It’s not every day that you get to thoroughly test something before you purchase it.
Moab’s Outerbike event is an opportunity to try out as many new bikes as you can over the course of a weekend, and as an extra enticement, it includes prizes, beer, lunches and parties, to boot.
Grab a shuttle and go for a long ride, or stay close to the event’s main venue – the Moab Brands Trail System – to try out a larger number of bikes. Or, do some of both over the course of the weekend.
Registration for Outerbike begins on Thursday, March 31; the rides start on Friday, April 1, and go through Sunday, April 3.
On Saturday, April 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m., there will be continuous shuttles to the Amasa Back trailhead, giving access to Hymasa, Captain Ahab, Pothole Arch, Rockstacker and Jackson trails. Shuttles will also bring participants back to the main venue for lunch served between noon and 2:30 p.m. Lunch is included all three days.
“The food is really great because Ken Moody is cooking,” Outerbike co-founder Ashley Korenblat said. “He’s a local Moab chef known for using local ingredients. Everything he makes is fantastic, and there’s plenty of it.”
Korenblat and her husband Mark Sevenoff founded Outerbike six years ago in the fall to help consumers get familiar with bikes before investing in one. The couple own Western Spirit Cycling, a Moab-based bike touring company. This is the second year the event has also been offered in the spring.
New models of bikes are being introduced for the very first time in Moab, which Korenblat said is particularly exciting.
“The bike industry is changing,” she said. “Manufacturing companies are releasing new models whenever they’re ready instead of waiting for the calendar year to end,” as they’ve done in the past.
“Several manufacturers, such as Ivis, Marin and Specialized, are using Spring Outerbike to introduce their new models,” she said.
Durango Bike Company, of Colorado, is one of the companies that will be showing bikes. Marketing director Wendy Aber said attending Outerbike is a great way to make an “educated purchase” of a bike.
“Bikes are so expensive compared to what they were 20 years ago,” she said. “Before that investment, you want to be confident about your purchase. It’s a great format for trying different brands.”
Aber recommends that people take different bikes on the same trail to “see how each one feels on rocky sections, tight switchbacks,” and “how each bike handles.”
On April 2, continuous shuttles take participants to the Magnificent 7 trailhead, which provides access to Bull Run, Getaway, Great Escape, Arth’s Corner and Gemini Bridges.
Korenblat said she thinks riders will especially enjoy shuttles on April 3 to the Navajo Rocks trailhead, a relatively new figure-eight trail built by Grand County Trail Mix.
“It’s an incredible trail with a bunch of different ecosystems that you wouldn’t expect in the desert,” Korenblat said. “There are hanging gardens in cliff alcoves, so there must be a seep there.”
In addition to shuttles and lunch, there are parties and beer Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings. Although people can bring their own bike and partake of the festivities for a lesser fee, most participants buy the whole package, Korenblat said. The “official” Outerbike party happens at World Famous Woody’s Tavern, 221 S. Main St., on Saturday, April 1, starting at 8 p.m.
Participants can drive to the venue or take a shuttle from the Moab Information Center at 25 E. Center St. – or, of course, they can ride their bikes. People can register early on Thursday, March 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Moab Brewery, 686 S. Main St.
Outerbike demo event returns on April 1
“Bikes are so expensive compared to what they were 20 years ago … Before that investment, you want to be confident about your purchase. It’s a great format for trying different brands.”
When: Friday, April 1, through Sunday, April 3
Where: Moab Brands Trailhead, U.S. Highway 191
Cost: $175 for entire package
Information: www.outerbike.com; 800-845-2453; 435-259-8732
For more information, go to www.outerbike.com, or call 800-845-2453 or 435-259-8732.