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The madness is transplanted

Shauna Farnell

It’s the time of year when it’s hard to tell if there are more cars passing through Summit County wielding boards or bikes.

Even if there are a few more days to go before the boards get put away for the season, local cyclists are scheduling trips to Moab and tuning their gear for the season.

The Knorr House has been tucked away to history as a bike shop legend in Breckenridge, but a part of the legend will live on with the Moab Madness party.

The party, which has served as the annual Summit County inauguration into bike season for the past 10-plus years at the Knorr House, has been transplanted to A Racer’s Edge in Breck and will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday.

“We wanted to keep it on Main Street,” said Greg Guras, owner of A Racer’s Edge. “What it is is revitalizing the madness. It’s a gathering for locals to circle around the bike season. We thought it was something that should be continued.”

Not only is Moab Madness the first opportunity for local bike enthusiasts to start planning singletrack strategies over beer and food and land some new gear in the raffle, it’s also the first chance for young riders to sign up for the all-new Mountain Bike Little League program.

Last year, Maverick Sports Promotions became the governing body for the Summit Mountain Challenge (SMC) Series – the cross-country mountain bike race series that will begin its 17th year this summer. When race registration became free for junior racers last summer, the series saw participation more than double from the first race in June to the last in September, according to Mike McCormack of Maverick Sports.

“The kids in town are such a great community of athletes,” McCormack said. “They’ve grown up skiing, and it’s helped them know how to pick a line and shift their weight. We have these really well-established ski clubs for kids, but not much on mountain biking. Our last three races of the series (last year) saw record junior fields in each successive race. We’re building upon an extremely successful season in terms of junior racing by implementing this new and exciting program. What we really want to do is educate kids about their greater responsibility in terms of stewardship of the environment.”

The Summit Fat Tire Society and the Breckenridge Recreation Center will help coordinate the Little League program, which will offer free entry to juniors – 7- to 17-year-old riders – in all SMC races this season. Moab Madness will be the first of several sign-up days for the program, which will include a team assignment and jersey for each junior and an environmental education in the form of four trail-building days throughout the summer.

“We’ll provide food and drink for the kids and give them cool, tangible projects to work on,” McCormack said. “Stuff like bridges – things that are hardwired into the trail so they can look at them with pride for years to come and say, “I built that.'”

The two key purposes of Mountain Bike Little League is to teach children responsible use and maintenance of trails as well as “keeping it fun and interesting” – encourage kids to stick with the sport.

The cost for the Little League is $30 per child for the entire season and includes a team jersey, entry to the seven SMC races, awards and meals at the four trail-work days. For more information on the Little League, visit http://www.mavsports.com or call (970)390-8360.

Moab Madness is free and open to the public. Raffle tickets will be available for $1 with proceeds benefitting the Little League. Prizes include two nights lodging in Moab. Riders can also purchase their Summit Mountain Challenge season passes and pick up race schedules. The party begins at 5 p.m. at A Racer’s Edge.


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