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4:52 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Whiskey Off-Road Demo Day, Pre-Ride Saturday in Prescott

Mountain Biking

PRESCOTT — The 2018 Whiskey Off-Road Demo Day & Unofficial Pre-Ride will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31, along 119 W. Goodwin St. downtown, allowing cyclists from around the area to test ride high-end mountain bikes from three popular manufacturers nearly a month before the race.

This year’s Whiskey Off-Road races, scheduled for April 27-29, begin in downtown Prescott before transitioning onto well-maintained trails on the Prescott National Forest and returning to the finish line at the courthouse plaza.

On Saturday, Cannondale Bicycles, Pivot Cycles and Specialized Bikes are bringing their newest fleet of bikes to Prescott for cyclists to ride for free, provided they sign a waiver and a release of liability form.

Epic Rides’ Todd Sadow said the pre-ride gives cyclists “the ideal opportunity to ride the [Whiskey Off-Road] course and become familiar with all that is important for the event weekend.”

He added that the pre-ride has no official start or finish. To register for the event early, visit epicrides.com/hailthetrail, scroll to the middle of the page and click on the orange RSVP button under Prescott, AZ, Saturday, March 31. The RSVP button reroutes you to Epic Rides’ Facebook page, where you can click on the Interested or Invite buttons.

HAIL THE TRAIL FUNDRAISER

Epic Rides on March 1 kicked off its second annual Hail the Trail fundraiser for the 2018 Whiskey Off-Road Endurance Mountain Biking race, with a goal of generating $10,000 for trail-building efforts here.

In its inaugural year, Tucson-based Epic Rides, which puts on the Whiskey Off-Road’s amateur and pro races, the Grand Junction Off-Road in Colorado, the Carson City Off-Road in Nevada and the Oz Trails Off-Road in Arkansas, said it raised more than $26,000 for the Hail the Trail program in those communities.

This year’s total fundraising goal is $40,000, an amount which Epic Rides plans to split evenly among trail-building groups in Prescott, Grand Junction, Carson City and northwest Arkansas. Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA), Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA), Muscle Powered in Carson City, and Friends of Arkansas Single-track (FAST) are the fundraiser’s beneficiaries.

Hail the Trail is supported by four high-end mountain bike manufacturers. Each manufacturer will be donating a mountain bike worth $6,000 or more to one of each of the four races. One of these four bikes that comes to Prescott will be raffled off at the end of the Whiskey Off-Road April 29. Cannondale Bicycles, Pivot Cycles and Specialized Bicycles are currently involved, along with “one more brand to be named,” Epic Rides reps say.

Cannondale’s Scalpel-Si Carbon 2 bike, Pivot’s Mach 429SL bike and the Specialized Epic Pro bike are being donated as part of this year’s Hail the Trail effort.

To buy raffle tickets, which went on sale March 8, attend Saturday’s pre-ride or visit epicrides.com/hailthetrail/. Epic Rides reps add that the more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning a bike “while enabling more trail to be constructed.”

Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.