The Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race started in 2011 as a way to raise funds and awareness to help maintain defensible space around the mountain communities of Pine and Strawberry.

The race takes place in the Tonto National Forest to raise funds for wildfire prevention, trail advocacy, and new trail development.

This three-day event, Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15, is a family friendly festival with camping, music, food and drink.

A community dinner kicks off the event on Friday evening, with live music and a beer garden sponsored by THAT Brewery.

Food trucks, vendors, raffles and the beer garden are all available at the venue, located at the northwest corner of Bradshaw Drive and Old County Road in Pine.

Italian Feast

Attend the Fire on the Rim Ninth Annual Community Italian Feast Dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13, prepared by Chef George of the Senior Dining Hall. Follow the delicious smells to the red barn at the Mary Ellen Randall Horse Arena (corner of Old County Road and Bradshaw in Pine). Parking is nearby at the corner.

Tickets are $15 per adult and $7.50 per child and may be purchased at the dinner. This year $5 of every ticket sold goes back to the Pine Senior Program to help support the Senior Dining Hall and Meals on Wheels. The remainder of the proceeds goes to wildfire prevention through trail development in the Pine-Strawberry fuel break. Meet some of the riders, connect with friends and neighbors or make new friends at this fun, scrumptious community event.

Adding to the fun will be live music by Mighty Bison, plus a beer garden sponsored by THAT Brewery. The beer garden will feature local craft brews, including Arizona Trail Ale, which helps support the Arizona Trail.

For more information, email info@fireontherim.com.

For the kids

The Kids Korner (formerly Kids Kamp) is available during the race from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14. This is an unsupervised area in the barn where the little ones can hang out. Games and activities are available, but organizers ask that a parent stay with their child/children.

The Kids Only Mountain Bike Race is at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14 at the M.E. Randall Arena on Bradshaw in Pine. Medals will be awarded.

To register, go to www.fireontherim.com/kids-race. Check in and/or sign up before 1 p.m. on the day of the race at the Rusty Pine Cone booth.

The event is free, plus free bike helmets will be available for the first 25 to check in on race day, courtesy of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Pre-rides and the race

The complete course will be marked and open for pre-rides on Sept. 7 and 8.

A section of the course on top of Strawberry Mountain is private ranch land and will be open only for the pre-ride dates and the race.

To ride most of the course at any other time, you can bypass the private land by taking FR 428 (Hardscrabble) to Fossil Creek Road and turning right into Strawberry. Pick the course back up at the corner of Fuller and Ralls roads. You can backtrack up the mountain from there to the ranch fence to pre-ride the downhill. Otherwise just continue on toward Highway 87 and head south to the Strawberry Trailhead for the single track.

Pre-rides are not part of the organized event; it’s an opportunity for individuals to review the course on their own. Riders assume complete liability for their own safety.

Bright and early Saturday morning, Sept. 14, the bike race begins, with starting times for the 15-mile, the 30-mile and the 45-mile racers.

Schedule of Events

Friday

4 p.m., Beer garden opens

5 p.m., Italian Feast; silent auction starts

6 p.m., Late registration; packet pickup/check in; live music by Mighty Bison

8 p.m., Registration closes

Saturday

6 a.m., Late registration; packet pickup/check in; food wagons open

7:15 a.m., Registration closes

7:30 a.m., 45-mile race starts

7:45 a.m., 30-mile race starts

8 a.m., 15-mile race starts

10 a.m., Beer garden opens

11 a.m., Kids race registration opens

1 p.m., Awards ceremony

1 p.m., Kids race registration closes

2 p.m., Kids race starts

2:30 p.m., Silent auction closes

Sunday

9 a.m., Ride new sections of trail

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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