Cackalacky 2009 started 2 weekends before the actual event. A group of us met Dave up at the DuPont State Forest to pre-ride the Cackalacky ride. None of us had ridden the northern portion of DSF so we decided to give it a shot. We met at the Guion Farm parking area and immediately found the "kids area" which featured some low wooden obstacles. Dave then took us on a 4 hour ride that included a trip to Bridal Veil falls. On the return trip, we discussed it and everyone decided that the southern part of DSF was voted in as the official 2009 route.
With the economy struggling this year, we concentrated on the local racers and didn't try to bring in too many out-of-state folks. We really enjoy their company but it just wasn't happening this year. Most everybody continued on the BBQ tradition on Friday night with a trip to Lancaster's BBQ in Mooresville.
The weather forecast was a little iffy for Saturday so we definitely had some concerns. While setting up, we did get a 5 minute rain shower but the big rains held off. There were right at 75 racers with a nice wide range of participants from 8 year olds to NASCAR great Ricky Rudd testing themselves on the course. This year marked our first vintage class competition with our own Rick Johnston taking 2nd place (his time would have also placed 2nd in the 12 and under category as well, sorry Rick). Lunch was provided by Statesville's Lowry Drugs and was consumed while the awards were passed out. Once again, we would like to thank Fox Racing Shox, Hawley's, Quality Bike Parts, First Flight Bikes, Lowry Drugs, Bontrager, Tifosi and Mountain Goat Cycles for sponsoring this years event. Everything was packed up by 2:30 and at 3:00 the trail was closed due to rain! Couldn't have worked out better.
This years event was also a fundraiser for Bob Karriker and his family. Bob has been a tireless trail builder for over a decade and hs been the lead mechanized builder in the Charlotte region. He has attended 9 IMBA camps along with several trail building seminars. Last year, he lost his job with a pool building company and had been getting by on a few small trail building projects along with a few odd jobs. On days that he couldn't find work, he could be found building trails as a volunteer. While working on the beginners level trail at the US National Whitewater Center, Bob ran the Ditch Witch skid steerer up his leg breaking a leg bone and shattering his ankle. Because of the injury, he was denied unemployment while racking up some good sized medical bills. We talked to the Tarheel Trailblazers to try and find a way to help Bob out to show our appreciation for his volunteerism over the years. It was decided that we could use the Cackalacky Cup as a fundraiser since the Itusi Trail would not exist without Bob's efforts. Neal Boyd, of Charlotte Sports Cycling, graciously agreed to donate profits from the race and Paul Lowry, of Lowry Drug, donated lunch to help keep the event expenses to a minimum. We also took donations prior to the event and "passed the hat" at the event and will be presenting the Karriker family with a check when we get a total.
Sunday dawned cool and bright which made for perfect riding weather. We had 11 people start off at the Corn Mill Shoals parking area for a nice 17 mile ride. Everyone had a great ride and Sean crashed twice so nobody else had to, thanks Sean! After the traditional stop at Taco Bell, we took the scenic route back to Statesville which concluded a great weekend.
Cackalacky 2009 was definitely a lower-key affair than in the past which also reduced the wear and tear on us. We've already discussed ways to improve in 2010 so we'll see which direction next years event takes.
The 2009 Itusi Time Trial results are available HERE