race start

Other Activities

3 p.m. – Site tour on bikes. Adult and kid bikes available for anyone wishing to tour.

7 to 10 p.m. – Entertainment by The Family Band (Grateful Dead covers and more) Bonfire, weather permitting, lit at dark

Saturday, June 10

Off-Road Cycling

8:45 a.m. – Short Track MTB Race. Begins at Science Center. Group start times posted in science center.

1 p.m. – Bike Clinic with Joey Riddle of Joey’s Bike Shop. Meet at science center.

2 p.m. – Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced group ride. Ride durations from one to three hours with bail-outs.

Road Cycling

9 a.m. – Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced group rides – 6-53 mile options with bail-out points. Ride support provided.

Other Activities

8 a.m. and noon – Yoga for all ages. Taught by Tracy Valach. Meet at the old tour center

1 to 5 p.m. – Kids’ Activities. Science Center classroom. Parents, you are welcome to attend various rides while your children attend these activities. There is supervision for ages two and up.

5:30 p.m. – Bike parade. Decorate your bike and ride from the science center to the old tour center.

6:30 p.m. – Bike Rodeo

7 p.m. – Awards for all races

7 to 10 p.m. – Entertainment with M.F.B. Fantastic Funk for all ages. Hula hoops, chalk, etc. for kids of all ages. Bonfire, weather permitting, lit at dark.

Sunday, June 11

Off-Road Cycling

10 a.m. – Men’s and Women’s MTC Clinic with Joey and Mandy Riddle of Joey’s Bike Shop and Kristy Lanier of DirtBean

11 a.m. – Men’s and Women’s Site ride with bail-outs. Starts right after the clinic

Road Cycling

10:30 a.m. – Road Bike Ride – group road ride with bail-outs. One to three hours in duration

Other Activities

8:30 a.m. – Yoga for all ages. Taught by Tracy Valach. Meet at the old tour center.

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