It's about 25 days and counting until all the excitement and hullabaloo of the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival July 11-17 that includes the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country National Championships.
But the locals don't want to be outdone, and several road bike and mountain bike events this coming weekend are a good indication that the Sun Valley area is not only "Nordictown," but also "Biketown."
One of the newer versions of Wood River Valley summertime fun is Friday's Hot Dog Hill Climb One Handed World Time Trial Championships (HDHCOHWTTC) that's part of Hailey's Sheeptown Festival. So, let's get in the saddle:
Sheeptown Festival starts Thursday in Hailey
You're mistaken if you think this week's Sheeptown Festival mountain bike event in Hailey is anything but fun. "It's all fun, and it's free," said Billy Olson of Powerhouse Bike Pub and Fit Studio (788-9184).
And there is something for everyone, although Friday's Bike Polo Cultural Event is not intended for the cultured.
The fun begins Thursday, June 16 with the Sheeptown Drag Races starting at 5:30 p.m. on Hailey's River Street directly behind Powerhouse. The head-to-head "drag races," are just that, mountain bikers dragging logs behind their bikes and seeing how it all comes out. "We had 400 people watching last year," said Olson.
River Street will be closed off to vehicular traffic during the evening for the log drag racing. Register by 5:30 p.m.
The festival moves up to Cutters Park pavement on the other side of Hailey Friday, June 17 for the Bike Polo Cultural Event at 6 p.m. followed by the HDHCOHWTTC, not intended for the faint hearted. The hill climb is at 8:30 p.m.
On Saturday the Sheeptown Festival winds up with the Sheeptown Epic—about a four- or five-hour ride on an unannounced course ("a surprise course," Olson said) leaving from the Powerhouse shop at 9 a.m. For more details visit farca.wordpress.com.
Perch stages bike hill climb
The Elephant's Perch of Ketchum is staging its Town to Summit mass start bike hill climb Saturday, June 18 beginning with a neutral roll-out mass start at 9 a.m. on Sun Valley Rd. next to the Perch.
Riders of all kinds of bikes are welcome—cross bike, road bike or mountain bike. The course measures 12.4 miles including 2.2 miles on the dirt right up to the summit of Trail Creek Road east of Sun Valley.
There will be a rolling mass start up the road until Sun Valley Clubhouse, where it's "game on" the rest of the way.
Sign up at the Perch or Durance Cycleworks in Ketchum before 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Entry fee of $25 includes a one-day USA Cycling license. Cost is $15 if you already have a license.
The Perch will have a post-race party at 1 p.m. Saturday where food, refreshments and category awards (fastest Open male and female, fastest Junior male and female) will be provided. Last year there were 50 finishers, Richard Feldman cresting the hill in 45:31. Adrienne Leugers (54:54) paced gals.
Visit elephantsperch.com or call 726-3497 for details.
Soldier Mountain Smoker
If you're keen on qualifying for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country National Championships in July, you might want to take part in the Soldier Mountain Smoker cross-country race Saturday.
The Smoker is a qualifying event for the nationals.
Or you might want to ride just to enjoy springtime in the hills north of Fairfield. Smoker organizer Marc Driver said, "It's very lush and green, beautiful scenery. If you haven't ridden at Soldier Mountain you ought to come over and try it."
Co-sponsored by Broken Spoke Cycling of Boise, the Smoker is a Knobby Tire Series event on courses covering 23, 16 and 10 miles. Mountain bikers expect high-speed rolling double track and tight, technical sagebrush single track.
It all starts Saturday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Soldier Mountain 10 miles north of Fairfield. USA Cycling classes including Pro, Category 1, 2 and 3 are featured. Register 30 minutes before your event at Soldier Mountain Lodge, or sign up at spondoro.com or knobbytireseries.com.
Driver said the annual Galena Grinder/Whit Henry Memorial is scheduled for Saturday, July 23 at Galena Lodge, after the end of the big weeklong event at Sun Valley.