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Mountain bikers to descend on area trails

MEDICINE PARK  The premier mountain bike festival in Southwest Oklahoma returns with three days of dirt-flinging, two-wheeled action this weekend. 

The Mountain Bike Club of the Wichitas will host the sixth annual Fools Dozen Mountain Bike Festival, offering a fun-filled family-friendly weekend in the cobblestone community Friday through Sunday. Mark Ellis, group co-founder, said returning participants will easily recognize the festival this year. There haven't been many changes, but he promises plenty of excitement, starting with a thrilling night ride after dark Friday. 

"We wait until it's dark and get some headlamps on and flashlights and ride some of the easier trails," he said. "Everything will then come back and listen to Mike Hosty down at the (Park) Tavern." 

Riders are early risers, as the event picks up at 9 a.m. Saturday. Group members will lead riders on guided rides across all three race courses. Strava users can participate in rides throughout the day that will count toward their statistics. Ellis said he and other members will conceive of some "crazy shenanigans" to pull off Saturday as part of the day's events.

"We're going to have some kind of fun stuff that we're going to come up with," he said "I'm thinking games and fun competitions for everyone, like slow races, wheelies, how far you can go on a wheelie and things like that. We're just going to call it shenanigans because we don't know what stuff we're going to do yet. We might do drag races through the middle of town on our bikes for all we know."

Saturday will conclude with a concert by Cade Ross at dusk on the Main Stage. 

Sunday will be filled with races throughout the day, starting at 9 a.m. with the Kids Cup. The youth race was a new addition last year, and Ellis said it generated a lot of interest, so they decided to bring it back for another year. Young racers will depart the start line at 9 a.m. for a 1-mile race. 

Once the kids have completed their race, the Fool's Dozen Mountain Bike Race, sponsored by the Tour de Dirt, will begin around 11 a.m. with the category 3 race. This is an 11-mile race that will remain on the west side of the trail route. The category 2 race will begin shortly after and will be a 13-mile race that includes both the east and west sides of the track. Finally, the category 1 race will begin last. The category 1 race will be on the same track as the category 2, but will feature two laps instead of one. 

The Lawton Constitution

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