A combination of risk and reward, the city's premier mountain bike race, the Laramie Enduro takes place this Saturday July 30th.

The 72.5 mile course is rough, a route filled with holes, areas of deep sand, loose gravel, fallen logs and the occasional cross traffic wildlife. To this daunting list, you can add water crossings, barbed-wire fences, gates, roots, steep descents and steep climbs, not to mention the erosion caused by this year’s considerable run-off.

Though it is not a race for the faint of heart, the Laramie Enduro is a chance to ride nearly every kind of mountainous terrain. Never covering the same ground twice, racers will ride through aspen and pine forests, over grassy plains and through the Vedauwoo Recreation Area.

The race starts and finishes at the Hidden Valley Picnic Area and is permitted in cooperation with and under authorization of the USFS – Medicine Bow National Forest. The proceeds from the event benefit the Albany County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Medicine Bow Mountain Bike Patrol.

In addition to the challenges of the race itself, race coordinators and volunteers are doing everything they can to make the event as environmentally friendly as possible. For the end of race festivities, which include hot food, cold beer and the announcement of race results and prizes, all participants are asked to bring along non-disposable plates, cups and utensils.

With a pleasant weather forecast, the help of many volunteers and 500 mountain bikers ready to compete, this year’s Laramie Enduro promises to be a great success.

If you’d like to see the variety of terrain experienced on this course, check out this video of last year’s Enduro, taken by Jess Watts.

Update: Comments from the participants indicate that the race went well. It's an event that relies on committed volunteers and attentive planning and the racers are not shy about showing their appreciation. One out-of-towner's feedback was high praise for the people and the event:

"Thanks for the great race. I can’t fault a single thing. Fantastic course with perfect variety, great aid stations, volunteers, location, etc. The organizers provide great communication and details before the race, and the entry fee was very reasonable, It was an awesome time! The folks in Laramie do things right. I will be back!"

Check out the 2011 Official Race Results

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