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Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race set for Jan. 21


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – The second annual Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race is planned for Saturday, Jan. 21. This 40-mile course features a rolling start, beginning in downtown Cave Creek at the Flat Tire Bike Shop, and continues on the Maricopa Trail, ending at Lake Pleasant.

The course is designed to showcase the Maricopa Trail, which is a 300-mile trail that circles around Maricopa County and links the Valley’s regional parks. Proceeds from the race will support the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation, which is the non-profit organization that develops and maintains the trails in the regional park systems, including the Maricopa Trail.

The Prickly Pedal course is designed to showcase the Maricopa Trail’s diversity, it features several short, steep, rocky climbs and descents, with aggressive ascents, and is not for inexperienced riders, with race times averaging four to five hours, according to the race’s web site.

“Grinding it out on the flats, rocks, water, sand, mud, and roller coaster runs are all part of the fun of this challenging course,” according to its web site.

Racers and volunteers will receive a free breakfast provided by Hickman’s Egg Ranch on race day, and free entry into the after-party and award ceremony featuring a beer garden sponsored by Crescent Crown Distributing at Lake Pleasant Park’s north entrance from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

There will also be a shuttle service providing rides back to Cave Creek for racers, including a secure bike corral at Lake Pleasant to help facilitate transportation needs. The Prickly Pedal Race begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes a junior’s category for adolescents from age 13 to 18.

The Desert Foothills Mountain Bike Association is also presenting a free kids race for ages 4 to 10 on the race day, which starts at 3 p.m. in front of the main stage at the after-party at Lake Pleasant, and parents can register the day of the event. All kid participants will receive a participation medal, and awards first through third in each age category, according to DFMBA.

Last year, at the inaugural race, nearly 300 racers participated in the Prickly Pedal, and the organizers expect more racers this year with “an even better event” this year. The Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation envision the Prickly Pedal evolving into a multi-day event, drawing thousands of riders to the southwest.

“The Prickly Pedal isn’t just a great race, it’s an opportunity to support the development of a world-class 300-mile trail that rings Maricopa County and links many of its regional parks,” according to its web site.

Event registration and other details can be found at