Local Rider Shows-em How - Wenatchee, Washington USA

Local Rider Shows-em How

Wenatchee, Washington - 06/24/2001

Rocky Crocker of Wenatchee Area Racers charges through Squilchuck
State Park on his way to the sport division mountain bike title Sunday.
Wenatchee World photo/Tom Williams
By Gary Lindberg World sports writer

Racing down hill wasn't part of Rocky Crocker's idea of recreation when he was younger.
Now it is. He won the men's 30-39 downhill race in the sport division at the Squilchucker,
A WIM Series mountain bike event, during the weekend at Squilchuck State Park.

In his younger years, Crocker used biking as a means to train for other
endurance sports. Then his cycling friends introduced him to mountain biking.

"When I was a casual rider, I never thought I'd do anything like this, said
Crocker of reaching speeds of 35 mph in a downhill event. "Now I feel I'm
living a second childhood doing this."

The friends are helping him rediscover childhood as part of the Wenatchee Area
Racers. They compete in various events throughout the Northwest. The next local
race is the Wicked Witch at Badger Mountain, near Waterville, on July 28-29. WAR
has also competed in the Chelan MTB and Winthrop Boneshaker, both in May. The
local club has four more events after the Wicked Witch.

Crocker is involved in the downhill and cross country races in the sport division,
one of five. Beginner, expert, semi-pro and pro are the others. The downhill race,
contested Sunday, featured jumps over logs and even a picnic table.

"Not a lot of people do both," Crocker said. "They either like the excitement
of doing downhill or the real fitness challenge of cross country. I enjoy the
progression of riding, the competitiveness and being able to tune equipment."

Crocker was 27th in his 30-39 age group of the cross country race Saturday.

Competing in both events doubles Crocker's costs.
He estimates his equipment costs are $3,000 in both disciplines.

Other WAR competitors had strong finishes, although complete official results
were unavailable. Jess Mettler won the 30-39 women's downhill and cross country.
Steven Ettinger won his junior division cross country.

Trisia Crial was second in cross country. Gregg Harnish and Fred Rose were
fourth in cross country, with Scott Lunzer sixth. Tom Feil and Jonathan Crial
are also part of the local group.

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