If you've never ridden Sun Valley and its mile after mile of fast, open, hillside flow, this weekend's the one to do it. Scott Enduro Cup photo.
Tired of riding the same ole' loop every weekend? Looking for a boost in your cycling stoke and to connect with fellow riders who love life on two wheels? The annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival (RSV) returns to the streets and trails of the stunning mountain getaway—Sun Valley, Idaho. Now in its seventh year, the festival is a homegrown celebration geared towards anyone who enjoys life on two wheels.
Here are the top-ten reasons you don’t want to miss this years festival, happening June 23-26, 2016.
#1: BECOME A LEGEND, WIN THE SVAM AWARD
The Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival is excited to introduce the Sun Valley All Mountain (SVAM) award presented by Sturtevants and Limelight Hotel. To win the coveted award, riders will need to demonstrate dominance in the Niner Fox Trot 40 Cross-Country Race and the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria. Five men and five women with the highest overall score at the conclusion of this year’s four-day festival, will be found victorious.
To be eligible for the SVAM, a rider must register and race in both Saturday's Fox Trot 40 Cross-Country Race and the two enduro stages of Sunday’s SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria. Riders can earn half-a-point by participating in any of three ancillary races taking place at the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival, including the SheepTown Drag Race (June 23), Prologue Time Trial and the Downtown Criterium (June 24). A full point is awarded to the first place winners of the SheepTown Drag Race. A $2,500 cash purse provided by Sturtevants and Limelight Hotel will be split among the podium.
#2: FIRE, BEER & BIKES AT THE SHEEPTOWN DRAG RACE
Thursday night, the festival will ignite with the SheepTown Drag Race fueled by Monster Energy, a comedic battle challenging the brave to race with flaming logs chained behind their bikes. The unofficial kickoff to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival, this event is open to the public. Participants gather at dusk outside the Power House Pub & Bike Shop to sign up for a limited number of spots. After the event, stick around for a few cold ones—a DJ will be spinning at Power House. Learn more at ridesunvalley.com/rsvf-events/
#3: A STUNNING MOUNTAIN TOWN WITH GOOD FOLKS AND An Authentic BIKE CULTURE
It doesn’t get much more iconic than Sun Valley. Since 1939, America’s first destination ski area has evolved into a town filled with friendly locals, world-class singletrack, handy bike mechanics, bars and restaurants that offer the full spectrum by which to refuel, rehydrate and if you choose, dehydrate.
Today, Sun Valley’s expansive network of trails cover Bald and Dollar Mountains, complementing a bevy of year round on and off-mountain adventures for the whole family. In town, you will enjoy an unrivaled arts and culture scene for a town its size as well as some of the best dining and shopping of any mountain town—this is a place that once you visit you never will want to leave.
The authentic small town, big life experience is as unpretentious and pristine as the mountains and rivers that surround the area. The appeal of the Original Mountain Town is felt by all who appreciate life lived in a down to earth, open arms-open hearts sort of way. We guarantee you will feel welcome the moment your feet hit the ground and that promise extends all the way to your dogs. Because, well, we love dogs. Learn more at visitsunvalley.com
#4: PEDAL TO THE MEDAL: RACE THE NINER FOX TROT 40 CROSS-COUNTRY RACE
In its second year, the Niner Fox Trot 40 fully encompass what it means to Ride Sun Valley. The point-to-point course will climb over 7,955 ft. topping out at a maximum elevation of 9,620 ft. and weave through 39.4 miles of trail in both the Sawtooth National Recreational Area and the U.S. Forest Service Ketchum Ranger District. New this year, the race features the epic Osberg’s Ridge, adding eight miles and 2,000 vertical feet to last year’s course.
“We’re excited to bring the Niner Fox Trot 40 cross-country race back to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival for it’s second year with a new and improved course that’s even longer than last year.” said Event Director Seth Delorey. “This rugged race helps showcase a large selection of the local trails and shows why Sun Valley is a world-class mountain bike destination.”
#5: GRAVITY & SPEED: COMPETE IN THE SCOTT ENDURO CUP PRESENTED BY VITTORIA
Sun Valley, ID, will mark the third round of the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria race series. Known locally as the “Sun Valley Super Enduro,” competitors will be challenged to five different hair-on-fire race stages. Gravity-hungry athletes will take on one of the longest enduros in the U.S. with over 20 miles of timed descent over the five stages. Racers will use a combination of lifts and good old pedal power to reach the start of each course. This year’s exciting course combines an epic combination of world-class Bald Mountain descents and local-favorite backcountry classics.
The Sun Valley, ID stop of the SCOTT Enduro Cup presented by Vittoria is apart of the North American Enduro Tour, making it a qualifier race for the Enduro World Series (EWS).
#6:TAKE IT TO THE STREETS AT THE DOWNTOWN CRITERIUM TEAM RELAY
Take it to the streets with your friends, coworkers, little brother and Aunt Mildred for the silliest and most colorful race to hit Sun Valley— the Downtown Criterium Team Relay presented by Vittoria. Grab your favorite set of wheels, a festive outfit, and a four-person team to take down the competition and win cold-hard-cash and bragging rights for the year.
This multi-lap race through town draws enthusiastic fans and highlights the lighter side of the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. Local business teams and organizations will be competing against one another, in some healthy hometown rival fun. The new single lap kids criterium gets the whole family involved in the festival shenanigans. Coveted swag includes a set of Vittoria tires awarded to each person on the winning team and a single tire given to each person on the second place team. This event will put a smile on your face whether you are on the sidelines or in the saddle.
#7: GET THE SCOOP: LOCAL STOKER RIDES WITH CLUB RIDE
Wanna get the local scoop on the best mountain bike rides in Sun Valley? Our local experts are here for you all weekend. Enjoy FREE guided rides on the best singletrack in the area presented by local cycling apparel company, Club Ride.
Registration as well as start and end location for all the Local Stoker Rides will be at the Club Ride tent in the RSV Expo Area. From Friday to Sunday, Club Ride will host easy to longer ride options.
#8: TUNES, EATS AND DEMOS: RIDE SUN VALLEY EXPO AREA
The Ride Sun Valley Expo Area opens Friday afternoon with live music, mountain bike clinics focusing on rider skills and mechanics, Local Stoker Rides, everyone’s favorite, Downtown Criterium for the whole family, raffles, racer check-in and meetings and the SCOTT Enduro Cup & Niner Fox Trot 40 Prologue race. Start the weekend off right and get into festival spirit at Ride Sun Valley’s central meeting location. All are welcome!
Don’t miss out on demoing the newest bikes and equipment from a number of the best brands in the sport. Put your demos to the test on Sun Valley’s world class singletrack right outside of town. When you’re finished cruising, be sure to enjoy a cold beer and entertainment in the festival area. The expo area is open and free to the public.
#9: RALLY AT THE ANNUAL IDAHO STATE PUMP TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS BY COX COMMUNICATIONS
Over 150 riders turn their sights on the Idaho Pump Track State Championships. Adults and kids pack the infield for a great night of racing and fun. Scoring is based on the fastest overall time after completion of two timed laps. A three second penalty is given for any pedal strokes (Open Class, and 13 & Under Class) so racers must “pump” their bikes to maintain speed around the course.
#10: CUTER THAN KITTENs AND PUPPies cuddling: KIDS MTB RACE
Don’t let their sweet demeanor and mini bicycles fool you, the riders at the Kids MTB Race presented by COX Communications are anything but cuddly and don’t mess around once their tread hits the dirt. The most hardcore kids race of the year takes place down at the River Run, Saturday afternoon. Riders ages 12 and under have the chance to show off their next-level skills at this free event. Medals, race numbers and prizes will be on hand so that every rider is sure to go home a winner! The event is a spectator favorite, and so darn cute.
Courses will be formatted to appropriate age and skill levels with a mix of smooth trails and bike paths.