Shady Burro plans to expand down Valley

SOUTH FORK— For the past two years the Shady Burro Enduro has been coming to the South Fork area to host their annual dirt bike races on the many trail that encircle the small town.

The 2017 race held in August prompted one of the most successful races the endure has seen and they plan on including another town in 2018. The race brings back the nostalgic dirt bike races of the past and combine community development and boosting economic growth in the areas they choose by including local businesses, restaurants and events throughout the region.

In the last year, the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit and the Shady Burro Enduro have spent countless hours and volunteer time on the trails outside of South Fork, working with local trail organizations to revitalize the underused trail systems and work closely with the Forest Service to open existing trails for the race. Race coordinator Scott Bright has brought back a tradition to the South Fork area and plans to bring the race down Valley to Monte Vista next summer.

Through the combined efforts of several area businesses and land owners, the riders were brought closer to South Fork for the 2017 enduro, which resulted in a huge economic boost for not only South Fork, but the neighboring communities of Creede and Del Norte as well. Racers who came to this year’s event stated that the race was one for the history books, bringing back the old-fashioned way of dirt bike riding through the challenging trails, welcoming communities and forged friendships along the way.

At the beginning of October, Bright announced that he had taken the funds collected through the race fees and donated them to the Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance (CTPA). The collected fees will help pay for the restoration and preservation of hundreds of miles of trails in the South Fork and Del Norte areas, to help ensure that the race and other outdoor activities can continue in the future. The donation of $5,000 was issued to the CTPA on Oct. 3 with a message from Bright, “We are really proud to be able to support the CTPA with a portion of your entry fees. If you raced it, then you played a part in this. It doesn’t matter if someone is looking, give yourself a pat on the back.”

Bright spent several weeks prior to the event in the area with volunteers, working on the designated trails and mapping out specific tests each class of riders would have to complete. Each day featured new obstacles that took riders up creek beds, down tree-filled hillsides and through tight dirt tracks weaving in and out of forests, fields and meadows. The terrain of the course was both challenging and beautiful for all of the participants who ranged in age from 10 and up.

The race is made to test the endurance of any rider regardless of age or ability. Participants enjoyed the trails located north of town in the Rio Grande Forest between South Fork and Del Norte. Riders traveled anywhere from 50 to 90 miles of trails per day and underwent rigorous tests throughout the race. Each rider that participated had nothing but good things to say about the trails, the area and the welcoming people in South Fork.

Details pertaining to the expansion of the race are still in the works. Bright announced earlier in November that the Monte Vista race would take place at the beginning of September, with trail announcements to come in the near future.

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