Whiterock prepares for Mountain Bike Championship series

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photos by: Rob Cook

by: Coon Rapids Enterprise – Thursday, June 29, 2017

Coon Rapids, IA – For the second consecutive year, Whiterock Conservancy will play host to this Sunday’s Liberty Bell Cup, part of the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series. “Last year we were right around 100 bikers. We’re expecting at least that many or more. Registrations are open until the races begin so we won’t know for sure until then,” said Christopher Van Roekel, trails  coordinator for Whiterock Conservancy. “We are really excited to be hosting this event again and very anxious to see if the numbers increase. We’d love to see this event hosted here every year,” Van Roekel added.

Rob Cook of Des Moines, who is organizing the event, is equally excited to see the event expand in participation. “I’m hoping to have as many as last year, when we actually drew riders from four states. In my dreams we double that number this year,” Cook exclaimed. Cook said Sunday’s event here is considered the state Cross Country Mountain Biking (MTB) championship, which means that winners are considered the state champions for 2017. “The races are held under the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series (IMBCS) banner and run to United States Cycling standards. If you are the state champion, you qualify to go on to the national championships,” Cook explained.

There are 10 events during the day-long competition for men, women and juniors, fat bike, four-hour marathon and more. The
races will be routed over some of Iowa’s finest mountain bike trails. Some of the shorter races will be held on the Big Dipper and Little Dipper trails; both trails are located near Whiterock’s Star Field. Longer races will be routed over the Shooting Star, Riverside, 805 Spur double track, and Long Creek trails. Every race will start and finish at the Star Field, so that would be one area where spectators could expect to see lots of action, said Van Rockel.

“MTB races, unfortunately, are not the most spectator-friendly events, given that we race over miles of trails usually through
woods and hills,” explained Cook. “To provide better viewing this year for local spectators, we have centralized the start and finish to take place at the Star Field campground where one can watch the races head off and finish. Whiterock does have some other great spots to watch from if you are willing to hike a little to get there. Creek crossings are always a fun place as well as the intersection of Long Creek and Riverside trails where many of the riders will be turning laps,” Cook said.

Whiterock prepares for Mountain Bike Championship series “What we don’t want spectators to do is park and watch along
Fig Avenue,” Van Rockel added. Van Rockel said Whiterock Conservancy is rolling out the red carpet for the bikers by inviting them to come here earlier in the week to camp, kayak and explore the outdoors. Whiterock is hosting a BBQ on Saturday night.
Cook said the races start at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, and he encourages local biking enthusiasts to give it a try.

“Even if you’ve never raced before, come give it a try. We have a beginning-friendly course so all you need is a helmet and bike,”
Cook said. Five dollars of every rider’s entry fee is given back to Whiterock to maintain and build trails. “Whiterock’s trails, in my opinion, are some of the best in the state,” Cook added. “Certainly they have as much or more in terms of miles of trail as any trail system in Iowa. One of the advantages Whiterock has over the other trails is the dedicated staff available to maintain, clean and build new trail. Whiterock is a bit secluded but the onsite amenities, showers, camping to name a few, make it worth the ride. Whiterock also has more varied terrain than other systems, and we manage to have several creek crossings that are unique to these trails. You really get the feeling that you’re going somewhere when you ride here.”

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Get Ready for the Liberty Bell Cup!

Liberty Bell Cup – July 2, 2017

Iowa State XC Championship

This will be the Iowa State XC Championship race! Our race director Rob Cook and with the help of Americorps (and some very awesome volunteers) have made some great trail improvements and the trails are in excellent condition! Saturday, July 1 the trail will be prepped for race day on Sunday. Everyone is invited to come pre-ride the trails and join the BYOB/Meat gathering!

Continue reading Get Ready for the Liberty Bell Cup!

2017 IMBCS Race Dates

IMBCS #1 – FORC Illiniwek Abermination – April 23
IMBCS Special Endurance Event – Sugar Bottom Marathon – May 13*
IMBCS #3 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy – June 3*
IMBCS #4 – Summerset Shootout – June 10*
IMBCS #5 – Sunderbruch Park – June 25
IMBCS #6 – Whiterock Conservancy – July 2*
IMBCS #7 – Lewis & Clark Crusher Border Battle – July 8*
IMBCS #2 – Ewing Park Kickback Classic – July 30*
IMBCS #8 – George Wyth MTB Race – August 12
IMBCS #9 – Sugar Bottom Scramble – August 20

IMBCS TBA – Make Up Dates – August 26/27

*Denotes a Marathon Race Category Included

SEASON OPENER: ILLINIWEK ABERMINATION RACE RECAP

Friends of Off Road Cycling led by new Race Director Mike Corbin put together a wonderful opening weekend for mountain bike racers – not only for the 2017 IMBCS Series, but also for the Illinois State Championship Series at Illiniwek Forest Preserve in Hampton, Illinois.  And what a job FORC did for us to create a great racing event!
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Continue reading SEASON OPENER: ILLINIWEK ABERMINATION RACE RECAP

Site Maintenance

The IMBCS.org website will be down over the next few days for some behind the scenes maintenance. For the nerdier of you out there we’re moving to a new VM host. We’ll be back soon, any ETA’s or complications will be posted to the Facebook page.

Can’t wait to get back on the dirt!

Rob Cook

Time to train for 2017!!!

As we say good-bye to all of our great bike riding and racing in 2016, and as we ring in the New Year of 2017 with all of the possibilities for riding next year will provide – don’t forget our sponsors Zoom Performance and LW Coaching.

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Whether on a spin bike, exercise bike, trainer, Fat Bike, road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike, or your Winter commuter from now until March – Zoom Performance and LW Coaching can set you up with a training plan & coaching to take advantage of the time to train for the 2017 season (now is the time in case you were wondering).

Thank you Matt Zepeda, Julie Vardaman Kirkpatrick, Liz Martin Van Houweling, and Lynda Wallenfels for your support of the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series.

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IMBCS 2017 Race Schedule!!!

I know that racers in Iowa have been anxious to know what the 2017 season beholds for IMBCS in terms of race dates, and race venues. We have developed a very exciting season with some nice variation in venues that cover our fine state of Iowa from the Mississippi River to the Missouri River!

Back is one of our favorite venues at Moorehead Park in Ida Grove, Iowa. The downhill chute that crosses the paved bike path before coming into the start/finish area remains one of Iowa’s favorite downhill sections. It’s been many years since we have raced at Lewis & Clark in Council Bluffs. We are excited to have that venue back in our schedule as it is great singletrack with challenging climbs, twist and turns all built on historic grounds.

Here are half of our 2017 race directors (evidently beards are required)….


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I want to thank all of our race directors for working with me to get the dates ironed out for our 15th IMBCS Season. As you can imagine, organizing it with the landowners, respective trail organizations, and avoiding as many conflicts as possible on the IBRA schedule is always a challenge. This year took a bit more time than our previous two seasons to get it all together, but it was for good reason. We have a mixture of Saturday and Sunday race days to allow as many people as possible to enjoy some of our IMBCS events. Please join me in thanking all of our race directors (some old, some new) as without them, we would not have an IMBCS season 15.


Planning your season visually with a map…
IMBCS Map 2017

IMBCS 2017 Race Schedule Dates


IMBCS: April 23 FORC Illiniwek Abermination
IMBCS: May 13 Sugar Cubed Special Endurance Event*
IMBCS: May 20 Ewing Park Slam
IMBCS: June 3 Beverly Park Fat Tire Frenzy*
IMBCS: June 10 Summerset Shootout*
IMBCS: June 17 Moorehead Mayhem*
IMBCS: June 25 FORC Sunderbruch Side Thrill Ride
IMBCS: July 2 Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup*
IMBCS: July 8 Lewis & Clark Crusher*
IMBCS: August 12 George Wyth MTB Race
IMBCS: August 20 Sugar Bottom Scramble
IMBCS: August 26-27 Make Up Date(s) for any Cancellation(s) due to weather

*Denotes Venues that include a Marathon Category

2016 Title Sponsor: World of Wheels Thank You!!!!

As our year comes to a close and we reflect on what we experienced in the IMBCS 2017 season, let’s be thankful for our generous sponsors that helped make it happen.

Please join me in extending our thanks to the 2016 Title Sponsor World of Wheels. General Manager, Jeff Miles, and Service Department Manager Andy Peterson made our 2016 Extra Special with their generous Title Sponsorship of providing $500 in cash payouts at each of our races. We thank them for their support. If your current vehicle needs service, contact Andy at World of Wheels in Des Moines. He’ll take care of you. If you are looking for a special used car or truck – World of Wheels is the place to go.

Thank you Jeff and Andy!

A few samples of racers who enjoyed the cash payouts at our races this year…

ScramblePodiumScrambleCATIWomenPodiumCAT III Men's PodiumCAT III Overall WomenCAT III Overall Men