UPDATE: (10/17/13) - Springhill Park is back open as of today. All the reservations, permits, and insurance policies are in place to stage the AMBCS Springhill Race#8 at Springhill Park Sunday Oct 27th.
UPDATE!!! (10:00 am 10/03/13) – The Springhill Classic has been rescheduled and will now take place at all the previously listed times but now on October 27th. Ken Cox, race organizer, told me that if the federal government is not funded by October 16th he will consider moving the race venue to Ben Geren Park on October 27th. So everyone has a few weeks now to get prepared for the race.
The Federal shutdown has reached into the world of mountain biking this week. A many of you know, the Springhill Classic in Barling, Arkansas is this coming Sunday. The race is hosted in Springhill Park, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park along the Arkansas River. According to Miles Johnson with the USACOE, all parks along the Arkansas River will be closing down to both day and overnight use today and will not reopen until Federal funding is reinstated. He also said that it will take a little time once they have the go ahead to reopen to actually get all operations back to normal. This means that if the shutdown is not lifted by early Friday, the park will probably not be open for the weekend.
I talked with race organizer, Ken Cox who’s remaining optimistic. He is looking at three possibilities right now; First, the shutdown is lifted in time to have the race as scheduled, second, the shutdown is not lifted in time and he is able to move the race to nearby Ben Geren Park (this will be pretty difficult logistically but he will be talking to Ben Geren administrators tonight about the possibility), third, moving the race to a different weekend.
So if the shutdown ends by Thursday, it’s business as usual. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, the weather is looking good and I understand the trails are in great shape. Plus they have one of the best swag bags of the entire series. We hope to see everyone out there on Sunday.