View Post
Biking, Fall, Summer

Getting Out There and Grinding Gravel at Rebecca’s Private Idaho

Sun Valley has long been known around the Labor Day time of year as the home of one of the most remarkable non-motorized parades in the country, Wagon Days.  But last year, local endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch, brought a new sort of twist on the non-motorized parade to town, Rebecca's Private Idaho. Heading into the great wide open a rider crosses into another world.  Wildhorse Canyon meets the Copper Basin.   Capitalizing on the lack of tarmac and abundance of top notch gravel roads which criss cross the county, this event run in the European Grand Fondo tradition, sends riders on an odyssey without the pressure of needing to compete, but inviting them to choose their own level of adventure. As many sports do, road cycling has evolved over the recent years with a new category whose machines make riding dirt roads, well, kind of cool and fun. Why is there a picture of an ass in this post? Read on, it will make sense. Wagon Days parade entrant #22.   For the second year in a row, the four legged non-motorized set was joined by the two legged two wheeled contingent adding a new wrinkle to an old horse. …

View Post
Biking, Summer

Ride Sun Valley: The Best Time on Two Wheels Anywhere!

The Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival brought some of the best racers and good timers out there to Sun Valley. Headlining the festival was the Scott Sports Enduro Cup presented by GoPro   And yes, all the way down there, way below, where the cars look like little ants, yep that’s the finish.   It began four years ago with a dream we had to put together a chemistry experiment of sorts.  Why wouldn’t the perfect organism of mountain biking, Sun Valley, thrive with a concoction of one part fun, one part silliness, and one part competition mixed with good food and great beer injected into its vein just around the time it ripens into the ideal host?   Mountain biking’s unknown paradise needed a festival and so we cooked one up.  This summer, the Smith Optics Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival elevated the health of the creature to an all time high, putting together the perfect elixir encompassing four nights and three days of riding, racing, live music, beer drinking and, most importantly, just generally goofing off. The weekend began with the Sheeptown Drag Races, a time honored underground event in the valley which was cooked up …

View Post
Biking, Bucket List, Summer

Coyote Yurt: Singletrack, Shuttles, and Backwoods Amenities

Sore legs, epic views, and cold beer. Three thoughts that command my attention as I reflect on a glorious weekend spent acquainting myself with Coyote Yurt in the Smokey Mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho. This magical, remote place perched high above the valley is a dream come true for mountain bikers looking to ride endless single track from a base far away from it all, yet still fully supported. Think glam camping with all the beer you can fit in to a 4×4, comfy beds, and bottomless vistas.  The Coyote Yurt should be on your Sun Valley bucket list.

View Post
Biking, Summer

Baldy Gets a Bike Park, Sun Valley Breaks Ground on a New Playground

It started like most great ideas.  After a series of stiff beers from Europe served at a local house of ill repute, some local emissaries lit on the idea of providing an economic impact study on the business that surounds mountain biking, more specifically bike park mountain biking. The arms race for summertime recreation has been heating up over the past few years with bike parks popping up like opportunistic weeds all around the world. With changes in bike technology and the growing momentum of mountain biking we felt there was a case to be made.   Only a couple of years after that study was delivered on the doorstep of Sun Valley Company a flurry of planning, applying for permits, and corralling contractors, precipitated.  Cutting to the chase, Sun Valley broke ground this late summer on what will be one of the biggest bike parks in the country. Working on a five year build out plan Sun Valley has taken the bull (er rather shovel) by the horns and dived right in to building a facility that will further the area's reputation as a mountain bike mecca. And so we felt it only appropriate to take a day and …

View Post
Biking, Fall

Rebecca’s Private Idaho or Enter the Pain Cave, We’ll Feed You Beers Later

Sun Valley is a mountain bike paradise with over 400 miles of singletrack spun like a spider web in all directions.  However, what many don't realize is the abundance of jaw dropping scenic and leg crushing dirt roads that beg to be pedaled weaving through the region connecting remote corners with main arteries.  Local endurance sadomasochist, 24 hour and Leadville suffer queen, Rebecca Rusch, hatched an idea to bring her legions to the valley and show them what a good time was.  She called named it in the apropos style, Rebecca's Private Idaho , which sounds deceptively quaint.  This quaint little tour is a 50 or 100 mile grind over hill and dale from Sun Valley and back again covering some spectacular country and just hard enough to make on find religion yet shy of questioning life. They charged out the gate like eager rabbits but the road would decide who hopped and who crawled home.   In the Old World of cycling, another name for Europe, one of the most popular riding event formats is the Grand Fondo.  This is a bit like a massive group ride that is timed but is more about the camaraderie than it is the result.  Sure some …

View Post
Biking, Bucket List, Summer

A Day in The Dirt with Sun Valley’s Osberg Ridge Trail

To be honest, the Osberg Ridgeline Trail doesn't make any sense.   It's too perfect.  It's too remote, yet too close.  It's singletrack is too flowy, too rolly, too buffed out and way too scenic to be so close yet so far away.   It's too easy to be a backcountry trail and it's too far from town to be… well it's almost too much of everything to be real.  But it is.  Sitting in the middle of nowhere, 3,000' above the valley floor, unspooling from east to west, following a prominent ridge system that divides Baker Creek and Warm Springs Creek with views for tens if not hundreds of miles, this newest addition to the Sun Valley region's singletrack motherload is a mind blower.

View Post
Biking, Summer

Ride Sun Valley: More Fun Than a Monkey on a Unicycle

Ride Sun Valley has become a major staple of both the Sun Valley’s summer event offering and the bike festival world as recognized by Outside Magazine.  Spanning two weekends with events ranging from the Shimano Super Enduro to kids racing to pumptrack racing to free guided rides to the US National Championships and all parts in between this is a week which celebrates the area’s 400+ miles of mountain bike trails and the thriving local bike scene.  

View Post
Biking, Summer

SHEEPTOWN DRAG RACES: FLAMING LOGS, SINGED NOSTRILS

Every good drag race has a Christmas Tree. Sheeptown is a good drag race.     It didn’t seem likely that this event could ever have happened.  The idea was in actuality a creative ruse, nothing was really supposed to come of it.  But minutes after posting a photo of a drawing scrawled on wrinkled paper showing riders towing logs behind bikes in front of hundreds of screaming fans that had flames added to the logs in an attempt to garner more attention, the fire chief had called and demanded more information.  “What was the fire chief doing on my blog during the middle of the day anyway?” I wondered. The Avenue of Sheeptown is littered with charred dreams   Seven years later and the Hailey FD as well as the majority of the Sun Valley area has embraced the Sheeptown Drag Races.  It’s a fairly simple event: fill up a single elimination bracket for head to head drag racing on bikes.  The bikes tow logs.  The logs are soaked in diesel.  It’s free to enter and literally no clear rules exist.  Once you make it to the round of 16 the logs are lit afire and the crowd begins …