Belltown Throwdown

Sun June 7, 2020

94 E High St, East Hampton, CT 06424




To register and for more race details go to:




STAGE 1 Cycling Club and AirLine Cycles are bringing mountain bike racing to East Hampton. The Belltown Throwdown is back for year three.  Throwdown course will be even greater and more perfecter (that’s a word, right?)! Our challenging course from last year will return with more single track, bigger berms, more jumps and drops, and some very fun tweaks and modifications that are sure to tickle your fancy (tee-hee). This loop contains multitudes: about 3.6 miles of single track, double track, some fire road, tight twists, screaming drops (remember the “Gravity Cavity”?), more than a few hand-built berms, rollers, and yes, some serious climbs (about 420′ per lap). You can check out the specs on the full laps for Cat Pro, 1, 2, and 3 adults here: Junior Cat 3s and adult and junior First Time racers will use an abbreviated 1.7 mile loop with about 200′ of climbing. It will include all the great features, minus some of the tougher technical portions of the course, and BONUS, they’ll get to do a few more laps of the funnest XC descent in all of CT! You can check out the shorter loop here:

Important note:  The course is NOT open to the general public in advance of the race. DO NOT ride there without permission or we’ll be forced to put you through the spanking machine! SeriouslyDon’t do it! Like in 2019, we will work on organzing a couple preview days/times for racers to come check out what we hath wrought.

The Men’s and Women’s Pro/CAT 1 and Single Speed Open events include cash prizes ($300 to 3 places: $150/$100/$50). Not bad, eh?  STAGE 1 offers pay & prize equity between all men’s and women’s events. Single Speeders are getting the same money and are expected to do that extra lap to earn those bucks!

Paul’s and Sandy’s Too Hardware and Garden Center of East Hampton is generously offering their private land for this race in honor of the Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Foundation. Please consider making a donation to foundation here: 


IMPORTANT NOTE:  As already mentioned…. The course is sited on private land and IS NOT open for pre-riding before race day. Please respect the land owner and do not poach the area beforehand.  We do not want to lose the venue! We will work to set up scheduled previews times in advance of the race, and, on the day of the event, we have built-in time before every race to allow warm-up, pre-riding, and course preview. You will have the chance to see the route before hand.  



Annual USA Cycling license is required. Category 2 and 3 (including 1st timers and military and first responder) racers may purchase a one-day license for an additional $10.00. CAT 1 riders must hold an Annual USA Cycling License. No license necessary for the 10-and-under kids or first-timers race. Everyone else muct have a license.  Yes, USAC requires us to see your license.  Please download the app before hand and be prepared to show your license (or your kid’s license) when asked by our friendly registration volunteers. 🙂

As with all STAGE 1 race events, we are proud to offer a Military & First Responder Open category for this race. All Active, Reserve, and Retired military are welcome, as well as police, fire, and EMT personnel.  Registration for this event is just $15! A current military or first responder ID is required. Bring home the bragging rights!

Do a second race for just $10 extra! 


8:00 – 9:00:      Course Preview/Warm-Up*

9:00 – 10:45:    Cat 3 Junior; All First Timers 

10:45 – 11:30:  10-And-Under-Fun Race; Course Preview/Warm-Up

11:30 – 1:15:     Pros & CAT 1 Junior/Seniors/SS Open; Cat 2 Juniors/Seniors/Masters

1:15 -2:00:        Course Preview/Warm-Up*

2:00 – 3:30:       Senior Cat 3; Military/1st Responders; Fat Bike Open; 2nd Race Open

* NOTE: We have scheduled warm-up and course preview time. Respect the other racers and stay off the course unless it’s a designated warm-up/preview period. Thanks!


Speaking of warm-ups…  The race course is located just off RT 66/E. High Street, which is a fairly busy state road with a small shoulder.  We have planned plenty of time before the event and between races for warm-up and course inspection on the race course.  We do not recommend warming up on RT 66/E. High Street and if you do so it’s strictly at your own risk.  But honestly, why would you want to ride your awesome mountain bike on a busy, crappy state road, when you could ride the actual course? And for God’s sakes – wear a helmet at all times – even when you’re in the porta-john, or maybe especially when you’re in the porta-john (looking your way, George Dickerson).  Seriously, please be safe. (See other notes below…)


In addition to honor, glory, and the sheer bliss of mountain bike racing, the top finishers in each category will be showered with high-fives, fame, and great prizes, including microbrew from Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. (for age appropriate riders), and other great items of desire and prestige. Pro/Cat 1 Open and Single Speed Open and racers will receive cash with equal prize lists for male and female riders! The breakdown is as follows for Pro/Cat 1 Open and SS racers: $300/3 Places ($150/$100/$50) + Merch.

Prizes and product brought to you by AirLine Cycles & the great folks at:


Plug the following address into your favorite electronic direction gizmo: 

93 E High St, East Hampton, CT 06424.

Race parking and the venue are directly across the street from Paul’s and Sandy’s Too Nursery and Hardware. It will be easy to spot. 


If you have any questions, please email us at  



How can I have have fun and make friends at the races?

– First, be nice.  Smile.  Have fun.  Woop it up and encourage others to do the same.  You’re on a mountain bike, and – even if you are suffering unmercifully – this is still fun! Really! Also, try and attend podium ceremonies and cheer for people. Racing is hard and it’s great having friends and other riders cheer you on.

– Second, don’t be a sandbagger.  Don’t be the guy or gal who hangs out in the CAT 3 or 2 race and wins by 5+ minutes. That’s no fun and no one is impressed with a sandbagger. It’s far better to gut out a top ten or twenty in a higher category than cruise to podium after podium in a lower category race.  If in doubt, cat up! If you do sandbag, we will tease you and we may also elect to award you a big bag of sand for your efforts. 😉  USAC allows all MTB XC racers to pick their category, so you don’t need to earn points to upgrade.  If you are an experienced cyclist in any discipline of bike racing, you should probably start in the Cat 2s at least. 

How about passing?  

Be polite and communicate with other riders. USAC Rules 5.D.1.(c)-(d) tells us about passing in XC races. Simply put, if you get lapped – and it happens to the best of us – respect the race leaders and yield the track as quickly and safely as possible. You don’t have to stop, but just move to the side and let the faster riders proceed. Also, do not obstruct riders who are in another race. That’s lame. Yes, it’s hard to watch a 13-year-old on a single speed cruise by effortlessly, but that happens.  Let em’ pass. And, to those of you who might lap or pass someone competing in another category, remember to *politely* give a shout and let the rider know you’re coming and what side you plan to pass on. Be sure to say “thanks” and offer some words of encouragement. Don’t sneak up on people and try and ram past them. That’s lame.  Remember the Golden Rule!

So, do I always have to let people pass? 

If you are vying for position with another rider in your own race/category, that’s a little different. The USAC rules say that the lead rider “owns the track,” but s/he may not intentionally obstruct or interfere with a rider who is attempting to pass. In other words, the lead rider doesn’t have to let you just cruise by, but they CANNOT intentionally pinch you out, cut you off, or change lines in an attempt to prevent the pass. That’s lame, dangerous, and it’s not how XC racing works. Simply put, if you are behind a rider in your own race, don’t just yell “track” at the top of your lungs and expect the leader to pull over and let you pass. If they don’t want to yield, you’ll have to wait until you hit a section wide enough and try then.  If you’re the rider in front, don’t purposely obstruct the passer. Yes, you don’t have to move over, but you also shouldn’t intentionally block the trailing rider.  

Is it ok to “cut” the course just a little bit?   

No. No. No. No. No. It’s all about honesty and fun. Course cutting is cheating plain and simple and it will result in immediate disqualification and the frowning of a lifetime – and perhaps a trip through the spanking machine. Our course will be well marked to avoid any “accidental” cutting. Along those lines, please leave the e-bikes at home, and remember the sage words of Nancy Reagan and stay off the drugs! 

I’m on a single speed.  What gear do you recommend?  

STAGE 1 has several SS riders who will be competing in the Throwdown. They all recommend you run something really huge (especially if you’re Peter Geloso ;-). Petey, go big – like a 34 x 16! Kidding! Seriously, there is a fair bit of climbing in this course and some of it is quite steep.  Rob Stiles says, “I personally wouldn’t use anything beefier than a 32×20, but that’s me and I like to spin.”  

Can I wear headphones and listen to sweet tunes while I race?

Nope. You’ll have to rock out to the sound of your pounding heart and heavy breathing. We will have a DJ on site, so for about 400 yards of the course, you’ll get to hear bumping tunes mixed in with the cheers from throngs of spectators.  

We love long courses like Domnarski Farm.  Why can’t your course be a big ten mile loop like that? 

We love Domnarski too! That race is one of the best in New England and you should all do it! Unfortunately, land is in short supply, and getting a permit to race in a CT state park is almost impossible. (Join NEMBA and write your congressman and ask for more MTB access!) We really lucked out when Paul’s and Sandy’s Garden Center allowed us to develop a course and run a race on their property. Their land is essentially a big hill, and we had to build almost all of the race course ourselves by hand. No easy thing! For a 3.5 mile course, though, ours pretty has pretty much everything. Since we now have a solid base to work with, this year’s course will be even better!

The STAGE 1 cyclocross race had sweet, luxurious indoor bathrooms. Can we expect the same lavish treatment for this MTB race?

Listen, we at STAGE 1 Cycling do give a sh*t! We will have a few lovely porta-johns available, but alas no indoor facilities… If you need something with a flusher and a sink, there are several stores and fast food places just up the street.  Please don’t pee or poo in public – this isn’t a triathlon or running race. 😉  

How’s the parking situation?  

Plenty of parking within eye shot of registration and the course. 

How about food?  Will there be any available?

You bet!  We’ll have a food truck and a tent with a range of options.  We can’t promise that we’ll cover every desire or every dietary requirement, but we’ll have some tasty vittles at reasonable prices. 


The Belltown Original 

Est. 1987