Los Caminos del Rio held its annual bike race McCANALenburg III on Saturday Jan. 3 which trailed along the Hidalgo County Irrigation District No. 1 and spanned 13 miles.

Eric Ellman, executive director of LCDR, was on hand Saturday morning to start the race which was separated into two divisions. The first division was an actual race for adults. The second division was just an open ride for anyone who was interested in riding the trail.

Riders from all over the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico gathered for the race including a 51-year-old man named Enrique Bravo from Monterrey, Mexico, who won a lottery of sorts because his bike needed some repair and he heard about the race the day before it started.

“I came to visit McAllen. I have a weekend house here and I saw there was a race so I entered,” said Bravo who only has about a month of riding under his belt. “It gives me a lot of joy that McAllen is starting with a race to begin the new year. It’s a nice day and we’ll see what happens.”

Also on hand volunteering was Jesus Mendiola of Bike Masters in Mission who was giving bikers last minute maintenance to their bikes before the race.

“There’s always some minor things that need to be done before a race so I decided to support,” said Mendiola.

Ellman has been working tirelessly to help promote not only this race but riding the trails along the HCID No. 1 that after seeing the success of the McCANALenburg race he is having a sit down with the HCID No. 1 to obtain full access for riders.

“This is the one day out of the year to access to the canal that runs from McAllen to Edinburg,” said Ellman. “After three years of doing this they (HCID No. 1) want to sit down next week and discuss how to make these canal trails open on a more permanent basis.”