BUMP and Grind returns for 15th year

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The 15th annual Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers BUMP and Grind mountain bike race will return to Oak Mountain State Park this weekend, May 30-31.

A new twist to the race this year is that it is one of only six venues in the country to feature the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) race series. At least six Olympians are expected to particpate in the Pro XCT this year and make an appearance this weekend.

Race activities begin Saturday as pros will practice from 1-3 p.m. A youth series race for kids 12 and under will take place at 5 p.m.

Amateur riders and Junior Olympic races for kids 14 and under will kick off Sunday’s events at 8 a.m. The pros will take the finish line after lunch. The women will start at 12:40 p.m. and the men at 2:55 p.m. Awards will be given to the pros at 5:15 p.m.

About 600 racers of all ages and abilities are expected to compete for more than $13,000 in cash and thousands of dollars in merchandise, making the event one of the largest mountain bike race in the Southeast.

Spectators are encouraged to watch the race from the start/finish line or to hike up to the most technical spot on the course — Blood Rock, where numerous bikes can be found crashing into rocks each year.

Live music, food and exhibitors will be available as part of the expo near the start/finish line.

Cost for the youth series race Saturday is free. Each youth finisher will receive a medal and free T-shirt.

Basic entry fee the day of the race is $45 for adult categories and $25 the Jr. Olympic riders. Registration is 2-6 p.m. Saturday and 6-7:30 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the races, visit bumpngrindrace.com.