It’s a weekend to test out next year’s mountain bikes and gear on the trails. For four days, some of the best known bike and gear manufacturers will set up at the Outerbike Expo site 10 miles north of Moab off Hwy 191.
Outerbike is providing ride shuttles on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 2 and 3. The Outerbike Demo Days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4, 5 and 6.
Pete Sampson traveled from his home in Dallas, Texas to attend Outerbike last year.
“I flew in, and rode over $30,000 worth of bikes, ate three huge lunches, did four awesome shuttled rides, saw two cool movies, made three new friends, and got two clean t-shirts all for $150 bucks. It was the best deal ever,” Sampson said.
Outerbike has seen steady growth since its inception with the number of attendees expected to reach 1500 people in its fourth year.
Last year the total number of attendees surpassed the 1000 mark. The sign up rate this year is double the rate in 2012, with folks coming from almost every state in the United States, Canada and several countries in Europe.
“We have two main kinds of attendees,” said Ashley Korenblat, owner of Western Spirit Cycling, which organizes the event. “On one hand, we have folks that come because they are ready to purchase a new bike and Outerbike is the only real opportunity to test ride bikes back-to-back on killer trails. On the other hand, we have passionate riders looking for a fun way to experience the world-class riding Moab has to offer.”
“Not surprisingly those who use this event as an inexpensive vacation end up falling in love with a new bike anyway,”said Sean Hazell, of Western Spirit Cycling.
For those who want to start the weekend early, Outerbike rides are available on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 2 and 3. Riders can sign up to take skills clinics with local guides and coaches, or join guided rides on trails like Porcupine Rim, the Whole Enchilada, Intrepid Trails and Klondike Bluffs.
“You will need a bike for these Wednesday and Thursday rides, because the demo bikes won’t be available until Friday,” Korenblat said. “You are welcome to bring your own. The easiest option is to rent one. Western Spirit has compiled a list of Moab’s finest bike shops and their contact information.”
Shuttles will leave from River Canyon Lodge and Aarchway Inn beginning at 7:30 a.m. to transport Outerbike participants to the event 10 miles north of Moab. The shuttles will run every 30 minutes until 6 p.m.
Participants can test ride next year’s bikes during Outerbike’s Demo Days.
“There are 20 miles of connected loops that range from fun and easy to technical and gnarly, plus a paved bike path leading to two national parks for road rides,” Hazell said.
The Brand trails network, adjacent to the event site, has over 20 miles of trails that varies from easy to difficult.
Riders will also have the opportunity to take shuttles to some of Moab’s most popular and new singletrack trails, such as Captain Ahab and the Magnificent Seven.
There will be a system of tagging the demo bikes to insure that every attendee gets to ride each bike on their list. One color tag keeps the bike on the trails surrounding the venue and the other tag allows the bike to go on the shuttled rides.
The system was used introduced at last year’s Outerbike event.
“The beauty of this system is that the exhibitors had the ability to change tags whenever they wished,” Korenblat said. “With the increase in demo bikes and the new tagging system, everyone got to ride every bike, which made for a super fun relaxed atmosphere.”
Shuttles will run back and forth from the event to the trail of the day beginning at 9:30 a.m.. Friday is the Slickrock trail in the Sand Flats Recreation Area; Saturday is the Sovereign trail system and Sunday is the Magnificent Seven trail system, both north of Moab.
Outerbike will also host a movie nights at 8 p.m. with the movie “Arrival” on Thursday evening and the movies “Not Bad” and “Singletrack High” on Friday.