Saturday, July 20, 2019
Outerbike Offers Some of the Most Fun to be Had on Two Wheels
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Sun Valley’s CrankTank is holding an event at the Limelight Hotel in conjunction with Outerbike.
 
Friday, June 14, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Who knew a test drive could be so much fun?

Outerbike is rolling into Sun Valley next weekend. And with it a rolling party on wheels.

It’s a chance for bicyclists to try the latest, greatest bikes out there—as many of them as they want. Not ready for a new bike? Just bring the one you have and do the trails and parties with others who like bikes.

 
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If you think Outerbike is a bunch of dudes standing around talking shop, you’d only be partly correct. The other 90 percent is riding bikes on amazing trails, eating great food, quaffing a brewski and making new friends.
 

“There will be people flying in to get the best bike for the year,” said Ray Gadd, of Visit Sun Valley Marketing Alliance. “We’re left blushing to be included on Outerbike’s list of top-notch locations around the country.”

Outerbike kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday, June 21, and runs through 4 p.m.  Sunday, June 23, operating from the base of Bald Mountain at Sun Valley Resort. It will be augmented by a variety of other events, including Ketchum’s Summer Solstice Bash, the Sheeptown Drag Races and a bike film festival.

But, of course, the main event is Outerbike itself.

Packages include free beer, lunch under the big tent prepared by a private chef from Moab and an opportunity to try out as many bikes as one’s legs can peddle, as well as helmets and other gear. Lift tickets to ride Sun Valley Resort’s Bald Mountain and a chance to chat with manufacturers and other bicycling enthusiasts over lunch or a beer are part of the lure.

There are three ways to get involved:

  • The Full Demo package costs $240 and provides three days of unlimited bike demos, three days of lift tickets to ride Bald Mountain, three lunches, access to the Outerbike venue and vendors, access to Outerbike Happy Hour and a chance to win prizes and contests.

    Think that’s a little steep? Not really, when you consider many bike shops around the country charge as much as $100 to rent a bike for a day. At Outerbike cyclists can try all the bikes they can handle in three days.

    Cyclists get the chance to try a high-end bike before plunking down $10,000 for it. They get a chance to try bicycles that are only sold direct to consumers, rather than through shops. And they get a chance to try gear not available in their hometown.

    Happy with your own bike? You can still participate.

  • The BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike) ticket costs $190 and offers shuttle rides, lift tickets, lunches, access to the venue and vendors, a chance to partake in Happy Hour and a chance to win prizes and contests. Everything but an opportunity to demo bikes.
  • The Social Card, which costs $85, enables bike enthusiasts to join like-minded folks over three lunches, gain access to the Outerbike venue and vendors, Happy Hour and compete for prizes and contests.

    Outerbike features a variety of vendors ranging from the well-known Cannondale and Shimano to not-so -well known manufacturers like Alchemy bicycles and Zoic.

    Mark Sevenoff, who leads bike tours around Moab, said he and his wife Ashley Korenblat started Outerbike in 2010 as a consumer version of the Interbike trade show held each year in Las Vegas for retailers and industry insiders.

    “A lot of our Western Spirit Cycling clients wanted to go. My wife said, ‘Maybe we could get the vendors and manufacturers up here,” he recounted.

    The vendors came and the cycling enthusiasts showed up, pleased as punch that they’d been invited to the table. And pretty soon Sevenoff found himself holding four Outerbike events a year in places like Whistler.

    Last year Outerbike attracted attendees from 49 states who availed themselves of 10,000 bike demos. There were 182 exhibitors.

    Many attendees went home with a new bike. Some went home with a couple.

    Sevenoff has scheduled four Outerbike events this year in Sun Valley, Moab, Crested Butte and Bentonville, Ark.

    This is the first time Outerbike has been to Sun Valley, even though it’s one of Sevenoff’s favorite places to ride. He expects 400 to 500 people to show up this year and for it to get bigger next year.

    “We have to cap it at a thousand people in some places because we only have so many bikes. But the first year is always a little smaller. And Sun Valley’s a destination—you’ve got to want to get there,” he said.

    Outerbike’s hashtag is: Try before you buy.

    “You can go into a local shop and try one or two bikes. You can go to Outerbike and try 20 different brands, and you get to take them out on Bald Mountain and on single track in places like Greenhorn,” said Sevenoff. “If you’re really looking to buy a bike, this is the best way to pick it out.”

    Last year 27.5 wheels were hot, Sevenoff said. This year the latest technology for eBikes is expected to turn heads. There should be some nifty new road and gravel bikes, as well.

    The City of Ketchum and others are staging events that will add to the festival-like atmosphere.

  • Power House in Hailey will stage the Sheeptown Drag Races beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 20 in Hailey. Open to adults and kids alike, bicyclists race head to head dragging a log behind them. The log is lit for the finals.
  • The City of Ketchum will host a Summer Solstice Bash from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 21, to celebrate the first day of summer at the Ketchum Town Square. It will include a balloon clown, face painters, jugglers, magicians and more, plus live music from Nate Botsford and Band.
  • Warfield Distillery & Brewery will host a Filmed by Bike Film Festival featuring short films highlighting adventures on bikes from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22. The Warfield will follow up with a Concert on the Corner at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 23. This one will feature the Josh Kelly Band.
  • And the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will hold a reggae concert featuring Ziggy Marley and Michael Franti at River Run at 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, for those who want to hang around an extra day.

IF YOU GO: Registration and early check-in takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20. Registration resumes at 8 a.m. Friday, June 21, with the bike demos beginning at 9 a.m. First shuttles will head to Greenhorn Gulch south of Ketchum at 9:30 a.m. where eBikes are allowed.

There also are guided rides with former national mountain bike champion Rebecca Rusch, as well as Wild Rye Ladies Rides, no-drop XC rides offered by Club Ride and more.

To learn more, visit www.outerbike.com.

 

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