San Manuel Copper Classic roars into the area Feb. 1

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And the riders are off. The start of the 2013 Copper Classic. (File photo)


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A rider goes airborne during the 2013 Copper Classic. (File photo)

The Trail Riders of Southern Arizona (TRS) will host the San Manuel Copper Classic Hare Scramble on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. The latest Copper Classic will mark the ninth time this race will be held in San Manuel since 2006.  

The TRS dirt bike motorcycle club has been around since 2004 and represent off-road trail-riding enthusiasts of Southern Arizona. The club belongs to the Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association (AMRA) which is a non-profit, volunteer-run association made up of eight statewide off-road motorcycle clubs. Like AMRA, TRS’ intent is to promote a positive off-road motorcycling experience. Each year the AMRA organizes Arizona’s premier off-road motorcycle championship series (which includes the San Manuel Copper Classic), intent on providing high quality, fun and safe off-road racing for the whole family. In addition to racing, AMRA and TRS promote non-competitive events and fundraisers that contribute to the health of our sport.

So just what is a Hare Scramble race? Per the American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) rule book, a Hare Scramble is a race conducted on a closed course, using trails and paths over natural terrain. The course can be between two and a half and 40 miles in length. In the Copper Classic’s case, the distance is typically around 25 miles. Course markings are used to aid the riders in determining the proper route when the terrain does not clearly dictate direction. The racer’s objective is to navigate the race course as fast as possible for as many as three laps.

As in past years, the race will be staged out of the old middle school ball fields at the end of Erickson Street. The mini rider’s race will begin after 8 a.m., with the big bike race starting around noon. The start and finish lines will be near the staging area and spectator viewing is strongly encouraged. 

But the San Manuel Copper Classic is not just about racing. TRS hosts this event as a fundraiser for the local school board. After each race, TRS typically donates $500 to $1,000 to the school board to support extracurricular activities. An additional economic benefit of this race is the amount of business the racers and spectators bring to the shops and restaurants of San Manuel. 

So mark your calendars today for the first of February 2014 for the San Manuel Copper Classic. Watch for the race fliers that will be posted in stores around town for more details. Hope we see you on race day!

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