Cyclists in the Take the Lake Bike & Hike Personal Endurance Challenge this year will look a little different than in years past.
They will be sporting bicycle helmets.
In the three years of Take the Lake as an official event, organizers have required only children to
wear safety helmets, in line with state law, but new insurance regulations are changing all that, requiring helmet use by all participants.
The insurance policy that organizers are contracting this year is more comprehensive than those in the past, and is through the U.S. Adventure Racing Association. Much more expensive, it will cost about $2 per participant, but organizers are seeking sponsors who will cover that fee so that Take the Lake will remain free for participants this year.
Not so with the X-TREME! event, where participants complete in all four PECs in a single day, Aug. 25. Entry fee for this event is $35 ($50 after Aug. 10) and each participant will also pay an $8 annual membership fee to the USARA.
Even with the membership, the entry fee is much lower than last year, when it cost as much as $68 to enter.
Organizers chose USARA because of its reputation, which includes the USARA Adventure Race National Championship in October, with 45 qualifying events around the country throughout the year.
The Bike & Hike has always been the most popular PEC, attracting more than 500 participants last year. But, with the helmet requirement, and the new alternative Pat Fatmucket Fun Ride that does not include a hike through the state park, organizers expect participation this year to be only 300.
Helmets will also be required in the next Pat Fatmucket ride next spring.
More information is available at the event’s website, Takethelake.org, where participants may preregister for the fourth annual event.
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