By Bryan Navarro
ASHLAND, Ore. — Cyclists will be swarming to Mount Ashland this weekend. Hundreds are in town for a major race down the dirt trails.
Race officials say they’re maxed to capacity, more than 300 riders are descending Mount Ashland and descending on the city; spending some of the money in Ashland, fueling up after the ride down.
Organizers say the Ashland Mountain Challenge has become a to-do race, in the biking community, drawing some world-class talent. There are riders from Arizona, Wyoming, Georgia, and as far away as Vancouver and New Zealand.
Many came into town yesterday and just about everyone we talked to say they’re camping at Emigrant Lake. One Ashland restaurant said the riders have been coming in, and the restaurant was about half bikers yesterday; and all of them were looking to fuel up.
The Ashland Mountain Challenge is a bit of a hybrid course, it has some downhill elements, some cross-country elements; a lot of open space and big sweeping turns, a change to really pick up some speed down the slopes.
While this weather doesn’t look or feel like the first few days of summer, riders say it’s perfect. Cloud cover keeps them cool and the little bit of rain makes the dirt tacky, giving them better traction.