It’s time to get out riding and training for the sixth annual Pedal by the Puddle mountain biking event, happening Sunday, June 9.
Event organizer Ivor McMahen said more than 150 riders from around the province of all abilities will take part in an “enduro” format event, which takes place over six hours on a 10-kilometre loop on Williams Lake’s classic singletrack on South Lakeside.
The object of the event is to complete as many laps as you can before the end of the event, but the main purpose of the day is to have some fun riding the trails and to connect with other members of the mountain biking community.
“There’s also a category for the hardcore riders, but most people will do it as a relay team of two riders,” McMahen said. “Team members take turns riding so only one member of the team is on the course at any one time, which means you’re not riding all day and have time to relax and socialize.
“The course on South Lakeside is some of the best of Williams Lake’s famous singletrack.”
For those familiar with the trail network the route includes sections of Rotnee, Twizzler, Cabin Loop, the South Lakeside Ridge, Moose Drops, the old Gun-A-Noot downhill, Guiness and Leppard Spots.
Last year overall entries were 165.
Also, like past Pedal by the Puddles, kids of all ages will be able to get in on the action in the “Mini-Pedal” — a short, easy event with the emphasis on participation and fun.
This year special guest announcer Brett Tippie is returning. Originally from Kamloops Tippie is a freeride mountain biking legend and, more recently, has moved into event announcing having emceed such noted events as the Whistler Crankworx.
“His unique and lively style always makes for an entertaining day,” McMahen said.
The event is open to anyone of any age who wants to enter; however, some degree of experience riding mountain bike trails is necessary for you to enjoy the course safely, McMahen added.
“Most of the course is rolling singletrack, and it is a loop which finishes where it starts, so there is uphill riding involved,” he said. “There are no jumps, apparatus or drop-offs. However, some sections are somewhat technical and steep.”
Directions to the course start are posted on the event website at www.pedalbythepuddle.weebly.com. The course is already marked with race logo signs for anyone interested in taking a test ride.
“There’s no rule against walking a difficult section during the event if you want to play it safe,” he said.
McMahen added the enduro format aims to encourage the participation from as wide as possible a range of rider experience and abilities — especially riders who may have never raced before but are looking to challenge themselves in a non-intimidating environment.
“Each year we have had more than 20 riders who had never been in any kind of organized cycling event before, and all have a good time,” he said. “The goal for the day is for everyone to have a good ride, challenge themselves, and have fun. It’s a great way to have a fun, social day with lots of fresh air and exercise.”
Net proceeds from the race will be donated to local charities, and volunteer positions are available.
“An event like this depends on volunteers and we strive to make volunteering an enjoyable experience,” McMahen said. “There are a number of social and fun volunteer jobs available and no experience is required.”
To volunteer contact Scott Gordon at 250-392-5177 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the complex timing system involved with the enduro format of the race, riders must be entered into the system ahead of time so no race-day entries will be accepted. Deadline for registration is Friday, June 7.
Race start is 10 a.m. Sunday, June 9. Riders are asked to be there by 8:30 a.m. to register, get set up for the day and to get final instructions.
For more information, including a video of parts of the course, visit www.pedalbythepuddle.weebly.com.