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24-hour cycling event rolls into desert

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24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

24-hour cycling event rolls into desert

Proceeds donated to Arizona Cancer Center

  • A photo from the top of the rock drop at the event in 2011.
    crosby_cj/flickrA photo from the top of the rock drop at the event in 2011.
  • The 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo's proceeds will benefit the Arizona Cancer Center.
    Epic RidesThe 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo's proceeds will benefit the Arizona Cancer Center.

The quiet of the Sonoran Desert will be interrupted by the sounds of whirring bicycle spokes and crackling campfires this weekend when 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo rolls into town.

More than 3,500 people are expected to gather in the desert for the 13th annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo bike race. The mountain biking gathering is one of the largest of its kind in the world, according to the website.

When the pistol fires at noon Saturday the racers will set off on foot and run 400 yards before reaching their bikes. Then, both individuals and relay teams will blaze the trail for 24 hours until noon on Sunday. Each lap is 16.1 miles and climbs 1,200 feet in elevation.

A 24-hour crowd will pop up surrounding the start/finish area. A camping area will house resting cyclists, friends and fans.  Fires will be allowed in above-ground fireplaces and a makeshift Main Street will be the center for shopping and food.

The main drag will be lined with purveyors of various cycling gear, specialty supplements . It’s a Mecca of all things related to serious and recreational cycling. Tunes from 91.3 KXCI will fill the temporary town for the 24 hours of the event.

A few of Tucson’s food trucks like Mafooco, Cyclopsicle and Seis Curbside Kitchen, are all making the trek to the desert.

Behind the camping, cycling and festivities is a greater cause.

All proceeds from the $5 general admission fees will benefit the University of Arizona Cancer Center.  A canned-food donation of at least two items also is required for admission. The donations will benefit the Mammoth Community Food Bank. Participants also raised money through Rideathon program, which facilitated sponsor donation for each lap completed.

A Kona King Kahuna mountain bike valued at over $3,000 will also be raffled to raise money. Each raffle ticket is $20 or six tickets for $100 and can be bought at the event or online.


If you go

  • What: Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Bike Race
  • Where: Willow Springs Ranch
  • When: Race begins noon Saturday and ends at noon Sunday
  • Cost: Registration is closed, but admission is $5 per person plus two canned-food items. There is a $20 fee for RVs. For other large vehicles, like trailers, pop-ups, 5th wheels and toy haulers: 30 feet or less is $20 and for 31 feet or greater, it's $21 plus 72 canned-good items

How to get there

From I-10, exit Ina Road, travel east five miles to Oracle Road, turn left at Willow Springs Road (mile marker 96). Travel 9.3 miles on the dirt road and turn left, cutting back and downward toward the power lines. Turn left after 1.6 miles to the start/finish line.

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