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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Last updated: 3:53am

Arizona cyclists enjoy 24-hour mountain race

At the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race, thousands of people from across the country converge on Oracle, Ariz., and set up camp in the middle of the desert to compete.

UA journalism assistant professor and Tucson Velo blogger Mike McKisson made the trek to Oracle, Ariz., over the weekend to compete for his second time and ride the loop on a two-man team.

McKission and his teammate took turns riding the difficult loop over the day-long period.

“This is a fun event that pushes you to your limits,” McKisson said.

Mckisson road 5 laps of the loop.

Daniela Vizcarra / The Daily Wildcat Antonio Espinosa rides down the infamous rock in the last leg of the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race in Oracle, Ariz., on Saturday. Espinosa was apart of a 5-man team and rode three laps in the 18-mile mountain bike trail.

Todd Sadow, president and co-founder of Epic Rides, puts on four biking events each year, including 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.

“My favorite part of my job is definitely event weekends,” Sadow said. “Thousands of people smiling, not worrying and riding their bikes.”

After Sadow graduated from the UA, he initially took a corporate job even though he wanted a job in the bike industry. Epic Rides was founded by chance, as Sadow wanted to put on a unique mountain bike race.

“I thought if I organize a mountain bike event I might meet people in the bike industry and get a job in the bike industry,” Sadow said.

After organizing a few bike events, Sadow founded Epic Rides.

“It became evident that this was something more as it grew quickly,” Sadow said. “I decided to quit my corporate job and try to make a business out of Epic Rides.”

The 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race is now 15 years old and Sadow continues to attract bikers from across the country each year to ride in his races.

Arizona alumnus Jesse Cruz was also in Oracle this weekend for the big race.

“Todd puts on great events, and I look forward each year to riding in them,” Cruz said.

Epic Rides’ other events include the Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott,Ariz., the Grand Junction Off-Road in Colorado and the Tour of the White Mountains in Pinetop, Ariz.

—Follow Daniela Vizcarra @dvizcarra_dw

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