Professional mountain biker and Olympic long team member Chloe Woodruff set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Prescott Circle Trail outside of Prescott, Arizona on Thursday with a time of four hours and 33 minutes, besting local Bryan Matter’s former time of four hours and 51 minutes.
The Prescott Circle Trail is a 56-mile singletrack loop that encircles the city of Prescott, where the Stan’s-Pivot rider is based. The trail was completed in 2015 and traverses over 5,500 feet through National Forest, city park, and private property. Various land managers and volunteers came together to bring the trail project to fruition but are now working to maintain it with limited resources. As a local rider who had the platform to raise awareness, Woodruff wondered how she could help.
“The way I challenge myself as a racer is to do something as fast as possible,” Woodruff told VeloNews. “So many people already do an annual Circle Trail. I want there to be something for them with purpose. And a place where they can post their time and they can share their experiences.”
Woodruff’s FKT kicks off the Prescott Circle Trail Challenge, which will serve as an ongoing fundraising platform for trail maintenance. Riders can complete the entire 56-mile loop as an individual, a team, or a business within a 48-hour time-frame before November 1, 2020. Participants will be eligible to win prizes if they complete the loop and earn a minimum of $1 per mile. All donations will go to the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance’s (PMBA) trail upkeep fund.
“The Circle Trail is already something people like to do annually,” Woodruff said. “So it’s not a one-time thing. The platform will roll over year after year. At the end of the year, we’ll have a get-together, and I’ll hand out awards for completing the challenge and for the most money raised. Everyone who completes it will earn something.”
Like many professional riders, Woodruff has had more time than ever to explore the riding in her own backyard since the COVID-19 pandemic halted racing and postponed the Olympics. As one of many who completes an annual Circle Trail, lately Woodruff has had time to reflect on the impact it’s had on her career, as well as the importance of spaces in our backyards that we otherwise take for granted. Although Woodruff may have ridden the trail fast yesterday, she hopes that the Prescott Circle Trail Challenge is here for the long run.
“It’s a remarkable team effort and unique to our community,” she said. “And I want to support that and celebrate it.”