This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Unconventionalists have Burning Man, music fans have Coachella … and mountain bikers? Well, they've got Outerbike.
It is that time of year again when mountain bikers, or at least the lucky ones, head to Moab for three days of rad riding on all the best bikes 2014 and 2015 have to offer. In between taking turns on the Bar M trails, bikers can take in clinics with pros, bike parties, beer gardens and movie and music events.
What could be better? Not much, is the general belief, which is why the dream of Ashley Korenblat, the owner of Western Spirit Cycling, has grown into a must-do event.
Outerbike was first created as mountain biking's answer to Interbike, the industry's big splashy show in Las Vegas where industry insiders and pros alike come together to make pitches on new gear and new teams for the coming season. Unfortunately it's a rather exclusive party, so unless you know someone inside the industry, getting into the event can be harder than negotiating technical single track.
The beauty of Outerbike is there is no such exclusivity. This event was made for the everyday biker.
All you need is enough coins to cover the $160 registration fee, means to get to Moab, a place to stay and the willingness to have fun.
Korenblat's dream has been a hit, with the event featuring 400 riders in 2010 and with more than 1,000 expected this week. But don't worry, Korenblat says there will be plenty of bikes available.
"This year, we will have the greatest number of exhibitors and the largest number of bikes," she said. "Attendees are coming from almost every state in the U.S., as well as 12 countries across the world."
The event has become so popular it is expanding. A spring Outerbike session is planned for March 13-15 in Moab and a summer event is being planned for Whistler on June 4-7.
The idea of Outerbike was to turn more people onto riding rather than turn them away. The second idea was to expose as many people as possible to the trail work that has been going on in Moab in recent years.
Moab might have earned its spot on the biking map with the famous Slickrock trail, but it has become so much more than the technical, crazy-angled riding that the legendary trail offers.
Bar M, the locale for the event, has more than 30 miles of trails in itself. They range from easy, family trails to technical, slick rock challenges.
Above the Bar M section is the Mag 7 cluster of trails, built around the famous Gemini Bridges trail.
Now, however, there are more single track options to explore, giving mountain bikers a way to avoid all the motorized travel the original trail sees.
Just down the road is the Klondike Bluffs section of trails that not only offers beautiful views but some of the best single track riding in the area.
Outerbike allows Moab's bike enthusiasts to showcase these trails on top end gear. Participants can check out a fancy new bike, then go test it on the terrain of their choice or use it on one of the shuttle rides. Friday's shuttle is to Amasa Back, Saturday's to Mag 7 and Sunday's is to North Klondike.
The demos are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with free lunches available every day. Ride hard, but don't ride so hard that you wear yourself out on Saturday.
Saturday night's big splash features Metalachi, a heavy metal mariachi band.
Outerbike touts the night as Moab's best party of the year. That might be true, but Outerbike is the event of the year.
All you need to know:
Date, location • Friday through Sunday, in Moab
What it is • Ride new demo bikes, enjoy free shuttles, free food and swag for $160 registration fee.
Insider tips • Take your own pedals and weigh yourself before going it will speed up the process when mechanics fit you for the various bikes. Also, water, snacks and lunch are available, but take extra water, as it can still be hot in the desert.
For more info • http://www.outerbike.com