The event, sponsored by Gray Head Development and the Paragon Racing Team, is a throwback to grassroots local mountain bike racing of yesteryear. Says Paragon Racing Team member and one of the event's many organizers, Forrest Twombly, "It's almost like the Lunar Cup of bike racing in Telluride. It's all about fun, and getting out and commingling with some other local and regional riders in a beautiful setting."
The course indeed affords some of the best riding and most dramatic views the area has to offer, as the seven-mile loop awards riders with stunning Mt. Wilson views, up-close-and-personal jaunts with Willow Creek's pools and waterfalls, scenic sections through old-growth pine forests, and more. The loop begins and ends at the Gray Head Owner's Cabin. Riders competing in the beginner's category will take just one tour of the course, while riders in the sport category will make two laps and those in the expert pro group will make three laps.
Twombly says Gold Rush organizers hope to offer a Kid's Race this year, dependent on the number of youngsters that register. "We're hoping there will be enough interest in the younger ages that we'll be able to offer a shorter kid's loop," he says. "We want to push the family friendly image of this event. It's the kind of race where you can make the experience what you want it to be whether a fun one-loop jaunt or a challenging three-loop race."
In the spirit of the ever-popular Lunar Cup summer ski race, Gold Rush organizers are planning to award a Best Costume prize for the most flamboyantly attired rider.
Event sponsors Smuggler's Brewing Company, Cindy Bread, Gray Head, Paragon Ski and Sport, Telluride Coffee Company, and Powerbar have all donated food and beverages or raffle prizes to give away at the post-race barbecue party at the Gray Head Owner's Cabin.
The $30 entry fee ($35 to register on race day) includes access to the race, home-cooked barbecue lunch, beer donated by Smuggler's, commemorative T-shirt, and a shot at some of the raffle prizes. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday; participants can register online at www.active.com or at Paragon Ski and Sport on main street.
There will be maps of the course available at Paragon for those wishing to pre-ride the course.
For questions or more information call Lara Young at 708-0308, email Twombly at email@example.com or visit www.active.com.
Twombly adds that the event is in need of a few good volunteers. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt, lunch and beer for their efforts. Email Twombly to sign-on as a volunteer.