By Bill Choy
Bike enthusiasts will have the opportunity to test their riding skills at the Battle of the Border bike event this weekend.
The two-day race consists of four stages.
On Saturday, race participants will meet at Redwood School in Fort Dick and start a 6-mile individual time trial beginning at 8:30 a.m. A mandatory meeting for participants will begin at 8:15 a.m.
Afterward, participants will take part in a challenging 7-mile hill climb in Brookings starting at Loeb Park at 1 p.m.
On Sunday, a 16-mile road race starting on Winchuck Road in Brookings will take place at 8 a.m.
At 1 p.m., the race concludes with a 12-mile individual time trial starting at Morehead Road in Fort Dick.
This is the second year of the Battle of the Border event, which is sponsored by the Wild Rivers Multi Sports group.
Race director Shawn Burke said 25 people took part last year and hopes to have 35 to 50 participants this year. Sign-ups for the race will be accepted until the day of the race.
Burke said race officials will be at Redwood School starting at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
"It's a challenge," Burke said about the race. "It's a great springboard to get into shape."
He said all different levels and age groups are encouraged to take part. There will be a junior division for those 16 and under.
The public is welcome to watch the races, Burke said, adding many spectators observed the event last year.
A popular spot to watch the riders last year was the hill climb starting at Loeb Park, Burke said. Many people cheered on the participants as they made the grueling climb up the hill.
"It was nice to have spectators cheering the riders on," he said. "It was really exciting."
The cost to participate is $30 per person. For more information go to www. wildriversmul
Also, members of the Wild Rivers Sports team have recently participated at a run and at a triathlon.
On April 12, Wild Rivers team members took part in the Pear Blossom Festival in Medford, Ore.
Some of the top age group finishers included Shawn Burke, who was third in his age group with a time of 1:04:01; Linda Bundell was fourth in her age group with 1:15:23; and Russ Burnette was fifth at 1:16:16.
Last weekend, four team members participated in the Albany Triathlon in Oregon in near freezing temperatures, snow, and hail, with a bit of sun at the end of the morning. Michael Saberr, Burnette, Don Hartley, and Susan Roberts brought home three first place finishes and one second place finish in their age groups.
Three Wild Rivers team members will take part in the USAT National Triathlon Championship in September: Bundell (who will be at the World Championships in in June), Burke, and Roberts.