2020 Road Apple Rally still up in the air; city looks to make decision by early August

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON – The City of Farmington doesn’t want to automatically forgo the 2020 Road Apple Rally amid COVID-19 concerns, so it will spend a bit more time monitoring how this summer shapes out before rendering a decision.

The 40th annual mountain bike race, which is held at Lions Wilderness Park in Farmington, is currently scheduled for Oct. 3.

“We have a bit more leeway with that event… what that decision will look like,” said Christa Chapman, marketing and public relations specialist for the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “We’re researching how people are successfully conducting racing in this time.”

Chapman said the city looks to make a final decision by or before early August.

Ralph Winebarger and Michael Martin turn a corner, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, during the Road Apple Rally in Farmington.

Chapman said the city’s exploring a virtual format, as well as staggered start times if the regular format proceeds. Chapman also said everyone’s adapting to virtual race formats anyway.

“We know it’s not going to look exactly the same,” Chapman said.

Chapman said she hopes the Road Apple Rally will go forward because it’s the longest-running mountain bike race in the region.

“We think it’s important to maintain that title,” Chapman said. “It’s a big part of the history of Farmington… It fits so well with what Farmington’s trying to do now, being a center for people who love outdoor recreation. I think it fits really well with the fabric of our community.”

Todd Wells, number 287, trails Mick Harris, number 200, and Brent Winebarger, number 288, at the start of the Road Apple Rally, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, in Farmington.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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