New mountain bike festival to celebrate outdoor recreation, Fraser Valley
Fraser MTB Festival
Noon - camping spots open
1 p.m. - dual slalom practice begins
6 p.m. - Monix and Parks Thomson play live music
4 p.m. - qualifying races for dual slalom
6 p.m. - Ghost Town Drifters and That Damn Sasquatch play live music
4 p.m. - dual slalom finals with awards following
FRASER — Mountain bikers in Grand County have no shortage of places to ride, but few places offer race courses, cross-country courses, food, music and events all at one location. This year’s first Fraser Mountain Bike Festival is looking to change that.
The Fraser MTB Fest will feature the Colorado State Championship dual slalom race and a short cross-country race on July 28 and 29 at the Colorado Adventure Park in Fraser. Festivalgoers can enjoy food, live music each night and an artist village featuring local artists. There will also be on-site camping for those who need a spot to crash at the end of the night.
The event, presented by the town of Fraser, is the first festival put on by the town as a way to brand Fraser as a destination for outdoor recreation, according to Allie Heon, a business development specialist for the town.
“We wanted to support a festival that celebrates everything that makes the Fraser valley so unique and mountain biking is really one of those things,” Heon said. “We wanted to maximize the amount of outdoor recreational activities to draw people here as a destination. Mountain biking really sews in the whole gap between ski season end and start, so we see it as a great way to bring folks to the Valley.”
Chris Olivier, a coordinator of the event, said the festival’s main goal is to celebrate mountain biking across all experience levels.
“We are just looking to create a festival for Fraser that celebrates the past-time in the Valley at this time of year, which is mountain biking,” he said. “We wanted to create something a little more central to Fraser.”
Olivier said the festival has received positive feedback from both the mountain bike community and the town of Fraser. He expects 300 to 400 people per day during the event.
The courses were designed with beginners and professionals in mind by a well-known designer, Joe Prisel. The dual slalom will be a steep, fast ride over rollers, jumps and other technical sections to make the race fun for riders and spectators.
“What we were looking for in the course is something that’s fun for everyone,” Olivier said. “When you’re trying to attract both younger riders looking to progress and the top pros for a good show, it’s a little tricky but that’s something Joe is really good at. Together we came up with something that we feel is a challenging course for everyone from the 13 and under class to the pros.”
The dual slalom race will start with qualifying rounds on Saturday afternoon and the finals will be on Sunday afternoon. The race is scheduled so that riders can also compete in the Trestle DH series at Trestle Bike Park.
One female winner and one male winner of the slalom will each receive a $2,000 prize.
Olivier said the dual slalom is a popular format, but isn’t often found at mountain biking events because it is expensive to create. He hopes that the excitement draws people to the festival.
“It’s fun for the riders to do head-to-head racing, but it’s also really popular for spectators because you can see the action and you can see the whole race from start to finish,” he said.
Both Olivier and Heon hope that the festival will be successful enough to become an annual event.
“My goal for the event is, primarily, supporters of the event and residents of the Valley see the potential, I want them to be excited about it,” Heon said. “I hope there’s enough excitement generated from this event that we can continue to build on mountain bike and outdoor recreation focused events in the summer.”
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