January 26, 2006

Wendy Booher

Kansas City, Missouri to host world-class 24-hour mountain bike race this September
24 Hours of Landahl becomes Granny Gear Productions' newest addition to its 2006 series

Danny Hooks in between the limestone rocks at Landahl Park
photo: David Parra

DAVIS, W.V. (January 26, 2006) Birthplace of Ginger Rogers, Independence, Missouri, just east of Kansas City, will play host to a different kind of foot-stomping entertainment on September 16th-17th, 2006. The 24 Hours of Landahl will convene mountain bike racers from all over the Midwest to compete on one of the nation's finest mountain bike parks. Landahl Park, a regional park of the Jackson County, Missouri park system, offers a race venue unparalleled in access, design, variety, and flow. Much credit goes to Earthriders, the local affiliate of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, for their work in creating the next best thing to a single-track Shangri-la.

"Landahl Park mainly consists of hard-packed single-track with several limestone rock outcropping formations," explained local mountain bike racer Danny Hooks, "'babyhead' rocks to actual spots where limestone walls are 6-8 feet high--where you'll be riding right between them provide just enough variance without disrupting the best thing about Landahl--its flow."

Team competition can bring out behaviors ranging from a primal competitive spirit to costumed cross-dressers racing for a cause or over-eager novices racing just for fun. The majority of 24-hour racers will ride on relay teams of four or five people with an objective to complete as many laps as possible on the 9.5-mile course. Some racers opt for the lonely and grueling prestige of racing solo for 24 hours.

With the signature LeMans-style start at noon on September 16th, racers will spend the next 24 hours riding, resting, refueling or strategizing as they devise new ways to beat the competition. With Granny Gear Productions' reputation for producing first-rate events, the 24 Hours of Landahl expects to attract racers from as far away as Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Des Moines, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Nashville. Even Rocky Mountain racers from the Denver/Boulder area are within striking distance of the 24 Hours of Landahl.

2005 24-hour US National Champion Cameron Chambers
photo: Tom Moran

Local support for the 24 Hours of Landahl has been overwhelming. The event will be the first of its kind to take place in the Midwest. 2005 24-hour US National Champion, Cameron Chambers, said there is no way he would miss the 24 Hours of Landahl, especially since he's raced at Landahl more times than anywhere else in his career and it's not far from his Kansas home.

"This race is huge because with all other races, I preride the course but I still don't know what the trail is like at race speed," Chambers said. "With Landahl, I have the advantage of knowing what the course is like during a race. Plus, the trails are laid out superbly; the locals in Kansas City have put a lot of work into Landahl and can take a lot of pride in their trails."

The town of Independence will get a second chance as a frontier town when hundreds--if not thousands--of enthusiastic yet underserved Midwest mountain bikers arrive at Landahl Park. With a stated goal to make this annual event a regional gathering of the tribes, President of Granny Gear Productions, Laird Knight, has tapped local event promoters and enthusiasts for their input, guidance, and support. The response has been nothing but positive.

"Two things really stood out when I visited the area last summer," said Knight. "One, the trails are amazing, very well designed, extremely well drained and surprisingly technical and fast; and two, folks in the Midwest are well aware of who Granny Gear is and they're very excited if not proud to hear that a major race is coming to town. I felt so welcomed and so encouraged. We're definitely going to do our best to live up to expectations. I'm committed to making the 24 Hours of Landahl a major happening in the Midwest mountain bike community."

The 24 Hours of Landahl offers all the usual first-class elements typical of Granny Gear events: RealTime Scoring(TM), real cash purses and prizes, great music and race announcing, hot showers with camping, the ideal setting to get together with friends and family for a weekend getaway, a hard-to-beat, easy-access location in the center of the nation, and something new: an invitation to race on a premier venue created and designed with the dedicated mountain bike racer in mind. For more information, visit

Did you know?
With more than 60 barbecue restaurants and numerous cookoff competitions, Kansas City is arguably the nation's barbecue capital. Check it out for yourself!

Travel information for the 24 Hours of Landahl, September 16-17, 2006

Getting There and Away - Located on the eastern edge of Kansas City, Missouri, Landahl Park is accessible by Interstates 435 and 70. Approximately 30 minutes away from Landahl Park, Kansas City International Airport ( is served by most major domestic airlines.

Where to stay - Camping with hot showers will be available onsite for $10 per person for the entire weekend. Budget lodging for friends and family is located a few minutes south of Independence along Route 7 just off of I-70.

Where to eat - Famous Gates Bar-B-Q with locations in and around Kansas City, there's even one in Independence

Local bike shop - BikeSource 11500 W 135th Street 135th and Quivira, Overland Park, Kansas

Summit Bikes, 1663 NE Douglas - Lee's Summit, Missouri (a few minutes south of Independence)

What to bring with you - With temps ranging between average lows of 56 and average highs in the 80s--perfect race temperatures--you still may want to be prepared for cooler temperatures at night. Bring the usual sunblock, bug spray, first aid supplies, and be sure to beef up on a lighting system as the event falls right in the middle of the lunar cycle.

The 2006 Granny Gear 24-Hour Race Series kicks off on April 22-23 with the 24 Hours of Temecula, in Temecula, Calif. just outside of Los Angeles. The inaugural 24 Hours of Conyers will happen May 20-21 in Conyers, Ga. near Atlanta. Next stop is the second annual 24 Hours of Big Bear, West Virginia's go-to 24-hour race for the mid-Atlantic states. Then comes the first annual 24 Hours of Landahl on September 16-17. On October 14-15, the 12th Annual 24 Hours of Moab Points Series Championships finishes off what looks to be Granny Gear's most thrilling season ever.

About Granny Gear Productions
Granny Gear Productions, a sports marketing and event production company, has earned a reputation as the industry's most innovative and successful event organizer. With more than 24 years as a mountain bike race organizer, Granny Gear President and CEO, Laird Knight, created the 24-hour racing format in 1991. In 2001, Knight became West Virginia Tourism's Person-of-the-Year and in 2002, Knight was inducted into The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.