The Bear Jaw Groove Mountain Bike Race
About a month ago, Proof Physical Therapy had the chance to experience — and sponsor — an event that hasn’t happened in Flagstaff for the past few years: The Bear Jaw Groove Mountain Bike Race at Arizona Nordic Village. It was our first time setting up a booth at this event, and it’s one we won’t soon forget! We hope we can attend again and again in the years to come.
The event itself went from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but we were there from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., so we would have time to set up and tear down our booth. The race went on for six hours, and whoever completed the most laps during that time was the winner. There were 250 available spots in the race, and they sold out. Needless to say, it was all very exciting, and we had a lot of fun engaging with the cycling community here in Flagstaff and those that came up from Phoenix.
Along with the main race, there was also a kids race that was about a mile long. There were about 20–25 participants in that race, one of whom was my son. Overall, he finished sixth and was very happy with how he did. He made sure to remark that a lot of the kids he’d passed in the race were much bigger than he was!
Another Type of Competition
Contestants in the race could enter and exit at will, since it was a matter of how many laps they completed, and not who got to a finish line first. For any cyclists who were looking for other ways to pass the time during the Bear Jaw Groove, at the Proof PT tent we set up a track stand competition. If you’re not familiar with the term “track stand,” it’s where someone tries to balance on a mountain bike without pedaling for as long as they can.
People really got into it — even the ones who were just watching! We had a lot of participants and lots of spectators, too. In the interest of time, if a competitor reached 2 minutes, they automatically Friends of the participants, who were in the audience, would throw pinecones and little canisters of lip balm (which we provided them with) at participants to try and get them to lose their balance. While that might sound mean, it was all in good fun, and everyone was a good sport. We had a leaderboard of the best times throughout the day, and some of the participants would come back, see that they had fallen in the standings, and try to beat their previous time. The top two contestants ended up being able to stay balanced for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds and 2 minutes and 30 seconds, respectively.
When we weren’t supplying our track stand audiences with ammo, we had a great time getting to know some of the other vendors at the race, including the founders of VK bikes in Phoenix, a new bicycle manufacturer. We also met people from Findlay Toyota, Snow Mountain River, Trail Manos, Flagstaff Bicycle, and The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, as well as other businesses that serve and support the cycling community in Flagstaff. All in all, we were happy to let them know that we care about them and that we understand what it takes to keep your body in good cycling condition. We can be your go-to PT clinic for cycling injuries and help you enjoy the ride without any pain. I hope that between now and the next Bear Jaw Groove, we can continue to support and get to know the cyclists in our community better.