WEST CHAZY - Despite dealing with heavy bouts of rain during two grand openings, the Adirondack Bike Ranch still gets the mountain bikers to come out and trudge through.
The ABR, a new trail system that was the brainchild of Paul Maggy, had their first grand opening April 18, which brought nearly 40 people out to enjoy the miles of trails created by Maggy and many volunteers. Due to rain, the party ended early, but many returned May 9 to enjoy a second grand opening and the beginning of the race series planned throughout the summer. However, rain still had to make its appearance.
"Saturday, again the weather wasn't very good but we did get a pretty good turnout," said Maggy.
"We race in the rain ... mountain biking is about getting dirty," Maggy added. "That's just part of it. Dirt, mud and fun."
Since the first grand opening, ABR has been taking strides to be as professional as possible and keep building in numbers.
"A new, very interactive Web site with a forum and everything so people can rattle out what they want to see out here, where they want to meet, what days they want trail riding, stuff like that," explained Maggy, who said the ranch aims to draw people from other areas. "We want to make this a destination for a mountain bike vacation, so we need to look professional, be professional, act professional."
Following last Saturday's event - which consisted of advanced and beginner races for men and women and a special race for kids - bikers stayed to talk about the trail system and what they hope to see in the future.
"That was just kind of a [Northern Adirondack Mountain Bike Association} appreciation time after the race," said Maggy, who solicited feedback from riders. "It was just for us to get to know all the members."
NAMBA is "an association of mountain bike enthusiasts with all levels of experience, who want to share their love for off-road mountain bike riding," according to the bike ranch's Web site, www.adkbikeranch.com. It allows people to pay a yearly fee of $25 per person or $35 for a family to be able to enjoy the trails at their leisure and be covered by insurance.
"It's been amazing. We have over 80 members now," said Maggy. "Every week I mean we're still adding to the list. We get members showing up daily."
"It's a great deal and we're really seeing [an] amazing response," he added.
In the future, the bike ranch will be hosting group races and other types of races, including their weekly race series every Tuesday night. Races will include the same as those held last Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. with the kid's race at 5:30 p.m. ABR may eventually add two more races - men's masters and women's masters.
"[The race series] is a grassroots series for fun," explained Maggy. "What we're trying to do is build a group of people that want to get out and do this and we find that mountain biking is kind of competitive, so having a local race series gets the locals out, competing against each other, more for bragging rights and all of that."
Anytime someone competes in the race they will get a ticket for a drawing for a mountain bike, which will be chosen at the end of the season in late August or early September. The person who comes in first place in the race will receive three more tickets, second place will receive two and third place will receive one.
"The more you come, the better your chances are [of winning]," said Maggy.
The ABR is located at 90 Blue Chip Way, one-half mile off Military Turnpike. For more information, visit www.adkbikeranch.com.