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Cave Creek to be finish line in Prickly Pedal bike race


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – Downtown Cave Creek will serve as the finish line for the first inaugural Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race on the Maricopa Trail, taking place on Saturday, Jan. 23. An expected 300 bicyclists from around the Valley will traverse a 50-mile course through the Sonoran Desert.

The race, which has been 15 years in the making, will start in Lake Pleasant, cross through Peoria, the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, and finish in the town’s core, where Four Peaks Brewing Company will be hosting a free after party with a beer garden. There is quite an elevation change and a nice combination of technically challenging segments, and portions where riders can pick up the speed and make up miles quickly.

“We don’t think there could be a better finish line than this, for our first inaugural race,” said County Supervisor Andy Kunasek in the town council meeting on Nov. 2.

The Prickly Pedal will also feature a Fun Ride for families and intermediate cyclists who want to participate. The seven-mile ride starts in Spur Cross Ranch at 10 a.m. with shuttle services provided back to the starting line. Proceeds from the race support the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation, an organization that provides support for the Maricopa Regional Trail System.

Participants can register and receive details about the race at

“A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it,” said Kunasek. “It wouldn’t have happened without Cave Creek and other dedicated people in the community.”

The Prickly Pedal Race is meant to highlight the Maricopa Trail, which connects the county’s 10 regional parks by forming a ring around the Valley and is more than 213 miles long currently. When the Maricopa Trail is completed, it will be 310 miles long, and Kunasek plans on the race growing with the trail.

“As I tell our sponsors, this is going to be bigger than Phoenix Open someday,” he said.