Gravity East Takes Downhill To The Cruise Ship

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June 9, 2010; Conshohocken, PA, USA: A downhill race on a cruise ship? Well, maybe not literally. But the Gravity East Series presented by Voncooper Productions may have found the next best thing. “People call our resort the ‘Cruise Ship’,” laughs Joel Rerko, Action Sports Director at Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Mountain Resort, the venue for this weekend’s Gravity East event. “You park your car when you first get here, and you never go back to it until it’s time to go home. We have four restaurants, three bars and the hotel with pools and hot tubs all within a five minute walk from the finish line of the downhill, and we’re building another temporary bar with its own DJ right at the finish line for this weekend’s race. It’s definitely not a race where you leave your family at home, we have more than most people know that you can do here. We even have a promotion for unlimited activities that includes swimming, rock climbing, bounce house and a ton of other activities for kids.”

(Photo by Matt DeLorme: Alejandro Ortiz #109 sails to a runner-up finish at 2009 Gravity East Seven Springs Downhill)
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The amenities may be similar to a cruise ship, but from a mountain bike racer’s standpoint, there are certain advantages to being 150 miles from the nearest port. Among them are trails designed by three-time World Champion Eric Carter, two of which are included in this weekend’s Gravity East track. It’s a layout with striking similarities to last weekend’s World Cup at Fort William: mostly man-made trails, fast, flowy, lots of berms and the big “showtime” jumps at the bottom. Last year, the trails were new, but a year’s worth of riding has finished packing-down the trails, and maintenance this spring removed the dust and pebbles from the berms resulting in a grippier surface.


And it’s the banked turns and traction that define the character of the Seven Springs track, “If you can carry speed in the berms, you’re gonna win,” says Rerko matter-of-factly. One major change from last year’s inaugural sees all classes competing on the same course. “Last year, the trails were new and we had the Cat. 2’s and 3’s bypass the most technical and dangerous sections,” explains Rerko. “But after listening to rider feedback, we felt comfortable letting everybody run the pro course.”

(Photo by Matt DeLorme: Harrison Reynolds rocks the pro section in 2009 that all riders will use this year)
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Seven Springs also prides itself on running a “tight ship”. The entire mountain will be closed to all mountain bikers except registered competitors during the Gravity East race, and lift lines during last year’s Gravity East weekend rarely exceeded five or six persons. Based on the amount of space devoted to the race on the Seven Springs website, the Gravity East Series presented by Voncooper Productions is an important event for the 4-seasons resort, which is located about 90 minutes southeast of Pittsburgh. In addition to the regular unlimited activities package and other promotions, Seven Springs is offering $99 flat-rate hotel rooms (same price regardless of number of guests). Lift service will also be open from 10:00 until 5:00 on Friday before the race for just $29.95, and an additional “bonus” lift ticket for some post-race freeriding available for just $15 following race’s conclusion. As always, Gravity East pays the online registration service fee, so riders that enter the event through BikeReg.com by midnight on Thursday will save an additional $5.

For more information on the Gravity East #2 at Seven Spring and other races on the Gravity East Series presented by Voncooper Productions, see www.GravityEastSeries.com.

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source: Ken Getchell
SpectaSport LLC for
Gravity East Series presented by Voncooper.com

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 14 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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