Roger Phillips: Mark your calendar for these cool biking events

June and July have a full schedule, and there's more out there.

rphillips@idahostatesman.comJune 20, 2013 

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Kim Martin of Boise cruises the trails at the Eagle Cycle Park, which will host the SWIMBA Trail Rendezvous on Saturday, June 22.

ROGER PHILLIPS — rphillips@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Biking is big in Idaho for a simple reason. It's accessible and as easy or as challenging as you want to make it.

There's also a big cross section of biking events in Southwest Idaho. They're geared toward different types of bikers, but they all share the area's love of two wheels.

If you haven't participated in any, or have been to some and overlooked others, it's time branch out and see what's happening.

Don't consider this a comprehensive list, and let me apologize in advance if I did not list your biking event.

There's no slight intended, but these are good examples of some of the different biking events coming up this summer.

JUNE 22-23

Holy rollers, this weekend alone is a bike fest, and you have three options:

• Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association is hosting its Trail Rendezvous from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 22 at Eagle Bike Park at 11200 Old Horseshoe Bend Road.

Let's start with the riding. There will be bike demos from Trek, group trail rides on the park's trails and bike games.

Organizers say this is a family-friendly event with kids group rides, kids scavenger hunts, games and more fun for the little two-wheelers.

After you've worked up a thirst and hunger, Micky Ray's will be selling barbecue and SWIMBA will debut Sockeye Brewing's "Trail Digger Pale Ale."

The beer was brewed for SWIMBA as a fundraiser for its ongoing trail work and also to purchase an ST240 trail-building machine.

The party will hit the big chain ring that evening with live music by Ned Evett and Double Trouble and Steve Fulton. The event is free, but bring money for beers and barbecue.

For details, go to swimba.org.

• Fifth annual Jug Mountain Ranch Cross Country and Super Enduro bike race.

The 12-mile cross country race is suited for the fit and fast, and the enduro is more for gravity-oriented riders, but you don't need a bomber downhill bike to do it.

There's also an overall champion for the best person who competes in both events.

Jug Mountain Ranch is near Lake Fork between McCall and Donnelly, and it has developed a cool network of trails suitable for everything from casual family rides to white-knuckle drops for hardcore adrenaline riders.

But what really sets this spot apart is how Jug Mountain's bike trails seamlessly blend with its golf course and cater to both riders and golfers.

If you miss the races, it's worth a trip to ride the trails and then park your bike and hang out in the clubhouse for a burger and beer.

For details on Jug Mountain, go to jugmountainranch.com. For details on the race, go to wildrockiesracing.com.

• Blues Cruise is a group road ride on Saturday, June 22 starting at the Blue Cross of Idaho campus at 3000 E. Pine Ave. in Meridian.

Blues Cruise includes four ride options: 15, 30, 50 and 100-mile routes starting and ending at the campus.

There are several rides-for-good-causes, but a bike ride to provide free bikes for kids? That's just cool.

"Our goal is to collect 200 bikes for elementary-age children," the ride's website says.

Fees are $30 to $40 depending on age of the rider, which includes a T-shirt, post-ride picnic and entertainment.

For details about the event or to register, go to bluecruiseidaho.org.

JUNE 29-JULY 7

Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. In a few short years, this has become the big daddy of all mountain-bike events in the state because it incorporates everything from fun rides to national championship races and also hosts events for roadies.

To top off all that, it's just one heck of a party that has Sun Valley bouncing in the summer.

Here's a quick list of events:

• June 28: Opening party.

• June 29-30: Sun Valley Super Enduro.

• July 1-2: Sun Valley bike demo.

• July 1-5: Stoker rides. Group mountain-bike rides on local trails led by local experts and free shuttles.

• July 2: Idaho pump track state championships.

• July 3: Ketchum Criterium.

• July: 4: Haily Criterium.

• July 5: Massv Music Festival.

• July 5: Kids mountain bike race.

• July 6: Mountain bike marathon mountain bike national championships. Also, Sun Valley "Bald Juan" mountain-bike cross-country race.

• July 7: Women's-only ride with former world champion mountain biker Juli Furtado.

JULY 13

Twilight Criterium in Boise may be Idaho's most enduring and famous road-biking event and also among its most exciting events.

When you think of Idaho and biking together, a pack of riders going full tilt Downtown probably isn't what comes to mind, but that's what this event is. Boise's vibrant Downtown is lined with spectators for the race and the atmosphere is electric.

The criterium often attracts some of the country's best riders, and they duel it out with local pros.

No matter who enters, the outcome of this race is never predictable, but the thrill is.

JULY 27

The 4 Summit Challenge ride is different from other rides because, rather than being run by a group or a company, the community of Cascade rolls out its welcome mat for cyclists.

This is the fourth year of the event, and it attracted about 500 riders its first year and is now capped at 750, so don't hesitate to sign up early at 4summitchallenge.com.

The ride consists of an out-and-back road ride on Warm Lake Highway north of Cascade, and riders have a choice of distances and difficulty.

The shortest is the kids/family ride at about 8 miles on flat terrain, which will be led by Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong.

Other options are 30, 50 and 60 miles, and the longest, toughest ride is 75 miles that crosses four summits, hence the name.

While the ride is the main attraction, there are plenty of other draws, including big barbecue, beer garden and live music. Money raised by the event helps fund community projects in Cascade.

Another bonus, the Treasure Valley is often too hot for comfortable riding during midsummer, but it's typically cool in the mountains around Cascade.

You're likely to see some familiar faces because this event draws a lot of riders from the Valley, but the ride's growing reputation is also attracting people from out of state.

For more details, go to 4summitchallenge.com.

Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors

Statesman outdoor writers Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips alternate columns on Thursday. Look for Zimo next week.

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