FARMINGTON — It was all smiles at the oldest known annual mountain bike race in the United States on Saturday - from start to finish.

The city of Farmington's Road Apple Rally drew 237 riders from all across the West, with the farthest visitor hailing from Eugene, Ore.

The course included both a 15- and 30-mile loop, the latter reserved for advanced competitors.

Todd Wells, of Durango, Colo., won the long course for advanced participants in 1:37:36.24. He was in the lead also at the halfway mark.

Colby Reynolds, an 18-year-old senior from Farmington High School, won the short course race for beginners with a time of slightly more than 57 minutes and 22 seconds.

"My motto was: Don't lose sight of the guy in first," said Reynolds. "And, then, I was the guy in first."

Crossing the finish line was only a fragment of the fun.

Both loops begin and end at Lions Wilderness Park and in between weave riders around the Road Apple Loop, which offers a well-maintained, dirt-path tour of the Glade Run area.

"You find yourself laughing most of the time it's so fun," said Dave West of Farmington.

The course varies with an assortment of hills and flattened areas, allowing riders ranging from 8 years old to about 70 to navigate the route without much risk.

Even those who had already been in the race enjoyed it as much as those who were in it for their first time.

"One more, one more," said Daisha Vaughn, as her husband, David, posed for the camera at the starting line just seconds before the race.


Vaughn, for the first time Saturday, raced the route as a professional. He's participated in the same race before, but in the past as a beginner and then a sport biker.

Some participants filmed themselves during the event with cameras perched atop their helmets, to preserve the experience and to use it for training later.

"I'm trying to make videos right now so that when I am working out in the gym, I can watch the video. It makes it more real," said John Dukeminier of Cortez, Colo.

The event has been held since 1981, when it began as a just-for-kicks race between local horseback riders and mountain bike riders.

Now, it is a bucket list item for many mountain bike enthusiasts around the nation.

"It's a great community event. I wish more people would ride from the Farmington area," said West, who said it's a blast every year.