Sean Gollub of Bellingham, Washington-based Canfield Brothers (left) readied a bike for Grand County High School mountain bike team member Ridge Murdock at the Outerbike event in October 2016. [Moab Sun News file photo]

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” But he never attended Outerbike Moab.

In 2010, Western Spirit Cycling Adventures decided to create an event where anyone can test the latest mountain bikes and gear in the beautiful and exhilarating setting of Moab. From Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2, Outerbike will be doing just that.

Moab road and mountain biker Derek Timothy said that Outerbike caters to mountain bike enthusiasts, as well as the mountain bike companies that want to show off and demo their new bikes.

Chris Wamsley, an employee of Western Spirit Cycling who’s helping set up vendors for Outerbike, noted that an exclusive trade show called Interbike is held for industry people in Las Vegas every year.  

“We wanted to create an event where everybody was invited to the party,” Wamsley said.  

Outerbike is scheduled to be in Moab twice this year, in the spring and the fall, as well as in Crested Butte, Colorado, in August.

“In the fall, we can see the 2018 gear that is coming,” Wamsley said. “The spring event is nice because you get out of the snow and come to Moab, and if you’re planning on buying a bike this season, it’s a good time to come see for yourself what your needs are. It’s more than just being able to test it in the parking lot.”

Outerbike offers three different passes for different needs. The “Social Card” allows visitors come and check out vendors, get lunch and drink beer with their friends. The “BYOB,” or bring your own bike, allows attendees to get three lunches, free shuttle rides, attend parties and be eligible for prizes. The “Full Demo” is just that. Attendees can check out any bike they want and get shuttled to and from the event to the trails.

Outerbike is held at the trailhead for the Bar M trails, located 8 miles north of Moab off U.S. Highway 191, an area that caters to all levels of mountain bike riders.  

“We also shuttle to the fun spots here in Moab,” Wamsley said. “Friday is to Navajo Rocks, Saturday is to Mag 7 and Sunday is to Amasa Back.”

The event attracts riders from all over.

“We’re on track for about 500 people for spring, and fall is usually around 1,000,” Wamsley said. “It does bring people to Moab to fill hotel rooms and eat dinner. From 9 to 4, we take care of them fully, but before and after that they’re spending money here in town.”

Last fall, he said, the event drew more than 60 vendors.

“We always make sure there are more bikes than people,” Wamsley said.

“It brings in a lot of tourism dollars for the community,” Timothy added. “It’s fun to go check out the new bike models and gear and meet new and old people who are passionate about the sport. I enjoy the sense of community regarding the sport, which is currently thriving. Oh, and they spend a lot of money from hotels to restaurants to (Pabst Blue Ribbon beer) at the gas stations.”

Timothy, who has been riding bikes around Moab for many years, said the public should understand that as opposed to some other functions in town, people who come here for Outerbike are “generally nice and respectful.”

“They are here to ride and geek out on bikes – not here to destroy the environment, pollute the air nor make a lot of noise,” he said.

Dozens of mountain bike vendors expected at spring Outerbike demo

What: Spring Outerbike

When: Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 2

Where: Bar M Trailhead and other area trails

Cost: Varies from $70 to $200, plus fees; sales end on March 28

Information:; 800-845-2453

It’s fun to go check out the new bike models and gear and meet new and old people who are passionate about the sport. I enjoy the sense of community regarding the sport, which is currently thriving.

For more information, go to, or call Western Spirit Cycling Adventures at 800-845-2453.