NRAO hosting Space Race Rumpus Weekend
Unlike the creatures of Maurice Sendakﾒs ﾓWhere the Wild Things Are,ﾔ who rumpused by dancing under the moon and climbing trees, the Space Race Rumpus is a three-day cycling event, June 15-17, for all levels of expertise.
ﾓWeﾒre going to have four races,ﾔ said Sherry McCarty, Public Tour Program Director at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. ﾓAbout a mile-and-a-half of track loops around and itﾒs basically an obstacle course. The great part about it is, itﾒs a great spectator sport. You can see almost all the track from one location, so everybody can watch our racers make their way around the track.ﾔ
The race is split into four levels: kids, beginner, intermediate and advanced.
ﾓ[For] the kids part, weﾒre going to use part of the main track and loop it around for a shorter track for the kids, so they can participate and get a taste for the sport,ﾔ McCarty said. ﾓOn the other days, we have fun rides planned.ﾔ
The main race will be Saturday, with fun rides Friday through Sunday.
ﾓFriday and Saturday, weﾒll have easy and a little bit more challenging guided mountain bike rides, then on Sunday weﾒre going to have a guided century ride,ﾔ McCarty said. ﾓOne hundred miles on a bike. Weﾒve got a challenging course picked out. It should be great.ﾔ
The fun rides will include a bike tour of the NRAO telescopes.
Although bikes are the focus of the weekend, there will be other forms of entertainment. Each night will feature live music with the Stony Bottom Bluegrass Band on Friday, The Steel Wheels Saturday and Elm Street Alleycats on Sunday.
There will also be arts and crafts stations for all ages and vendors offering a variety of food and bike equipment for sale.
ﾓItﾒs really a total package as far as the music, arts and crafts from the co-op [Pocahontas County Artisans Cooperative], vendors and rides and science education,ﾔ McCarty said. ﾓWeﾒll have tours and science activities for the kids during the day, as well.ﾔ
For the first 200 registrants, the NRAO will offer a campsite on the grounds, similar to the campsite for StarQuest. The registration includes meal tickets for breakfast and dinner. Tickets will be sold separately for each concert if attendees do not want to particiapte in the entire weekend. Pocahontas County residents will receive a discount on tickets.
Registration will be open until the day of the event.
There will be bonfires each night, weather permitting, and star parties with optical telescopes to view the night sky.
Vendors include Dirt Bean Ohana, which will have food and bike equipment for sale. Owner Christie Lanier will be on hand to share her cycling expertise and will also be a featured ride leader. Also lending their cycling knowledge, as well as guided rides, are Joey and Mandi Riddle, owners of Joey�s Bike Shop in Elkins. Mountain State Brewery Co., of Morgantown, will supply beer.
The NRAO tours and caf� will be open all weekend, as well.
The Pocahontas County Opera House will provide sound for the live entertainment and Elk River Inn and Touring Center is a sponsor of the event.
All proceeds from the race benefit the Green Bank Wellness Center.
For more information about the weekend activities and to view maps of the guided rides, including the century ride, visit www.gb.nrao.edu/rumpus or www.bikereg.com/Net/14713 to register for the event.