Cycling entrants in the first-ever Fire on the Rim mountain bike race, to be held tomorrow, Aug. 6, were overheard praising the course after wrapping up pre-rides last weekend.
“Great course, there is a lot of climbing and technical single track,” said Jerry Baker, a former triathlon athlete and the owner of Payson Athletic Club. “(The course) is a good example of what ride in the Rim Country is like.”
After completing a pre-ride, Craig Gregory said, “I can say it has all disciplines of racing — climbing, downhill, speed and tech. It will test your abilities and give you a ride of your life.”
Ernie Borgoyne, one of the organizers of the race, praises the course as one, “Over very rugged terrain, but cyclists will enjoy beautiful scenery.”
The course is a 15-mile loop near Pine and Strawberry and entrants may choose from three race lengths — 15 miles, 30 miles and 45 miles.
On race day, the 45-mile race begins at 7:30 a.m., the 30-mile at 7:45 a.m., and the 15-miler starts at 8 a.m.
Cyclists will compete in one of 11 age/experience divisions and 36 medals will be awarded in each division for first, second and third place.
The entry fee for the under-18-years age division is $25 if preregistered and $35 on race day. Fee for the seven adult categories is $50, but increases to $60 on race day. There will also be a three-member team competition with fees of $150 in advance and $180 on the day of the event.
For those riders with children, a Kids Day Camp will be held in Pine School on race day. The camp will be held in three sessions 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to noon and noon to 3 p.m.
The fee is $5 per session, which includes a snack. A sack lunch is also available for $3.
Teachers, aides and teenage volunteers will be on premises — at the elementary school gymnasium — from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. providing supervision for most of the day.
Camp participants should not bring electronic games, computers, cell phones and other personal electronic devices. Activities will include board games, coloring, structured activities such as “Simon Says” and a puppet show.
Also on the agenda, is a free mountain bike skills clinic for riders of all ages.
The clinic, which will be hosted by Darrin Permenter, the coach of Arizona’s Top Cat 1 mountain bike racing team begins at 2:30 p.m.
Permenter will teach a variety of skills and safety techniques. Riders must have their own bike and helmet.
In addition to the race, the clinic and the day camp, the festivities will include a concert to be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Pine School gymnasium. Performing will be the “Big Band Music Machine” and admission is $5. Children under 12 are free.
The proceeds from the mountain bike race, which is being hosted by the Pine-Strawberry Fuels Reduction Committee, will go to maintain and improve fuel breaks around the two towns.
For more information or to register, go to: fireontherim.com/default.aspx.