HELENA – Leaders with York Fire-Rescue are making the final preparations for the annual York 38 Special mountain bike ride and fundraiser.
Rita Naylor, the event coordinator, said 160 people have already registered for Saturday’s ride – about 20 more than the total number of participants last year.
“160 pre-registrations is just wonderful,” she said.
The 38-mile course starts at the York fire station, runs north to Nelson, then loops back through national forest land. Riders have an option to go through Trout Creek Canyon or Beartrap Canyon.
In addition to the main race, there will be several cyclocross riders traveling the 38-mile loop twice. There will also be a 13-mile long “Family Fun Ride.”
The 38 Special – along with the annual York Fest, held Sept. 15 – is one of the biggest fundraisers for York Fire-Rescue, an all-volunteer department that serves about 110 square miles. The money they raise through the ride has helped pay for equipment and training the department couldn’t afford otherwise.
“We have a limited budget,” said Naylor. “It’s important to have these fundraisers, because the budget covers the essential items, and then the fundraisers cover what we would like to do.”
York Fire-Rescue is currently looking at building a new fire station to serve the Eldorado Heights area, which now has nearly half the district’s residents. Naylor said they are in discussions about it with the U.S. Forest Service.
More than 50 volunteers will be on hand Saturday morning to assist with the 38 Special ride.
“The support is wonderful,” said Naylor. “We have EMTs from other fire departments that help us out, our whole fire department is involved in it, and we have a whole bunch of community volunteers. I can coordinate the ride all I want, but the volunteers – they rock.”
You can still sign up for the ride on Saturday, before 9 a.m. The registration fee will be $60. Registration for the Family Fun Ride will be $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under and $50 for a family of five or more.
You can find more information on the ride at the event’s website.