2.25.2005

Laird Knight
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Inductee
Founder of Granny Gear Productions/Creator of the 24 Hour Relay Race format

I once met a main who had filmed a documentary on one of the Granny Gear 24 Hour events that Laird hosted in Snowshoe West Virginia. It was clear that the topic of this documentary made this film maker's blood boil... rather than saying anything negative or having to tell me the tale of what went wrong this man said one thing.....

"Laird has an ego that could be seen from a helicopter a mile high in the sky."

I have no doubt that this dramatic imagry has its metaphorical truth. Having met Laird I find that he is a very charismatic and personalble individual with a passion for his work and a passion for the sport of mountainbiking. BUT... there are aspects of his ego that are so grand that they may be a tad self destructive. Perhaps a word from one of my high school English classes would aid to explain Laird a little more clearly.

here is a definition from Britannica.com

hu·bris
Pronunciation: 'hyĆ¼-br&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek hybris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence

not what I was looking for.... lets try Dictionary.com
hu·bris
n.
()Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance:
well....
neither definition went into the detail that this great level of pride or arrogance leads to the individual's downfall
Perhaps I will have to reread Homer's ODDESSY to deliver a more clear definition

In additon to Laird's contribution to the sport of mountain biking, Laird is most certainly to be respected for his faithfulness to the state of West Virginia. For whatever reason Laird is determined to continue hosting a 24 Hour Race in the state of West Virginia.

In an email between former East Coaster, present day Colorado Local, Rocco there was some back and forth about the new 24 Hour race venue of Big Bear Lake in West Virginia.
In short....
Rocco is calling for mud....
with the confidence of prediction sand in the desert and snow in the artic Rocco has called for mud at Big Bear Lake the weekend of the 24 hour race.... he claims it is a wet muddy state

no...
not mud....
there is no way that Laird can sell us on a new location where we have to carry our bikes rather than riding them
no one is that arrogant
no one is that obnoxious
no one is that self destructive

and
no one will ever race at his races again if he does this to us again

several years ago after racing the 24 Hours of Snowshoe in knee deep mud I swore I would not race there again....
then the next year I held to my promise.... the course was fast and dry
I felt like I had missed something that I loved
I felt like I had backed down from something that I am not afraid of
so like the fool I am.... I raced Snowshoe again last year
sure enough.....
the course was wet, there was as much walking as there was riding
it was racing
but I am not quite sure if it qualifies as mountainbike racing
lucky for me I did not have much training under my belt, but had been walking my dogs
so I was well prepared
during one of my late night laps I again swore that I would not race at SNOWSHOE AGAIN!

to my pleasure before the weekend was over Laird announced that he would be moving to a new location which was not to be announced at that point.
then the announcement earlier this year, Big Bear Lake in Bruceton Mills would host the next Granny Gear 24 Hour race hosted in West Virginia
am I fool to think that this course will be any different?
or
am I just happy that the drive to the race location will not be as long?

I feel like I am taking back a girlfriend who won't stop cheating on me
sorry Laird... the sex is not that good.... it is just a little too muddy

Laird will walk away a hero if it is fast and dry....
if this course is muddy I think I will have to ask for my money back

here is a RACE REPORT from former City Bikes Team Captain and one of my Snowshoe Team mates from last year's race, Brian Kemler

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