Life on the Mountain
Bike Crazy: Ride Sun Valley rolls into town
It is July. One of the only months of the year that cycling manages to dominate the media. The Tour de France with American riders like Levi, Zabriskie and George, makes its way throughout the French countryside. And this year, thanks to the doping scandals following American golden boy Lance Armstrong and terrifying crashes like Sunday’s bike-camera car collision, the Tour is everywhere.
And here in Sun Valley, mountain biking is everywhere and the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival kicks off this week. Ride Sun Valley features events like the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross-Country Championships, a Sun Valley Center for the Arts-sponsored concert with the sensational Avett Brothers, a Fat Tire Criterium in downtown Ketchum, free, guided, local mountain bike rides, the Idaho State Pump Track Championships and much more. It is a true, Idaho-style, good-time event that is drawing competitors, visitors and fans from all over the country.
Race organizers are expecting close to 600 riders for the three USA Cycling events: Short-Track Cross Country, Cross-Country, and Super Downhill. Each of the races, which take place throughout the week starting on Tuesday, start and finish on the Great Lawn at the River Run Lodge, which will serve as a perfect viewpoint for spectators.
The Super Downhill (a.k.a Super D) sets off from River Run Lodge, heads uphill before a 10-kilometer downhill through Baldy’s infamous single track and service roads. The Pro Cross-Country course heads up the Bald Mountain trail, taking a turn onto a new technical climb, and containing several new features including the River Run Rocks (a scary looking feature) and the Baldy Bench. It is a 6K circuit that will be grueling to these world-class riders. The Amateur Cross-Country course features much of the same and will prove to be a challenge to riders of all ages brave enough to enter. Maps and course descriptions are all available.
The Sun Valley Trail Crew, led by race organizer and local bike hero, Greg Martin, have been hard at work for months now, creating a course that will prove to be a challenge to racers and an event to remember for spectators. Ride Sun Valley continues throughout the week with different categories, and age groups of riders, so stop by anytime to cheer them on.
The event will also feature the critically acclaimed British band, Avett Brothers, on Wednesday night at the Sun Valley Pavilion, as well as the Fat Tire Criterium on Thursday with categories for pros, amateurs, kids and even business-sponsored teams.