Fifty miles for the Fourth |

Fifty miles for the Fourth

Shauna Farnell

BRECKENRIDGE – There won’t be any firecrackers launching this holiday, but the spectacle of several hard-core mountain bikers embarking on a 50-mile ride might be the next best thing to start a parade.

The Firecracker 50 mountain bike race returns Thursday for its second year, and organizers are much more excited about dirt than fireworks this Fourth of July.

“The coolest thing, first of all, is that the race leads the Fourth of July parade down (Breckenridge) Main Street,” said Jeff Westcott of Maverick Sports. “They go real slow behind a police car until the end of the street, when the police car moves out of the way and the race begins. Then, the course is truly epic. And it’s in great shape.”

The course begins on Boreas Pass Road, and ascends to single-track at Bakers Tank. It then loops around to Sally Barber Mine and Baldy Mountain, over Carter Park and down a new trail – “Jack’s Cruel Joke” – before eventually making its way to Stephen C. West Ice Arena, where a second 25-mile loop begins. Each loop involves 5,800 feet of climbing.

“It’s neat to have this athletic event start off everyone’s Fourth of July,” Westcott said. “It’s the first thing parade spectators see.”

The Firecracker 50 race is for experienced mountain bikers. Pre-registration is available from 5 to 8 tonight at A Racer’s Edge in Breckenridge. Registration is $57 per rider doing the 50 miles or $110 for teams of two. A 13-mile “Sparkler” course is available for beginners and juniors for $40 per racer, and riders ages 12 and under race free. Race-day registration is an additional $5. Registration includes a T-shirt, socks and a post-race meal at the Riverwalk Center. There are also four aid stations with refreshments along the course. Racers must be ready to kick off the parade at 11 a.m. Thursday. For a course map or more information, visit, or call (970) 390-8360.

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