Aspen police officers ready to ride (and party?) in Moab | AspenTimes.com

Aspen police officers ready to ride (and party?) in Moab

Tim MutrieAspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen police know all about after-hours antics and, specifically, how best to put them to rest.However, this weekend four Aspen police officers will be in the middle of it, pedaling and partying through the night at the eighth annual 24 Hours of Moab endurance mountain biking race.Chief Loren Ryerson and officers Charlie Martin, Ian MacAyeal and Rick Magnuson are Team “10-96” ? police radio code for “emotionally disturbed.” They’ll be joined by about 1,500 other racers, including droves of valley residents, in what has become a rite of autumn in Moab.”Last year we were all rookies, and we made the rookie mistakes,” said Magnuson, a community safety officer who’s often on his mount during shifts. “We won the police division ? we were the only police team there ? but we were basically at the bottom. We’re going to do better this time.”It’s good team-building, camaraderie. We’re not really racers, but it’s fun in a weird sort of way.”Staged on the 14-mile loop trail “Behind the Rocks,” located about 10 miles south of Moab, the race features divisions for five- and four-person teams, pairs and solo riders. It runs continuously from noon Saturday until noon Sunday.Aspen teams won the men’s and women’s four-person expert divisions last year, with 22 and 17 laps, respectively, and Rishi Grewal, a former U.S. national champion, won his third title in the solo division and set a new course record with 17 laps.”There are a gazillion Aspen teams again,” confirmed Aspen’s Joel Mischke, a member of the winning men’s Ajax Bike & Sport team last year. This year, Mischke and Gavin Seedorf, a partner from last year’s winning team, are racing in the two-man division.While the 24 Hours of Moab has earned a reputation as one of the top endurance races in the West, it’s also known for the party atmosphere. Like the race, it doesn’t stop. In addition to racers, thousands of supporters pack the camping venue, keeping the fires burning and the beer flowing, occasionally breaking to assist riders after a lap or to send out the next one on another lap.”It’s out of our jurisdiction,” Magnuson said with a laugh Thursday. “We party as much as anyone else; we just try to fit in. We don’t wear our guns or belts when we ride, but of course it would be nice to slow down some of the other teams.”[Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com]

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