Inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road Infuses
New Energy Into Grand Junction
Camaraderie and Shenanigans Bond Mountain Bikers from Across the Country
(Grand Junction, CO) August 31, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office joined forces with Epic Rides to host a unique event that traverses the world class Lunch Loops trail system while highlighting a geologically unique environment that is home to the delicate cryptobiotic soil, a living soil that is composed of algae, lichen, and moss. This fragile and special soil is found mainly in arid environments compliments the lunarscape that makes the Grand Junction Off-Road course special.
Sunny skies and warm weather welcomed nearly 30 vendors to the Hi-Health Bike and Wellness Expo situated in the heart of downtown Grand Junction. The first day of the inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road was a sight to behold. Highly noted industry leaders like Shimano, Scott-Sports and DT Swiss lined Main Street while participants and spectators arrived from over twenty states in anticipation of a long weekend of world class riding and #GrandShenanigans. The day ended with an estimated 2,000 visitors that congregated at the DT Swiss Event Hub.
Riders of all ages opened the event with the 15 Grand, or 15 mile, Fun Ride. Although the turnout for the ride was intimate, the participants were strong and rose to the challenge without issue. As luck would have it, the intense afternoon sun was shaded by cloudy skies and cooler temperatures just in time for the riders to take to the course.
Late afternoon brought the first ever Epic Rides’ Clunker Crit. This whimsical lead in to the Pro Fat Tire Crit had an outstanding presence with a cast of characters that merrily played to cheering and cowbell ringing crowd that could be heard throughout the downtown area. Creating a lively audience in preparation for the Pros to take the stage, the transition between events was seamless as the pro women took to the pavement with the men following shortly thereafter. The pros were primed and the competition was stiff in both categories. In the end Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) prevailed in the women’s category with Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes) and Pua Mata (Team Sho-Air) close behind; while Troy Wells (Clif Bar) battled it out for first with Ben Sonntag (American Interbank/Cannondale) and Brian Matter (RACC ProGold Lubricants) closing in on second and third. Complete results for the Pro Fat Tire Crit can be found here.
The City of Grand Junction welcomes mountain bikers from across the country with open arms. The local mountain biking community mingled with visitors of the like-minded while doing what all mountain biking communities do best, have fun and spread enthusiasm for cycling. It was an outpouring of camaraderie as the critical mass took to the streets and trails.
Photos: Devon Balet Photo