Local and distant mountain bikers will give it their all during this year’s Tommyknocker10 race on Saturday, and while online registration is already closed, riders still have the chance to register tonight at Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery downtown.
The race started as an unofficial event four years ago — like more of a test run.
“Everyone who watched it agreed it was a great thing for the area,” said Martyn Pearson, one of two owners of Gila Hike and Bike and a member of the Silver City Cycling Group.
Seth Bush, race director and owner of Zia Rides, the company that is organizing Tommyknocker, said this is the third official year of the race.
“The idea was to hold an event that showcases trails,” he said.
The race begins at 8 a.m. and finishes at 6 p.m., and the course covers several trails in the Fort Bayard Trail System. More than 250 people are expected to compete on the 12-mile course, and in those 12 miles, racers can compete solo or as a team, aiming to finish as many laps as possible in 10 hours.
Even though there are prizes for first, second and third in multiple categories, some folks just sign up and head out on the course to have a good time.
“You have mountains in the background, meadows,” Bush said. “It’s not super difficult, so it is very accessible to anybody. It’s fun and fast.”
The Silver City Cycling Group has a volunteer agreement with the Forest Service, Pearson said, that allows them to prepare the course in advance of the race.
“We are able to get out and do the work that needs to be done,” he said.
Food trucks will be at the event, along with a DJ who will be playing from 4 to 8 p.m. Many out-of-town participants will stay in hotels, while others will come in their RVs and tents to camp out.
“A big fire will be going, and people can come to hang out, drink beers or sodas to enjoy the day,” Bush said.
He said that while there is a good showing of locals, most of the participants come from out of town, bringing people to restaurants and shopping at stores. The number of participants is lower so far this year, but that could be because of this year’s abundance of snowfall in the Rockies.
“People are still focused on skiing,” Bush said.
As for the future of Tommyknocker, the event is evaluated based on the success and results from the previous year, said Bush. So, no decision has been made about whether the race will return for 2020.
Participants will receive their race numbers, T-shirts and “other pieces part of the event” tonight at Little Toad Creek, located at 200 N. Bullard St., from 5 to 9 p.m. Folks can enter the race there as well.
C.P. Thompson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.