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Sports

July 24, 2013

Dehydrator to rely on rides in 2013

DUNCAN — With a change in its schedule, Duncan’s annual Dehydrator bicycle event will be taking on a new look in 2013.

After a recent decline in participation, members of Duncan’s Band Boosters have agreed to put the brakes on the race portion of the event, which starts at 7 a.m.Saturday, for the first time.

Instead, this year’s rendition of the Dehydrator will be centered around its rides. Plans have been made to add an 80 mile ride that will go past Waurika in the direction of Temple to draw more long distance riders.

“We’re hoping for a different kind of rider in that event,” Duncan Band Booster member and event coordinator Kent Collins said. “We’ve had an increase in participation for the ride in recent years and hope that can also happen with the newest one.”

Along with the 80 mile ride, the event will feature rides of 10, 25, 50 and 62 miles.

The rides will kick off at the Simmons Center.

Collins said the decline in participation for the race led to the event reaching near a breakeven point between funds raised and expenses, forcing the boosters to change gears and remove it. In the years to come, he hopes it can return.

“We talked about it for several months,” Collins said. “But it’s always going to be on the table. The hope is that we gain enough interest in the event that enough people will want to race for it to happen again.”

A big part of the decline, Collins said, could be linked to the time of year that the Dehydrator is held, as midsummer races are not common.

Hopes are high for the rides in 2013, as organizers are hoping as many as 600 people ride after the attendance ranged in the mid 500’s the last three years.

“That’s the goal, to break 600 this year,” Collins said. “We’ve been getting a lot of people from out of town to come to them too. Eventually, we’d like to have enough interest to host about 1,000 riders.”

Despite the dropping of the race, the event will remain the main fundraising for the Duncan High and Duncan Middle School bands. Funds go toward scholarships, band equipment, trip expenses and the purchasing of bicycles for less fortunate children during Christmas time.

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