Prickly Pedal Race puts Maricopa County Parks on the racing map


(submitted photo)

Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race (submitted photo)

Nearly 400 mountain bikers from all around the nation took the Maricopa Trail by storm on Jan. 23 in the first Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race.

The event which started at Lake Pleasant challenged riders to keep up the pace for more than 40 miles ending in Cave Creek. Additionally, families were invited to hit the trail for a shorter 5 mile race after the initial start.

“What an amazing success today’s race was and I’m absolutely thrilled to see such big participation of riders and fans come out and be a part of our first inaugural race,” stated Supervisor Andy Kunasek, District 3, in the release. “I am very confident that this annual race will only grow and expand as we add more pristine miles of Maricopa Trail for riders and hikers to enjoy.”

The trail connects all 10 county parks and stretches more than 200 miles currently with nearly 270,000 acres of natural resources open to the general public.  Race entry fees benefited the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation which works to help maintain the trail system and provide sustainable financial support for the Regional Parks.  The county parks are almost completely self-funded through entry fees and contributions, the release stated.

“This kind of premier event will showcase some of the most beautiful outdoor trails in the entire world and attract visitors and tourists, especially in the winter months” stated Mr. Kunasek, in the release.  “More importantly, we can grow this event into a multi-stage race that attracts riders from around the country.  It will benefit the parks and the business community when people stay and play in the area.”

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