Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games 2018
The Winter Olympics, and Guinea Pig Olympic Games are on a four year cycle, but Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games, which are qualifiers for state and national senior games (AKA Senior Olympics) are annual.
This year's A-BSG bicycle time-trials are scheduled for Thursday evening May 10, but because of extensive bridge building activity on the old established course, the start/ finish has had to be moved about a quarter mile up-river. This will also have an effect on access and parking.
The start and finish lines will now be at the Lonesome Mountain Paving Co. They have agreed to let us use their lay-by for registration etc., but cannot guarantee participant parking. There is, however, a gravel lot near the old start line, which should be adequate for Senior Games' limited entry. It is where the Lungbuster series usually locate their porta-john.
The easiest way to start/registration area: Take “Future I-26”W and exit at 19A towards Marshall and Hot Springs. Merge on to Hwy 25/70 and drive 6.8 miles, and exit left on to Bus25/70 to Marshall (it is signposted). There is now a "no left turn" at the junction with Riverside Drive, so it will be necessary to turn right and U-turn where possible before coming back past the Ivy River Rd junction to off-road parking immediately after the bridgeworks on the right.
A-BSG schedule and entry form can be accessed at http://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/parks/, but are well hidden. Select "Current Event Information" (it looks like a home page subtitle), and scroll down to "Asheville-Buncombe Senior Games", which has registration and schedule links. Forms will need to be downloaded and submitted by snail mail. Entry fees are always incredibly cheap (TOTAL fee before April 21, $10.00, $12.00 thereafter). Entries are accepted on-the-day, but please have the forms ready to save registration time.
Entry is open to all athletes aged 50 and over during the year, regardless of residence, and all age-group medalists in 1-mile, 5k and 10k qualify for NC Senior Games in Garner (near Raleigh) on September 24. There are 5-year age groups ad infinitum i.e. 50-54, 55-59, etc. Officially only open to 50+ age groups, in the past, the organizers have allowed under-age rider participation, but for training purposes only. Under-age riders will not get awards or qualification.
A-BSG TT rules are different from USA Cycling. Participants can enter for up to four distances, 1-mile, 5k, 10k, and 20k, but it is combined into one ride with split times determining the results. The course is out-and-back so most riders, having competed the 1-mile, 5k and 10k to the turn-around, continue their race back to the cars at 20k. NC Senior Games do not have 20k TTs, so A-BSG medalists only qualify for the shorter distances.
Note that these races are time-trials, which means no mass start and no riding in close proximity to other participants in a peloton. With staggered, individual starts the competition is really against the clock. Nobody faces embarrassment or humiliation from being dropped or lapped.
Any questions about the games should be addressed to Bryan Fish, firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone would like advice about participating in bicycle time-trials, contact me at email@example.com.
Please put these TTs on your calendars. They are fun, with little pressure, and are a great opportunity to test your speed endurance in a friendly, competitive atmosphere. My first bicycle race was at the 2003 A-BSG, in which I rode a Trek 1000 with minimal aero equipment, and it proved to be the start of an enjoyable time-trial career.