By Amy David
The fourth annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival returns to the stunning scenery and world-class singletrack of Sun Valley, Idaho June 26 – July 5, 2014. The festival is a rowdy and homegrown celebration geared for anyone who enjoys life on two wheels. Guests can participate in a wide array of entertainment and activities including the second stop of the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro, a downtown bike expo, guided rides for all abilities and a number of creative community races.
On Thursday, June 26, the festivities will ignite at twilight as the Hailey, Idaho Fire Department sets massive logs on fire chained behind the bikes of riders charging head-to-head in the SheepTown Drag Race. Open to the public, participants gather outside the Powerhouse Bike Shop and Pub to sign up for a limited number of spots in the comedic race.
“You’ll soon discover once in Sun Valley, things are a little more laid back, people like to talk to visitors, and we take hospitality to heart,” remarked Greg Randolph, founder of Ride Sun Valley. “We hope you come away rejuvenated and find yourself in a state of stoked-out bliss.”
Downtown Ketchum, ID marks the festival headquarters featuring a Bike Expo with demos from top brands June 27-29 located on Main Street near the Visitor’s Center. Friday highlights women’s-specific bike mechanic and enduro skills clinics hosted by biking legend, Rebecca Rusch, who helps participants improve their riding skills at any level in a non-competitive, fun and supportive atmosphere.
Later Friday evening, the festival opening party will get the town alive and kicking with a criterium/team relay for the public and Enduro Cup race prologue. The Downtown Criterium is grin-inducing whether you are on the sidelines or in the saddle. This course winds though town and is lined with enthusiastic cheering crowds. A concert begins at 9PM complemented by the Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi beer gardens.
Saturday and Sunday feature the Scott Enduro Cup presented by GoPro where gravity-hungry athletes take on one of the longest enduros in the U.S. covering 24 miles and 9,000 vertical descending feet over two days. Following the Enduro Cup Saturday, the future of the sport will rip it up in the Kids’ Mountain Bike Race and riders of all abilities will storm the hills equipped with laser guns for a Mountain Bike Biathlon. Rounding out the evening is a screening of the film, Single Track High. If simply trail blazing the 400+ miles of continuous single track suits your fancy, local experts guide group rides through the weekend.
After the final stages of the Enduro Cup on Sunday, the awards and raffle will ensue. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Wood River Bicycle Coalition. Before pedaling home, witness the Pump Track State Championships Sunday evening. The remainder of the festival includes Reba’s Ride Camp, the Fourth of July Hailey Criterium, and the US Marathon MTB National Championships on July 5. Located in central Idaho, the northern latitude of Sun Valley creates long days of 15 hours of sunshine in the summer, the ideal location for a weekend family get-a-way.
For a detailed schedule and more information, please visit, ridesunvalley.com.