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Top 10 Reasons to Go to the 2015 Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival

The fifth annual Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival (RSV) returns to the stunning scenery and world-class singletrack of Sun Valley, ID, June 25-28, 2015. The festival is a rowdy and homegrown celebration geared for anyone who enjoys life on two wheels. Here’s a run-down of the top 10 reasons to hit up the RSV festival.

(All photos by Mike Schirf at the 2014 Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival)

1.) FIRE, BEER & BIKES AT THE SHEEPTOWN DRAG RACE

On Thursday, June 25, the festivities will ignite at dusk with the unofficial kickoff party 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 on Main Street of Hailey, ID, to sign up for a limited number of spots in the comedic race and happy hour with Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi beers.

END14_Doe_Schirf_E64Q09362.) LOCATION: A STUNNING MOUNTAIN TOWN WITH GOOD FOLKS AND TRUE BIKE CULTURE

Sun Valley is a town filled with friendly locals, handy bike mechanics, bars and restaurants that offer the full spectrum by which to refuel, rehydrate, and even dehydrate.

“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.”

3.) PEDAL POWER: RACE THE SHIMANO BOULDER MOUNTAIN FOX TROT 50K CROSS-COUNTRY MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE

With the introduction of the Shimano Boulder Mountain Fox Trot 50k, the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival will fully encompass what it means to Ride Sun Valley. The point-to-point course will climb over 4,200 feet and weave through 32 miles of trails in the Sawtooth National Recreational Area. Dramatic vistas will accompany burning legs and lungs as racers pedal some of Sun Valley’s top backcountry mountain bike trails.

“We’re excited to announce the addition of a cross-country race to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival lineup,” said Event Director Seth Delorey. “This rugged race will really help showcase a larger selection of the local trails and show why Sun Valley is a world-class mountain bike destination.”

END14_ElliotDoe_Schirf_E64Q25454.) GRAVITY & SPEED: COMPETE IN THE SCOTT ENDURO CUP PRESENTED BY VITTORIA

Sun Valley, ID, will mark the second stop 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. Racers will use a combination of lifts and good old pedal power to reach the start of each course. This year’s exciting new course combines an epic combination of world-class Bald Mountain descents and local-favorite backcountry classics.

Day one features the Sun Valley backcountry trails with two timed stages covering almost 6 miles, and 3,200 vertical feet of descent. The second day of racing takes place on the legendary singletrack of Sun Valley Resort and Bald Mountain with three timed stages covering more than 11 miles, and 4,000-plus vertical feet of descent.

The Enduro Cup race series is open to all levels of riders from amateur to pro for both men and women above the age of 13. For more information and to register, visit endurocupmtb.com.

5.) BOOGIE: RSV BIKE PROM

The first Ride Sun Valley Bike Prom will take place as a nighttime extension of the festival with an ’80s theme twist. Prom-goers are invited to dress in their fanciest retro attire and accent their bikes to match. The Prom Committee will dub the Prom King and Queen by awarding prizes for the Best Costume and Best Bike Decor. Unique awards will be designed by Biondi Handcrafted in Idaho. The prom will be an outdoor party at the center of the Expo Area featuring music from a DJ/Emcee. Guests will remember their glamorous night by stepping into the Cox Communications Photobooth and partaking in the bike-lane promenade ride.

Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi beer will be served and local food vendors will be on site. Raffle tickets will be sold all evening to benefit the local trail nonprofit, Wood River Bike Coalition. Entry to the Bike Prom is FREE.

Rebecca Rusch6.) LADIES ONLY: REBECCA RUSCH CLINICS FOR BIKE MECHANIC AND ENDURO SKILLS

Friday highlights women’s-specific bike mechanic and enduro skills clinics hosted by Sun Valley local and biking legend, Rebecca Rusch, who helps participants improve their riding skills at any level in a non-competitive, fun and supportive atmosphere.

A variety of skill and bike mechanic clinics will be offered throughout the festival for women and men, adults and juniors. Whether your are just starting to ride or looking to take your skills to the next level, Ride Sun Valley will certainly have something for you to add to your mountain bike tool kit.

END14_ExpoArea_Schirf_E64Q04517.) GET ROWDY AT THE DOWNTOWN CRITERIUM TEAM RELAY CLAD IN COSTUMES

Later Friday evening, the town will be alive and kicking during the Downtown Criterium, which is grin-inducing whether you are on the sidelines or in the saddle. This multi-lap race through town is lined with enthusiastic crowds cheering on goofy relay teams of four vying for cold hard cash. In addition to cash, each person from the winning team will win a set of Vittoria tires and each person from the second place team will win a single Vittoria tire. Team costumes are mandatory and local bragging rights are on the line.

Starting in front of the Sun Valley Visitors Center with races beginning at approximately 8:30 p.m., the Downtown Criterium Team Relay is an event not to be missed!

8.) TRAIL-BLAZE: LOCAL STOKER RIDES PRESENTED BY NINKASI

Ever get to a town and need the beta on where the best rides are? If simply trail-blazing the 400+ miles of continuous single track suits your fancy, local experts guide group rides through the weekend. Enjoy FREE guided rides on the best singletrack trails in the area. This is a great opportunity for visitors and competitors alike to get out on some of Sun Valley’s best trails with the locals.

The “easy” rides will be approximately 1-2 hours, with moderate climbing and technical ability required. The “hard” rides will range from 3-5 hours, with significant climbing and advanced technical skills required. All are welcome.

END14_ExpoArea_Schirf_E64Q08669.) TUNES AND TRIALS AT THE EXPO AREA AND CONCERTS

Come out and experience the newest bikes and equipment from a number of the best brands in the sport. Take the bikes for a spin on a portion of the 400 miles of singletrack right outside of town. When you’re finished cruising, be sure to enjoy a cold beer and entertainment in the festival area! This event is FREE to the public.

Downtown Ketchum 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. PlayHard GiveBack presents the Opening Night Concerts at Ride Sun Valley featuring 3-4 local bands, playing from 2-11 p.m.

10.) RALLY AT THE SIXTH ANNUAL IDAHO STATE PUMP TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS BY COX COMMUNICATIONS

Over 150 kids big and small will turn up to the Idaho Pump Track State Championships. Adults and kids pack the infield for a great family night of racing and fun. Based on one run of two timed laps, competitors “pump” their bikes to maintain speed around the course. There is a three second penalty for any pedal stroke (Open Class, and 13 & Under Class). The fastest two-lap time wins. Keep an eye out for the Mini Racing showcasing shredder 6 and under and 9 and under.

Built in October 2009 by Alpine Bike Parks, the Ketchum Bike Park is one of the nation’s premier public pump track facilities. With an open layout similar to a skatepark, the Ketchum Bike Park features full irrigation for perfect dirt, native landscaping and a large spectator area for families. The park is owned by the Blaine County School District, maintained by Ketchum Parks and Recreation and has a dedicated group of volunteers.

For the complete festival schedule, click HERE.