MOUNTAIN BIKING — The annual 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race is gearing up for another extravaganza of solo and team efforts supported by one of the biggest campouts of friends and dirtbaggers of the season May 25-26 at Riverside State Park.
The Seven Mile airtrip area of the park fills on the eve of the race with hundreds of bikes along with tents, RV’s, trailers and cyclists from around the country. The event begins with a La Mans start at noon May 25. Riders complete as many 15-mile dirt-trail laps before the event 24 hours later.
Read on for details from the sponsor, Round and Round Productions.
The competition is divided into team and solo categories.
Teams consist of from 2 to 10 people, and the solo divisions are for men 39 years of age and younger, men 40-49 and men 50+ as well as solo women and solo single speed. Local solo riders who will ride the entire 24 hours by themselves, accruing upwards of 200 miles, include Simon Hart, riding for Two Wheeler Dealer and Zachary Zorrozua. Spokane Valley Fire Department will compete in the Police, Fire and Military division.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top solo riders. In addition to cash earnings, medals and other prized awards, teams participate in the “Best Campsite/Team Name” award. The usually silent and empty airfield transforms overnight into a scene from “Mash” or a much gentler version of “Woodstock.” Teams will bring couches, stoves, carpet, and other indoor/outdoor memorabilia to adorn their campsite area. As a sample, here are a couple of catchy team names:
Vintner of Discontent, Beauty and the Beasts (coed team), Mud, Sweat and Tears, 2 dudes and a Chamois, Holy Shift, Megasoreass, Ride It Like You Stole It, and Cyclosomatic Cycology.
Each lap is approximately 15 miles long with terrain consisting of 1150 feet of elevation gain, some gnarly technical sections with names like Devil’s Up and Devil’s Down. This year, the infamous “Little Vietnam” section, which takes riders right down to a rocky single track section just a foot or so away from the Spokane River, will be usable, after several years of being under water.
The event is free to spectators. The big Le Mans starts (riders park their bikes and run a small ¼ mile loop, then scramble for their bikes and are off!) at noon on Saturday, and the thundering finish is noon on Sunday. Full details online at www.roundandround.com.