20th Mountain Mama Bike Challenge To Add “Metric Century” Ride in 2019


The 19th Mountain Mama Bike Challenge may be over, but it’s not too soon to be thinking of what to expect next year.  AMR sat down with participant David Coon on Saturday, August 4, 2018 just over an hour after he completed a new ride that is planned to be added to the list of official routes for Mountain Mama’s 20th year in 2019.  “The ride I did this year was what will be next year’s new metric century.  It was beautiful.  It’s a challenging ride.  It was a gorgeous day today and, uh, I’m tired,” says David with a  laugh.

The new route, known as a metric century, comes in close to 64.5 miles.  It is similar to the current 67 mile Two State Long Ride, but instead of four mountains to cross, there will be six.  David continues, “That part is adding a combination of Snowy Mountain and Wimer Mountain, and that way, you get to drop in to Blue Grass, and you get the beautiful Blue Grass Valley.”

David and a friend had heard about this alternate route from a couple in the past, and he made a suggestion that it be added to Mountain Mama’s list of rides.  Over the years, David has grown close to the Highland County Recreation Commission, which organizes the challenge.  His family’s farm, Maple Knob Farm at the base of Bullpasture Mountain, was the first rest stop for Mountain Mama, and it has continued as such through every single challenge.  David has the following advice for anyone who is interested in Mountain Mama but has never participated.

“Highland County, and Pocahontas, and Pendleton, you’re gonna do a lot of climbing,” David chuckles.  “And a lot of it’s not kind.  Come prepared to work hard, to see arguably some of the most beautiful country in the world, and I say that, not from somebody that’s traveled extensively but been around a little bit, but there are riders who have been coming back to this that have been riding all over the world, and they do keep coming back here because they do hold this up as, not only one of the most beautiful rides they’ve experienced, but it still is one of their most challenging, so it holds its own with just about any place around.”

David has many people to thank for such an amazing experience year after year.  He says, “The Recreation Commission, of course, I just think that they’re an incredible group of people that are dedicated and working to make this a bigger and better ride, and it really does benefit the community.  It’s a great activity for the community.  A lot of people come in and occupy every space around that’s a reasonable distance to occupy and enjoy the different things that the town and county have to offer, and then leave with pretty much, no trace.  Cannot thank enough the other folks that support this, the different counties’ police and sheriff’s departments, the SAG people that are runnin’ the CBs and keepin’ up with everybody.  This is highly promoted.  This is a remote area, and these people are literally lifesavers.  Can’t thank them enough for what they do, and the residents of Highland and Pocahontas and Pendleton County ‘cause I know it’s something of an inconvenience to have so many people stretched out over the roads, but we really appreciate the waves and honks and signs out in the yards, and it’s really good, and we appreciate all the people, too.”

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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