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Mr. Frogs Wild Ride

PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR TENTH ANNUAL MR. FROG’S WILD RIDE IN CALAVERAS COUNTY

Murphys resident Wendi Bell has volunteered to head up the planning for the tenth annual Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride to be held in the verdant hills of Calaveras County on Saturday, April 15.

“One of the first places I discovered when I moved here three years ago was Feeney Park, the beautiful location for youth sports and many other activities,” says Bell. “When I learned that Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride was a major fundraiser to maintain and expand the park I knew I wanted to be involved.”

The ride has become one of the most popular cycling events in northern California. It features two scenic routes, the Wild Ride of approximately 50K and the Wilder Ride of approximately 100K. Riders will wend their way through the countryside at the height of the wildflower season.

The longer ride will also include the New Melones Lake area. Bell is very familiar with staging community events, having been involved with many non-profit organizations in the towns and cities to which her career as a biologist has taken her. They range from the Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in Alpine, Wyoming to Breakfast with Santa in Logan, Utah.

“These events have one thing in common, they rely on a cadre of hard working, dedicated volunteers who plan and perform the many tasks necessary to create a wonderful experience for everyone,” states Bell. “Mr. Frog is fortunate to have such a group that has been involved in the ride for many years and knows what needs to be done. My job is to coordinate their efforts and to add my own experiences to the mix.”

The course for Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride has been carefully laid out to take advantage of the area’s many back roads and scenic byways with enough changes in elevation to challenge seasoned riders without overtaxing less experienced cyclists.

The Wild Ride has an elevation increase of 2,461 feet and the Wilder Ride has an increase of 4,436 feet. Both routes begin and end at Feeney Park where all participants can enjoy an after-ride chicken-in-a-barrel barbeque, or a vegetarian meal, included in the registration fee.

The course opens at 7:30 a.m. and all riders must start by 9 a.m.

In addition to providing what has come to be known as one of the most beautiful biking experiences in California, the event is a primary fundraiser for the Feeney Park Foundation. The non-profit organization has the responsibility for the creation and maintenance of the area’s major multi-use recreational facility and community park. This is one of two annual fundraisers that keep the park open for the community’s benefit. Feeney Park, located on Pennsylvania Gulch Rd., just off Highway 4, behind Michelson Elementary School, serves thousands of youth and adult athletes from throughout Calaveras County. It is the home field for the Ebbetts Pass Little League and Ebbetts Pass Youth Soccer League. In addition, the park offers unique opportunities for casual recreation with its disc golf course, skate park, walking trails, picnic areas, and amphitheater.

Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride is named in honor of Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Registration information is available at www.mrfrogswildride.org. In addition to the after-ride barbecue, the price includes snacks at various rest stops, SAG support and a relaxing massage. Registration for the 50K is $50 and the 100K is $60. Riders registering before March 1 are entitled to a five-dollar discount. Club discounts are available on request for six or more registrations at the same time. The cut-off date for online registration is midnight April 11. On site registration and check-in at Feeney Park will be available on Friday, April 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Day of the ride check-in and registration will begin at 7 a.m. and close at 9 a.m. Beginning at 6 a.m. on ride day, bicycle maintenance and tech support will be offered by Eric Olson of Mountain Pedaler in Angels Camp. He will provide bicycle maintenance and tech support for any last minute bike needs such as minor tune-ups and repairs or tire checks. For further information on all aspects of the ride, including ways to volunteer, visit www.mrfrogswildride.org. #

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