The town of Beacon, New York is familiar to any hardcore mountain biker in the surrounding area. It is known for breeding extremely fast riders and its trails hold an almost legendary reputation. Over the last few years, a late fall tradition has arisen among those that call Mt.Beacon their home turf. The premise: have lots of fun with bikes and booze while sending the warm riding season off in style. The Beacon Mega Avalanche bears a resemblance to its namesake, the Megavalanche, but also packs a number of original touches. This highly competitive group ride determines the King and Queen of Beacon and gives the two bragging rights for the following year.
Mountain bikers in their natural habitat.
The action takes place on a selected Sunday at the end of October. Fifty or so riders make their way up Mt.Beacon, ascending over 1400ft. to the very top of the mountain. Lines get scouted for one last time and bikes get placed strategically for a LeMans style mass start. At noon, the chaos begins. Riders grab a hold of the fire tower and as the command is given, everyone rushes to their bike, starting the 15+ minute journey into town. The descent is treacherous; big mountain terrain covered in a hefty dosage of freshly fallen leaves, all while battling for position. As riders come out of the woods, they are faced with a 2 or so mile road dash to Bank Square Coffee House, taking any route they choose, where the rider has to chug a pint of beer, before writing their name down on the results sheet.
The hardest part of the ride, as demonstrated by Mario Centuori.
After over 15 minutes on the bike and a beer chug, hand writing becomes a serious challenge.
Jon Miles, the owner of Peoples Bicycle has style for miles. (Something about puns)
This year riders were welcomed by almost pleasant weather, a change from years past, where anything from rain to hail was endured. Kendra Wheeler succeeded in defending her title as QOB and kept the crown for another year while on the men’s side, OG Beacon Bomber Ryan Gardner flew out all the way from sunny California to take the prestigious KOB crown from Jason Memmelaar, a two time Mega winner and a fixture in the Pro DH and Enduro scene.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 KOB and QOB in all their glory.