Route 66 Rattler race back for third time

Riders gather at the start line of the 2015 Rattler race at Monolith Gardens.

Colorado River Trail Alliance/Courtesy

Riders gather at the start line of the 2015 Rattler race at Monolith Gardens.

KINGMAN – More than 200 competition cyclists are anticipated to enter the third annual Route 66 Rattler Mountain Bike Race Saturday at Monolith Gardens, a spectacularly scenic park in Coyote Pass.

The race is sponsored by the Colorado River Trail Alliance, a nonprofit group dedicated to mountain bikes and trails, and has grown in popularity each year.

The inaugural race in 2014 drew 75 entries, and 140 racers pedaled the course last year. The Bureau of Land Management, which owns Monolith Gardens, has capped the race at 250 entries.

Race day registration is 7:30-8:30 a.m., followed by the races at 9 a.m. Participants must pick up a registration packet and sign a waiver prior to the race.

The course is specially prepared for all levels of riders, running from 10 to 30 miles.

Race categories range from under-10 beginners to women’s and men’s sport and expert classes, divided by age. Entry fees are $15 for the lower levels and $40 for the more competitive categories.

All proceeds from the race go to Colorado River Trail Alliance to build, protect and maintain trails for bikers and hikers.

“The whole Monolith Gardens was built and maintained by local mountain bike enthusiasts,” said Barbara Tarin, owner of Kingman Fruit Creations and participant in the first two Rattler races.

Adolfo Rodriguez, owner of Bicycle Outfitters in Kingman, credits the alliance for developing beautiful trails in Mohave County.

“This could be the mecca of Arizona for mountain biking if we work on it,” said Rodriguez, who is originally from Venezuela. “I’m passionate about cycling and that’s the reason I moved here.”

Rodriquez said the trails at Monolith Park are rider-friendly with beautiful views. There are some technical sections with rocky areas and large boulders where riders have to be a little more advanced, he said.

Tarin is organizing a “meet and greet” spaghetti dinner at Beale Celebrations, 201 N. Fourth St., from 6-8 p.m. Friday, with former professional BMX racer Tinker Juarez as guest. Cost is $10.

Juarez has been racing mountain bikes since 1986, and has been competing as an ultra-distance road race biker since 2005.

Also attending the pre-race event is Wendy Engelberg, cofounder and director of Girlz Gone Riding, the largest group of women bike riders in the United States with 1,600 members.

Call John Myers at 330-502-8790 or go to www.bikereg.com for more registration and race information.