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The eighth annual York 38 Special mountain bike ride was deemed a success by organizers, who noted that the event is an important fundraiser for the York Volunteer Fire Department.

Rita Naylor, who co-chaired the event with David Olson, said 261 people participated in the York 38 Special 38-mile ride, a looped route that starts at the York Bar, winds up Hogback Mountain and returns to the bar, and the shorter version, the family-friendly Lucky 13 ride, which runs from the bar to Vigilante Campground and back.

Four participants also rode the Spirit of 76 cyclocross, which means covering the 38-mile loop twice.

“A lot of people complimented us on the organization of the ride, and said they’ll come back next year. I think it was successful,” Naylor said. “That makes it all worthwhile, and the extra funds raised are important to the fire department.”

She said the ride typically raises around $5,000 for the volunteers, which is used to purchase equipment or for training. Since York is limited in size by the surrounding Helena National Forest, the community uses the fun ride as a way to keep fire assessments as low as possible.

Even though temperatures hovered in the low 90s by midafternoon, Naylor said that didn’t seem to bother most of the riders who started earlier in the day when it was cooler. She added that they had six aid stations with water and snacks, where emergency medical technicians kept track of riders’ vital signs.

“I have to thank all the volunteers, because without them I couldn’t have pulled this off,” Naylor said. “The volunteers were great.”

Additional information on the ride is available at www.york38special.com

Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or eve.byron@helenair.com

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