Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gear up for Ride Sun Valley bike festival

10 days of cycling fun June 28 to July 7


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

Ketchumís Reid Pletcher rides in the Menís Category 2/3 race of the 2012 Fat Tire Criterium in downtown Ketchum. This yearís spectator-friendly criterium is Wednesday, July 3. Photo by David N. Seelig

    Visit Sun Valley and USA Cycling are counting down to the third annual Ride Sun Valley Mountain Bike Festival June 28-July 7 in the Sun Valley area. Here are details about this year’s 10-day series of races and events.
    Featured event is the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championship for men and women Saturday, July 6. Marathon competitors will compete on a 45-mile two-lap course with 4,000 feet of climbing and about 85% single track. The course is a modified version of last year’s National Cross Country amateur championships at Sun Valley.
    This is the first time Sun Valley has hosted the Marathon Mountain Bike nationals, after the resort staged USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike Nationals in 2011 and 2012. Those events attracted over 1,000 cyclists each year. This year, Cross-Country nationals have returned to the East Coast for the first time in five years, July 18-21 at Bear Creek Resort, Pa.
    Judging by past USA Cycling Marathon nationals, the field of racers is likely to be much smaller next week at Sun Valley. Last year’s Marathon nationals held in September at Wanoga Sno Park in Bend, Ore. had 202 finishers. Bend also hosted the marathon event in 2011. The two years before, it was held on the Fourth of July at Breckenridge, Co.
    Other 2013 Ride Sun Valley events include:
    l Friday, June 28: Opening party and Sun Valley Super Enduro registration pick-up at 5:30 p.m. at Sawtooth Brewery, 600 N. Main St., Ketchum next to Clarion Inn. Live music and beer tasting. Raffle prizes. Open to the public, supporting Wood River Bike Coalition. Registration ends at 8 p.m.
    l Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30: Sun Valley Super Enduro downhill from Baldy’s summit down Broadway Trail to the bottom of Warm Springs. The two-day event, first of its kind in Sun Valley, has two stages on Saturday and two stages on Sunday.
    Saturday—Ride the gondola from River Run and take the Christmas chair to Baldy’s summit for the 11 a.m. start. You’ll finish at Apple’s. The second stage begins at 2 p.m. from the top of Baldy. Post-race party at Apple’s. Also on Saturday—Old School Skateboard Dual Slalom contest at 3:30 p.m. and Pumping for Bonuses 7 p.m. at Ketchum Pump Park.
    Sunday—Third and fourth stages begin at 10:30 a.m. from the summit of Baldy. One option is to join a “group therapy ride” at 8 a.m. from the base of River Run to Roundhouse via Bald Mountain Trail. Awards and after-party 5 p.m. at River Run Lodge.
    Registration price is $100 per person. Riders must also purchase a two-day lift ticket for $20 from the River Run ticket window Saturday. Online sign-ups occur until Thursday, June 27 at 11:59 p.m. at ridesunvalleysuperenduro.athlete360.com.
    Race director Greg Randolph said, “The Sun Valley Enduro Pro Open presented by Shimano and Scott Sports offers four different downhill stages and one bike park stage for riders to test their skill and ability to keep the throttle wide open.”
    l Monday and Tuesday, July 1-2: Sun Valley Bike Demo from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. along the southern part of Main St. across from nexStage Theatre.
    l Monday, July 1: Wood River Ability Program (WRAP) fundraising biathlon (shooting and biking/running) for able-bodied and disabled athletes alike, $10 entry fee for competitors, spectators free. Shooting clinic 2:30 p.m., racing 4:30 p.m. at River Run. Call Marc Mast 720-7254.
    l Tuesday, July 2: Idaho Pump Track State Championships, fourth annual, 5-8 p.m. at Ketchum Pump Park near Atkinson Park. Registration and practice from 5-6 p.m. Classes for male and female racers are mini-racing 5-and-under, 9-and-under, 13-and-under, Open/Pro.
    l Wednesday, July 3: Ketchum Criterium road bike event 3-8:30 p.m. in downtown Ketchum, starting and finishing kitty-corner from Sun Valley Visitor Center. Juniors begin at 3:30 p.m., Cat. 3/4 women at 4 p.m, and Cat. 3/4 men 4:40 p.m. Masters Men are at 6 p.m. and Open Women 6:40 p.m., capped by Pro 1/2 Men at 7:30 p.m. for a 60-minute thriller.
    Racers will compete for over $2,000 in cash prizes on a challenging new six-corner course. The popular four-rider “team relay” will again be a highlight, beginning at 5:20 p.m. for merchandise prizes.
    The “team relay” features teams of four racers sharing the same bike in a 16-lap race. The bike is passed from rider to rider after each lap like a “baton.” All racers must alternate laps and take four laps apiece. Of course costumes and helmets are required.
    Teams and individuals can register at least 30 minutes before the start of their races in front of the Sun Valley Visitor Center. In advance, individual entrants can register at ridesunvalley.com through July 1. Entry fees range from $10 for juniors to $30 for everybody else. The “team relay” registration takes place on the day of the race, only, at $40 per team.
    l Thursday, July 4: Hailey Independence Day Criterium after the Mile Long Parade about 2 p.m. For registration or details, visit powerhouseidaho.com or come by Powerhouse Studio, Hailey. The Blaine County Recreation District is the other sponsor.
    l Thursday, July 4: Marathon course downhill training session with pro mountain biker Rebecca Rusch, 9 a.m. Part of Rusch’s Gold Rusch Tour and Reba’s Ride Camp during the Ride Sun Valley festival. Visit goldruschtour.com.    
    l Friday, July 5: Kids’ mountain bike races next to the bridge at River Run on the eve of the national championships, at 6 p.m. preceded by registration from 4-6 p.m. Free and open to the public.
    l Saturday, July 6: USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on a two-lap 45-mile course, starting at Ketchum Town Square and finishing at River Run. Leaving downtown, and after circling trails in the River Run area, the cyclists will head down the Wood River bike path to the Cold Springs trail. They’ll climb the Warm Springs trail/Warm Springs traverse/River Run Trail, and then do it once more.
    Pro/Open Men and Women start right at 8 a.m. and will race for $1,000 in prize money. Age classes will follow, leaving through 9 a.m. There are five places per category. Registration is $100 online, or $120 onsite. Sign up at usacycling.com through Tuesday, July 2 at 11:59 p.m.
    l Saturday, July 6: Sun Valley Bald Juan Cross Country race and Lawn-a-thon game tournaments with live music at River Run.
    The Bald Juan 22.5-mile racers, competing on the same day as the USA Marathon nationals, will start out in downtown Ketchum at 9 a.m. and complete one circumnavigation of Baldy—essentially doing one lap of the marathon course distance. The lawn games from 1-3:30 p.m. are presented by Higher Ground, a Sun Valley-based adaptive sports organization.
    l Sunday, July 7: Women’s-only ride on some of the more mellow local trails with five-time national champion Juli Furtado, leaving Ketchum Town Square at 10 a.m. and lasting 90 minutes to two hours.
    For more details, visit ridesunvalley.com.


Local Stoker rides during the big week
    The upcoming Ride Sun Valley Festival also features the Smith Optics Local Stoker rides presented by Clif Bar and brought to the public by the Wood River Bike Coalition.
    They are free guided and shuttled rides each day from July 1-5 that take bikers on some of the area’s best single-track trails. The rides are moderate in length and technical difficulty, organizers said.
    Ride schedule:
    l Monday, July 1: Red Warrior to Greenhorn Gulch 11-mile ride, leaves 8:30 a.m. from the bike demo area on Main St. About three hours in length. Featuring Greg Martin, Todd Byle and Brett Stevenson.
    l Tuesday, July 2: Greenhorn to Mahoney to Cow Creek 14-mile ride, about three-and-a-half hours, 2,700 feet vertical, departs 8:30 a.m. from the bike demo area on Main St. With Todd Byle, Jen Biondi and Susan Robinson.
    l Wednesday, July 3: Fox Peak 21-mile ride covering four-and-a-half hours, and Women’s Local Stoker with championship professional mountain biker Rebecca Rusch on a 15-mile Eve’s Gulch Loop course. Both rides leave 9 a.m. from the Sun Valley Visitor Center. The Fox Peak ride features Greg Martin, Matt McNeal, Jen Biondi and Susan Robinson.
    l Thursday, July 4: Easley Hot Springs/Curly’s Trail 11-mile, two-hour ride, leaves Sun Valley Visitor Center at 9 a.m. With Marc Driver and Cameron Lloyd.
    l Friday, July 5: Edge of the World—Baker Creek to Oregon Gulch ride covering 15 miles and lasting three-and-a-half hours, departs 8:30 a.m. from Sun Valley Visitor Center. With Marc Driver and Susan Robinson.




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