Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rhythm & Ride coming our way

Organizers announce schedule of bicycle and music festival

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy graphic The new Rhythm & Ride Festival kicks off on June 23.

It's about time to tune up your bicycle and work off that winter weight so you can fit into those Spandex cycling shorts.

The first ever Sun Valley Rhythm & Ride: Bike and Music Festival will be kicking off in less than six weeks, and the organizers have released the schedule of events and music for the June 23-27 celebration. A website,, has also been launched to showcase it all.

About 20 local companies and groups have put together the five-day festival to showcase the Wood River Valley's 427 miles of continuous single-track trails and 32 miles of paved path.

Here are some of the bicycling highlights:

Wednesday, June 23

The festivities will begin with a Ketchum Cruiser Criterium at 6 p.m. A criterium is a short-track bicycle race. In this case, races will involve laps around Forest Service Park in Ketchum and will be divided into age groups of multiple children's levels, adults and teens. The idea is silly costumes, your most wrecked cruiser bike or any bike. The day will finish with an "elite cruiser" criterium for those who really want to race.

The entry fee is $5 donation for children and $20 for adults, with the money going to the Wood River Bike Coalition and the Bald Mountain Rescue Fund.

Thursday, June 24

The remote Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge, 27 miles northwest of Fairfield, will host a free day at its Bike Ranch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Riders can race each other on the dueling pump tracks, take a tour of the lodge and check out the ranch's trail network. Hot dogs, burgers and beverages will be served. When you sign in to ride the pump tracks, you will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win a one-day camp of your choice.

The Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally will take place the same day from 5-10 p.m. at Croy Canyon in Hailey. Registration for the Sheeptown Drags opens at 5 p.m. accompanied by a barbecue. Races begin at 8 p.m.

Friday, June 25

The fun at Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge will continue again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with the Sheeptown Fat Tire Rally at Croy Canyon. This time the race will be a Hot Dog Hill Climb One Handed World TT Championship. Registration starts at 6 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.

The main event of the day will be the free 10 a.m. Mountain Bike Poker Ride starting and finishing at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road.

Riders will travel to five—or more—of seven checkpoints in any order to earn their hand. All riders are due back by 4 p.m. Best hand wins. Route distance will be 15-30 miles depending on the route and the number of checkpoints reached.

The Hailey Pump Park, near the Aquatic Center, will also have open riding on Friday.

Saturday, June 26

Road bicyclists will pedal a total of 100 miles over Galena Summit to Alturas Lake and back for the Sawtooth Century Ride, starting at 8 a.m. at the Elephant's Perch in Ketchum. The race will finish at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road in Sun Valley. A king and queen of the summit will be crowned for the fastest times of the man and woman making the six-mile climb up the south side of Galena Summit. A 50-mile alternative race is also open to riders.

Entry for the Sawtooth Century is $75 and $65 for half-century riders until the day before the event. Cyclists will receive a $10 discount if registered on or before June 1 at

Saturday, June 27

The Ketchum Pump Park, near Hemingway Elementary, will host the first Idaho Pump Track State Championship from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring timed racing with separate courses flagged for juniors and adults.

The rhythm

Five musical groups have been booked to add some rhythm to all the riding, with Zap Mama breaking the silence on Friday at Hop Porter Park in Hailey at 7 p.m. The group defies easy categorization with its blend of world music, fusion, African, a capella, soul, hip-hop and dance music. Tickets cost $20 for members of Sun Valley Center for the Arts, $25 for nonmembers and $5 for those ages 12 or under.

On Saturday, a foursome of bands from New York, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Calif., and Austin, Texas, will play Festival Meadows in Sun Valley from 3-9 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $5 for those 12 or under.

Trevon Milliard:

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