Bike aficionados, a big weekend is just around the corner.
As part of Escalante Days, the Dolores Rotary Club will be hosting its annual Bike Rodeo on Aug, 9 and its annual Escalante Days Mountain Bike Race on Aug. 10. Both events are open to the public and offer riders the opportunity to get outside, enjoy the weather and experience the unparalleled scenic beauty that the Southwest has to offer.
Kicking off the weekend’s biking events will be the Bike Rodeo, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Dolores Medical Center. The event generally caters to younger bikers between the ages of 5 and 13.
Included as part of the Bike Rodeo will be a skills course requiring riders to steer around cones and navigate other small obstacles, as well as bike tune-ups and safety instruction.
In addition, Bike Rodeo participants will be entered into a drawing for three bikes donated by Dr. Burnside and the Dolores Medical Center. The bikes include a boys’ bike, a girls’ bike and a children’s bike.
“The Bike Rodeo involves quite a few kids and parents,” explained Dolores Rotary Club member Dave Sanford. “It has been going on for a number of years. It’s a fun event and kids look forward to it.”
MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE
Highlighting the weekend’s biking events will be the 15th annual Escalante Days Mountain Bike Race. Beginning in Dolores at 9:50 a.m., the race will lead riders along a scenic route through the San Juan National Forest.
Course options include a 13-mile beginner course, a 21-mile sport course and a 35-mile expert course. A single-speed category is also available for riders.
Cash prizes will be awarded to expert course winners and single speed category winners. Medals will be awarded for first, second and third place in the beginner and sport classes.
“What makes the race unique is that the climb out of Dolores separates professionals from beginners,” explained Dolores Rotary Club member Ed Merritt. “Once riders get to the top of the hill, everyone is spread out and there isn’t a lot of crowding. The course is challenging and also absolutely beautiful.”
Along with offering the opportunity to race, the race provides competitors with an opportunity to enjoy Escalante Days festivities.
“Racers can enjoy the food, the venders and all the other fun events that Escalante Days has to offer,” said Merritt. “Escalante Days is a great family event and everyone is encouraged to participate.”
Those interested in participating in the mountain bike race can register online at www.active.com by Aug. 7. Race-day registration is also available from 8 to 9 a.m. in front of the Dolores Medical Center. The pre-race entry fee is $35 and the race day entry fee is $45.
Course maps and additional information regarding the race are available at www.clubrunner.ca/dolores.