Wednesday July 18, 2012 | 09:27 AM

Biking from Farmington to Waterville on smooth, paved roads as cyclists do each year during day two of the Trek Across Maine is one thing. But doing those 60 or so miles on backcountry trails, through woods and over tree roots and other natural obstacles, is something totally different.

That's what riders in the Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge 60-mile Endurance Race will be dealing with on Sunday when they hit the start line for the 7 a.m. event. According to organizer Kimberly Truskowski, it will take between 5 and 10 hours for competitors to finish, but it will be well worth it.

"It's just a wonderful thing to just be a part of seeing the people who are so proud of themselves - and they should be - when they cross the finish line," she said.

The event, which had 122 registrants as of Tuesday, is put on by the Carrabassett Region chapter of the New England Mountain Biking Association with a huge boost from the town of Carrabassett Valley and its landowners.

Unlike many mountain bike races, this course doesn't feature laps. The 60 miles are all unique and the course is specific to this event.

"We've worked with landowners that don't otherwise have mountain biking on their property," Truskowski said. "(Riders) do not repeat the same terrain twice."

The event starts and finishes at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. Click here to watch a video of last year's event.

According to Truskowski handouts will be available at the event's registration table with info on spots on the race course where spectators can cheer on competitors.

In addition to the 60-miler (for which registration closes today), there's also a 25-mile event beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. The shorter distance is for those who want to get a taste of an endurance event. Registration continues until just before race time for the 25-miler with a fee of $55 per rider.

Proceeds from the event go right back to the CRNEMBA chapter to build more trails in the area.

The Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge is part of the New England Endurance Series, which also includes the Hampshire 100 on Aug. 19 in Greenfield, N.H., and the Peak 6/12/24 MTB Race on Sept. 8-9 in Pittsfield, Vt. Riders can accumulate points in the series or just ride for their own enjoyment and personal best time.


About the Author

Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for

Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.

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