Pigs stink. But that doesn’t stop mountain bikers from going to the Pig Farm.
Just north of Farm To Market Pork, nestled between the Lodgepole Pine trees and rock cliffs of Tally Lake, are miles of rolling single-track dirt trails known collectively as the Pig Farm. And on Saturday, June 21, Great Northern Cycles and Farm to Market Pork will host the first annual Granja del Cerdo – Spanish for Pig Farm – mountain bike race on those trails.
The impetus, according to race director Craig Prather, was to create a competitive race while maintaining a festival-type atmosphere. Often, Prather said, people are intimidated by the thought of entering a race, but that is exactly what Prather is trying to steer away from. Once the pig theme was established, Prather gladly went with it.
“We wanted to have a race that wasn’t taken so seriously,” he said. “Something that wasn’t run of the mill.”
Granja del Cerdo is not your ordinary race. As if chewing gum while walking wasn’t hard enough to master, now try cramming a hot dog down your throat while your legs are in constant motion. That’s what riders do on the technical part of the course where they have to stuff their faces while staying upright. But don’t worry, Prather says, if you’re not a carnivore, soy dogs will be on site.
The terrain at the Pig Farm is a mix of interconnected rolling single-track trails that, if the sun does not remain your guide, can be a tad confusing. Race competitors, though, won’t need a compass – just an appetite. Categories for men and women are split into expert, sport, beginner and first-time, as well as a single-speed race which Prather says is increasing in popularity.
“Single-speed bikes are a pure form of riding,” Prather said. “They offer a challenge in efficiency; you only have one speed.”
Finally, in keeping with the pig theme there is even a division for the potbelly, or what is being called the “porker” division for anyone over 180 pounds. Both the single speed and porker divisions are free to riders who have already competed in a prior race.
Prizes will also be awarded to contestants sporting costumes in the spirit of the event.
Pigs, in general, aren’t much heralded – certainly not for their aroma. And if the wind is blowing from the south at the Pig Farm, like it does from time to time, you might just get a waft. After all, Farm to Market Pork is just down the road.
But during Granja del Cerdo, the only pig you’ll smell is one that’s already been to market, which is good news for the victors. The talented few who maneuver through the technical portion of the course, in between bites of hot dog and gasps for air, will be rewarded with various cuts of meat: pork, bacon, SPAM, hot dogs, chops and loins. Men and women in the expert division will also receive a cash prize while competitors in other events will get a cut of meat and a ribbon.
“We hope it’s well-received by the community,” Prather said. “This first year is about giving people a ‘taste’ of the type of event we would like to put on.”
Granja del Cerdo
Date: June 21
Where: Pig Farm
Registration: 8 to 10:30 a.m.
Entrance Fee: $25
Contact: Craig Prather at 862-5321
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