Wet and Wild

Cyclists gear up for two days of muddy, rough-terrain action.

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If you’re heading out to this weekend’s Big Valley Race mountain-bike trek, you may want to bring your rubbers. “It’s poured four out of the five years we’ve put on this event,” sighs organizer Kevin Daum. Still, adverse weather hasn’t stopped cyclists from descending on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s 600-acre Camp Manatoc for the annual fave. In fact, approximately 500 people from all over the country showed up last year.

The two-day event includes clinics, kids’ activities, and competitive races. The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association leads group rides and offers basic bike tips. And reps from some of the top manufacturers show off their latest bikes. Plus, there’s a swap meet where you can buy and sell gear. Things kick off this morning with rides aimed at women, children, and casual bikers. Tomorrow’s outing takes place on a more challenging course, which features plenty of raging rivers and rough trails. Riders have to watch out for each other, says Daum, since everyone’s pedaling pretty close to each other on the route’s narrow path. “With mountain biking, you’re dealing with more terrain,” he says. “With road racing, you’re dealing with pack skills.” www.bigvalleyrace.com.
Sun., Sept. 9, 8:30 a.m.; Mon., Sept. 8, 10 a.m., 2007

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