“I’ll be turning the wrench,” said local bike shop owner Phil Ryder.
Ryder, of Hike, Bike and Run fame, will have a booth at the second annual Fire on the Rim mountain bike race in Pine this weekend, instead of entering the race.
Ryder is quite the mountain biker himself, but he prefers to help instead of participate this year.
“Somebody has to fix the bikes,” he said.
Ryder’s booth will have the tools available to do basic bike repairs and will offer free water bottles.
He says the event is turning into quite the weekend festival.
By noon on Friday the campsite opens. That night, participants can “carb up” at a spaghetti dinner hosted by race organizers (check on ticket availability with Ernie Borgoyne at 602-571-7983), enjoy live music by local band Junction 87, a beer garden, and bonfire while camping across from the starting line.
Saturday, the festivities continue with the awards ceremony, a demonstration by AZ Devo in the afternoon and by 5 p.m. the John Scott band will start playing.
“Most of my friends from the Valley are turning this into a whole weekend thing,” said Ryder, “Mountain bikers like to have a good time.”
Local rider and middle school science teacher Scott Davidson spent this past weekend pre-riding the course.
“The back side was a little muddy, but the forecast calls for it to dry out by the weekend,” he said.
Davidson said those that are strong road riders should do well. The course has lots of single track and nice steeps. Some might find the amount of street in the trail a little disappointing, but the technical parts make up for the ease.
Davidson also spent weeks prior to the race fixing up the trail.
“We did a lot of work on the Pine-Strawberry trail,” said Davidson, “A lot of the water bars broke up the flow and made it difficult to ride.”
He plans on turning this weekend into a three-day event even bringing his wife and 3-year-old son.
“If they have a race for the kids, I might enter him. He’s already raced once before,” he said.
Friday, Sept. 14
Noon - Campsites open
4 p.m. - Beer Garden Opens
5 p.m. - Spaghetti Dinner/Junction 87 concert
6-8 p.m. - Late registration
Saturday, Sept. 15
6-7 a.m. - Registration
7:30 a.m. - 45-mile race starts
7:45 a.m. - 30-mike race starts
8 a.m. - 15- mile race starts
11 a.m. - Beer garden opens
Noon - Silent auctions
2 p.m. -Awards, raffle drawing
3 p.m. AZ Devo trail clinic.
5 p.m. John Scott Band
Sunday, Sept. 16
6 a.m. - Food wagons open
10 a.m. - Kid’s race start - a special course set up at Pine Elementary School.
10 a.m. - Cabin loop fun ride - Leave from Forest Road 300, off Highway 87 north of Strawberry and shuttle to the loop.
3 p.m. - Campsites close
Camping is available across the road from the race’s new start/finish at the Mary Ellen Randall Arena, 6000 Bradshaw Drive in Pine. There is no cost to camp on the private land donated for use in this event. Campgrounds open at noon on Friday.
Food and drink
Carb-up Friday evening with a home cooked spaghetti dinner starting at 5 p.m. at the venue. Cost is $5 a plate and all proceeds go to wildfire prevention and trail development in the Pine-Strawberry fuel break.
One of the Rim Country’s most popular bands, Junction 87, plays Friday evening on the heels of touring in Japan. On Saturday evening, local blues band the John Scott Band.
Hike Bike and Runs new owner Phil Ryder will offer basic bike repairs at the venue. Other vendors include High Altitude Sports Massage and Flagstaff Sports Massage.
Two bicycles are being raffled.
Certified childcare specialists are available Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to watch children while parents race. Cost per child is $5 for the 15-mile race, $7.50 for the 30-mile race and $10 for the 45-mile race.