Avid bikers will turn to their hobby of mountain biking to get the chains moving and wheels spinning again.
After sitting through pulse-ending classes, balancing work schedules and crashing classes, many will make the journey to Parkfield for the 2008 Parkfield Classic Mountain Bike Race beginning Friday.
The event, a National Off-Road Bicycle Association and 2008 collegiate race, is one of the most popular racing events in the state and is put on by the Cal Poly Wheelmen Club, its sponsors and 60 volunteers.
The club holds a major event like The Parkfield Classic every year and expects this year’s to bring in a record number of riders.
For several months the club has planned and worked to continue the annual event that includes downhill, cross country, dual slalom and short-track competitions in which awards are presented to the top three riders in each category.
The improved dual slalom course will have riders race on separate tracks throughout the whole course, a difference expected to attract more riders. Modifications have also been made to the downhill course in attempts to perfect it.
“The dual slalom course is better, we’ve made changes to other courses and we’ve advertised more this year, so this event should be our best one yet,” said Parkfield Classic co-director and mechanical engineering sophomore Marcel Stieber.
Stieber also mentioned that the weather should not be a problem this year, unlike last, when event times had to be switched due to rain. Still, last year’s event as a whole still went on with 533 race entries, a number that should go up with the course improvements and better forecast.
Registration opens for all races at 6 p.m. Friday and the events start Saturday morning and continue through Sunday.
Fees for the races vary depending on the type of race, skill level of the individual and the number of races entered.
The event location is 30 minutes northeast of Paso Robles, and just outside Parkfield, on the V6 ranch grounds.
Gates to the V6 ranch will open at 4 p.m. Friday, when riders will be allowed to set up camp at $10 per vehicle. Lodging is also available.