Downhillers prepare to take The Plunge

For some, New England Clam Chowder and Ditch Pig may not seem too appetizing.

But for mountain bike racers, they certainly are.

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New England Clam Chowder and the Ditch Pig are the two trails at Pidherny recreation site that will be used for Chapter 0: The Plunge, the first downhill race of the season this Saturday.

In all, the trails combine for a challenging 2.3-kilometre course with a 168-metre drop.

They were designed by Ben Yeager.

"We're using Chapter 0 as a ladder into a five-race series next year," said organizer Andrew Steele of the Prince George Cycling Club.

"We'll use the qualifying times this year as the starting order for next year."

The day, which begins at 10 a.m. with registration, also includes pumpkin carving for kids as well as a pump track competition. A pump track is a short looping trail of dirt berms and rolling hills on which riders do not pedal but instead use their arms and upper body to propel themselves.

DJs and a barbecue, courtesy of the Black Donkey Cafe, will also be at the race to create a festive atmosphere and feed hungry racers and fans.

Racers can pre-register at Koops, Cycle Logic or Ruckus.

The under-19 female division kicks off the race at 11 a.m., followed by the U19 male division at noon.

The 19-and-over female division is at 1 p.m., while the 19-and-over male division wraps up the racing at 2 p.m.

All racers are asked to be on site an hour earlier so they can be shuttled to the top of the course.

"We're encouraging them to ride the course beforehand - we want them to be prepared," said Steele, adding spotters will be on the course on race day.

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