Registration for the 2010 Bear Mountain race is scheduled to open on Friday, April 9. Despite the closing of Tiorati Brook Road, race organizers have come up with a race plan that provides a challenging safe race course.

The revised course will start at Lake Welch, head to Lake Sebago and then north up Seven Lakes Drive to Tiorati Circle. The race turns around at Tiorati Circle and heads back down Seven Lakes making the turn back on to Lake Welch. The race will continue down to the hairpin turn and then turn back up the steep climb on Lake Welch. The finish line will be the traditional Spring Bear finish with the steep downhill/climb section being dropped on the last lap. The loop is almost 21 miles.

if more than one race is on the course,fields will pass each other going in opposite direction. While this might work, it poses some safety risk. To ensure that race conditions are safe only one race will be run at a time.

The park has agreed to extend the time to race to 10 hours, from 8am to 6pm. Four races, a Cat 4,Pro/1/2, Women’s 1/2/3 3/4 and a Cat 3/40+ will be held.

To provide racing for ten hours, CRCA must provide double the number of marshals. No marshal will be expected to spend ten hours at the race.

The revised course will provide new challenges. The total course has almost the same amount of climbing as the standard 14 mile loop but includes some steeper sections.

All fields will have neutral support provided by SRAM. The race remains part of the Nature Valley Grand Prix Pro Ride.

Despite having fewer race fields, costs for race services that charge by the hour are increased. At the same time the number of riders is going to be several hundred less. It is unfortunately necessary to increase the entry fee by $5 to keep the losses on the race within a reasonable range.

CRCA feels it is very important to hold this year’s Bear Mountain Race even if it is necessary for the club to absorb some of the costs of the race.

It is hoped that we can resume racing on the normal course for the Fall race and in future years. Currently the bridge on Lake Tiorati has been declared unsafe and is closed to all traffic, even including parks vehicles. The problem is with the structure of the bridge and not with the road surface. The rusting away of the bridge accumulated over years and is not the result of this past winter’s cold and snow. A full engineering assessment remains to be done. Plans to rebuild or repair the bridge depend on the assessment. The priority to fix a bridge on a tertiary park road in times of massive budget cuts is unclear.