MARCH RADNESS: 4 Early Spring Bike Events to Beat the Winter Blues

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\"Silver<\/a>Silver Star doesn't wait for the white stuff to melt before kicking off its downhill season. <\/i>Image courtesy of Stephen Exley, FrostBIKE. <\/em><\/p>

As the days grow longer and the mercury rises,<\/strong> the white stuff begins to melt into the sort of primordial muck that makes snaggletoothed Englishmen into the stuff of legend (I\u2019m looking at you, Danny Hart<\/a>). But that too will soon give way to the tack and loam that only exist in magical fleeting moments upon the calendar, or after a summer rain\u2014the sort of dirt that allows any of us ride like gods, offering Velcro-like grip regardless of how on point our cornering skills are after a winter spent hibernating on the sofa.<\/p>

But until those perfect days are upon us, here are some early spring riding events and races in (mostly) dry and warm destinations to get you riding long before the nostril faucets stop dripping.<\/p>

THAW | Moab, UT<\/strong><\/p>

\"MTBparks-PosionSpider-Moab-THAW\"Moab is red and ridable while many other parts of the country are still white.<\/i> <\/strong>Photo by Tyson Swasey, Courtesy Poison Spider Bicycles<\/em><\/p>

Moab is one of those rare locations that is ridable pretty much year round. This Southern Utah town is famous for epic desert riding ranging from miles of meandering cross-country trails to freeride lines on its iconic red slickrock that only the most visionary\u2014or insane\u2014riders are likely to notice.<\/p>

Poison Spider Bicycles<\/a> will be hosting the annual THAW<\/a><\/strong> event March 6-8, featuring demos, organized rides, parties\u2014and even bowling. The annual spring event\u2014now in its fifth \u201cofficial\u201d year\u2014is gaining momentum as an annual tradition kicking off the mountain bike season for Moab-area riders, as well as those from Colorado\u2019s high country and other regions who believe Old Man Winter has overstayed his welcome.<\/p>

\u201cIt\u2019s amazing,\u201d said Billy Snyder, sales manager at Poison Spider Bicycles and the event\u2019s organizer. \u201cFrom that point on, you can pretty much guarantee that it\u2019s going to be worth coming to Moab to ride.\u201d<\/p>

The event is open to all for $69, a price that includes demos and access to all the weekend\u2019s festivities, including guided rides on Moab\u2019s infamous Brand trails, skills clinics, food, parties and plenty of swag. On Friday, the Moab THAW will host a Ladies Only ride\/skills clinic, which includes complimentary bike demos as well.<\/p>

Read more and get the full schedule here<\/a><\/strong>.<\/p>

REAPER MADNESS | Boulder City, NV<\/strong><\/p>

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Racers drop into the \"Poop Chute\" during last year's Reaper Madness.<\/i> Photo courtesy DownhillMike.com<\/em><\/p>

On the outskirts of Sin City, winding through the craggy, razor sharp mountains of lava rock overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Mead and the iconic walls of the Hoover Dam, are some of the most difficult and high-consequence downhill mountain bike trails in the country. Welcome to Bootleg Canyon.<\/p>

This double-black diamond in the rough is home to a grassroots Winter Gravity Series<\/a> that is known to attract professional riders in the off season. Reaper Madness<\/strong><\/a>, the finale in the series, will take place March 13-15.<\/p>

The race series includes downhill, super-D, dual slalom, and chainless races. There is plenty of free camping right at the event site, and shuttles run riders up the mountain daily. All Mountain Cyclery<\/a>, Boulder City's local mountain bike shop, is well equipped to handle your racing and riding needs. <\/p>

Be sure to join MTBparks.com<\/a> as we celebrate the last event of the winter series with a Saturday night BBQ in the vendor pit!<\/p>

Read more and get the full schedule here<\/a>.<\/p>

DOUBLE DOWN HOE DOWN | Spokane, WA<\/strong><\/p>

\"MTBparks-DoubleDown-HoeDown\"Spokane is among the Inland Northwest's top spots for spring racing. <\/i>Photo by Eric Ashley<\/em><\/p>

While it\u2019s the more coastal towns of the Pacific Northwest that have put that corner of the country on the mountain-bike map, go inland a bit and you\u2019ll find there is a thriving gravity scene surrounding Spokane, WA.<\/p>

The Double Down Hoe Down (Hub-a-Palooza weekend)<\/a> returns March 27-29 in 2015. In addition to two days of downhill racing, the weekend includes The People\u2019s Enduro, Ride Gravity Dirt Jam & High Jump Contest, and The People\u2019s Night Ride (a recreational ride and bonfire).<\/p>

This is the seventh year All Gravity Series has kicked off the season of downhill racing in the Inland Northwest.<\/p>

What makes the Double Down Hoe Down such a great event? \u201cThe location, the time of year it takes place, and mostly how many events we pack into one weekend!\u201d event organizer Josh Tofsrud explains enthusiastically.<\/p>

Free camping will be available onsite. The downhill race is $27 per day or $50 for both days. The People\u2019s Enduro is $55.<\/p>

Read more and get the full schedule here<\/a>.<\/p>

FrostBIKE | Silver Star, BC<\/strong><\/p>

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Fatbikes are allowed, but true downhill bikes seem to be the sleds of choice at FrostBIKE.<\/em> Photo courtesy Stephen Exley, FrostBIKE<\/em><\/p>

Western Canada is still far from warm and dry (we said mostly) this time of year, but that doesn\u2019t stop downhill racing from taking over the slopes at Silver Star<\/a>.<\/p>

FrostBIKE<\/a><\/strong> is a two-day snow downhill event and the first of its kind to be run exactly like a summer race and sanctioned by Cycling BC.<\/p>

Downhill mountain bikers will descend on the ski resort to test their race skills on the snow-packed course Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1 as FrostBIKE kicks off the BC Cup.<\/p>

\u201cWe are extremely proud of what we have built here at Silver Star and just because the bike trails are buried in snow doesn't mean we are going to keep that enthusiasm hidden,\u201d said Anne Haight, Silver Star marketing director.<\/p>

True to a grassroots event there will be nothing but fun with crowd approved grandstanding, good-natured heckling and plenty of Fireball. FrostBike will give riders the chance to get in some pre-season practice, see our long lost racing friends, show off your new gear and drink lots of cold BEER.<\/p>

Read more and get the full schedule here<\/a>.<\/p>

by Don Stefanovich<\/em><\/p>

READ MORE AT MTBparks.com<\/a><\/strong><\/p>"]

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