[Courtesy photo]

The city of Green River will host the first ever Green River Dirt Bike Rally this weekend, March 26 and 27, combining a socially distant activity with a love for locals.

“I wanted to do an event that locals would get excited about. Nowadays, locals are okay with big events, but most of them have to work the whole time. They’ll say, ‘man, our town is so busy,’” said Green River City Events Coordinator Robin Hunt. “But I know that we have a big dirt bike community here. We have a lot of people who enjoyed their biking — specifically high schoolers — and so I want to do something that would include them.”

The Green River Dirt Bike Rally “hub” is located at 90 West Pirate Avenue, near the baseball fields north of Green River. The hub will be the central meeting point for riders, sponsors and vendors. During the two-day event, attendees can participate in a Cow Tag contest; winners will win prizes ($500-$750 in value). Organizers have placed Cow Tags on myriad trails, each with a certain point value depending on the difficulty of reaching them. 

On Friday morning, attendees will meet at the hub as vendors and sponsors show off their products and host giveaways. Riders can participate in an obstacle course with a balance beam, a slow bike race and other skill-based activities. At 9 a.m., riders will leave the hub to ride for the day — organizers and guides will give trail suggestions and advice — and regroup at the baseball fields later that evening.

Utah’s San Rafael Swell is nationally known for its challenging dirt biking, especially the trail “Five Miles of Hell.” The trail is considered the toughest single-track dirt bike trail in Utah, and contrary to its name, the loop runs eight miles long. Luke’s Trail and Devil’s Racetrack are other popular, more intermediate options with great variety. The 6.2-mile Black Dragon Wash features the Black Dragon Panel, the Native American rock art that gives the trail its name, and black desert varnish. Riders can also explore the Orange, Red and Blue Trails on the south side of the Swell. 

When riders return to the hub on Friday evening, they can survey goods offered by vendors and sponsors while making sure their bikes are in tip-top shape for the next day. Maintenance and repair items will be for sale, including tires, tubes, oil and other necessities. Starting at 7 p.m., organizers will lead a night ride for those with lights — Thumper Jockey will give away five lighting systems to lucky winners — to Black Dragon Wash. 

Vendors will still have goods and giveaways to offer on Saturday morning before attendees head out to the trails again. Riders will regroup at the hub around 3 p.m. to report Cow Tag points and announce winners before dispersing, hopefully to return next year. 

Hunt reported that just under 300 riders have registered for the event, but she expects more to arrive day-of. 

“We decided to do a spring event that we hoped COVID would not interfere with. Dirt bikers are going to be outside, they’re going to be socially distant and they’re all going to have helmets on,” Hunt said about coronavirus concerns. The city had hoped to host such a gathering in the past, but when the pandemic struck, Hunt thought: “This is the time for it.”

Hunt hopes that the event will become an annual tradition for locals and dirt bike enthusiasts to enjoy for years to come. 

“This event is really catered to the riders. We have guides who know the area who are going to be able to take you to trails you may never have heard of. You’ll be safe, you’ll know where you’re going. We’re also giving away thousands of dollars worth of prizes,” she continued. 

“This weekend, you’re going to have opportunities to win great prizes, see new places and meet new people to ride with.”