Ride Sun Valley is definitely upon us. If you haven’t noticed, bikes of the two-wheeled variety have been out in FULL FORCE in the last two weeks and it’s hard not to think that it is in preparation for next month’s RIDE SUN VALLEY Festival. It could very well be the sun that has brought out tons of anxious mountain bikers and road riders but because we are so stoked about the July’s Mountain Biking festivities, we’ll say it must be because of the event.
While the Ride Sun Valley event doesn’t actually start until July 11, we are here to get you excited, prepped and educated on the entire festival. You’ll know where to watch the races, what concerts to check out, where to eat, where to ride and maybe even what bikes the athletes are riding. So read on for more answers, and check back here early and often, as we will be updating this blog with more info about the Avett Brothers, racers, race locations and more. We are here to get you stoked for RIDE SUN VALLEY.
What exactly is Ride Sun Valley?
Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival is a week-long festival celebrating mountain biking and mountain bike culture in the Wood River Valley and beyond. The festival will be featuring music, free local rides, a pump track state championship, a Fat Tire-sponsored criterium, and the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country National Championships.
What are the USA Cycling MTB Cross Country National Championships?
For the first time EVER, the Cross Country Mountain Biking National Champs will be held at their very own venue. Hundreds of riders, who have all prequalified to race, will converge on Sun Valley to race for glory.
This year’s USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships will be held at Beech Mountain, North Carolina and the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships will be held in Bend Oregon. In the past, these events were merged as one, hosted in places like Mammoth Mountain and Colorado’s Sol Vista Basin. In fact, Sun Valley isn’t even new to the game of National Championship Mountain Biking. The NORBA (the National Off-Road Bicycle Association) hosted their National Championships here back in 1988.
Riders must pre-qualify at USA Cycling-sanctioned races and will then be able to compete in different categories, which include Amateur Cross-country, Pro Cross-country, the Super Downhill, and Short Track cross-country. There will also be the Fat Tire Criterium and the Idaho Pump Track State Championship. (See www.ridesunvalley.com or www.usacycling.org for more information about races.)
Where will the races be held?
Sun Valley Company has been working closely with USA Cycling to create courses that are unique, challenging and characteristic of the world class terrain that the area has to offer. Check back here for more info about the courses including the best places to watch.
What other events are happening?
Famous for their beer and their support of two-wheeling, Fat Tire is also sponsoring a criterium, right smack in the middle of downtown Ketchum. There will be the world famous, get-you-out-of-your-seat-and-DANCE Avett Brothers concert as well as an invasion of British music featuring Brits “Thunder” and “The Union”. You can also check out the Expo at River Run featuring cycling vendors from around the world, local guided rides sponsored by Smith Optics, and film and photo fest at local bar, Whiskey Jacques.
Whether you are competing, or just checking it all out, Ride Sun Valley has something for everyone. Be there or be square.