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It is time once again for the 12 Hours of Disco Mountain Bike Endurance Race. This will only be the eventís third year and it has already achieved a listing on Singletrackís state by state list of Top Mountain Bike Trails in the United States of America. In a separate listing Discovery Hill is rated as one of Idahoís best cycling opportunities.

An additional nod to the caliber of this event comes from our next door neighbor. According to Max Lohmeyer, President of the Salmon Mountain Bike Association, the 12 Hours of Disco Endurance Race is being used by the Montana Mountain Bike Racing Association as that stateís championship event for Montana ultra-endurance cyclists.

The race will be held on Discovery Hill May 17 and the goal is to ride as many laps as possible in 12 hours. There are menís and womenís categories along with categories for teams and doubles. The Disco is a USA Cycling Sanctioned Mountain Bike Endurance Race which is continuing to grow in popularity due to its being a moderate course on which to launch the annual cycling race season.

The first year there were 71 riders on the Discovery Hill course. Last year there were 170 participants from ten states. Of those 170 riders 130 were from out of town and most stayed in local lodging facilities for two nights. The race begins at 7AM and ends at 7PM which means most out-of-towners come in the night before and those who have a good distance to travel stay the night after the race and head home the next morning.

The official registration period for this yearís race has closed and final numbers will be available closer to race time.

Many hours of work has gone into course preparation. More local young people will be participating in the race this year due to their trading hours of course work for entry fees. The fees range from $125 to $75 and all proceeds go to the local Youth Employment Program (YEP). This is YEPís main fund raiser of the year. Money received by the organization is appropriately recycled into putting young people to work on YEPís extensive trail building and maintenance program.

The Youth Employment Program Board of Directors is the driving force behind the event with the assistance of its partner, the Salmon Mountain Bike Association (SMBA). In the spirit of enthusiasts supporting each other, members of the popular Lemhi Century Bike Ride group are helping with the Disco ride along with organizers of the extreme running event scheduled for later this year.

The Disco race is also becoming known throughout the recreational sport cycling industry. This yearís fund-raising raffle prize of a $1,500 Mountain Bike was made available at a greatly reduced cost by NORCO, a Canadian bike manufacturing company. Support is also being received from Mountain Racing Products (MRP) of Colorado.

For many years various local entities such as the Alternative Mobility Team, the Salmon Valley Stewardship and Lemhi County, with an inclusion of a trails system in its master Transportation Plan, have focused on development of a system to provide safe pathways for walking, running, cycling and riding. With the emphasis on healthy lifestyles many potential residents look for those opportunities in communities they are considering for relocation or as a vacation destination.

Because of that foresight this area has been ahead of the mark in preparing for the present great national surge of interest in cycling and running sports. The US Track & Field certified Salmon Marathon began in 2008 and has been growing ever since with participants and visitors coming from all over the country to run the race and leave behind an annual boost to the local economy of at least $30,000. The Salmon Mountain Bike Association is currently lending support services to yet another running event, the Goldstone Ultra Running LLC, Beaverhead Endurance 100k and 50k Race set for July 12. The extreme running race will be 62 miles long and routed from Bannock Pass to Geertson Creek.

In Idaho, outdoor recreation generates $6.3 billion annually which in turn supplies $1.8 billion in wages and salaries towards the 76,700 jobs the industry creates. Annual state and local recreation related tax revenues total $461 million.

Since its inception the 12 Hours of Disco Mountain Bike Endurance Race has received yearly funding from Local Option Tax revenues to help with race related expenses.

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