After an almost decadelong hiatus, the Snake River Mountain Challenge, presented by Warriors Cycling and the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series (RME), returns to Keystone Resort this weekend. More than just a bike race, the weekend festival is chock-full of activities for all ages and abilities.
“It really does have something for everyone,” said Laura Parquette, spokeswoman for Keystone.
The event includes a number of competitive mountain bike races, ranging from mostly downhill to cross-country style courses. Parquette said the venue offers a variety of spectator opportunities and enough activities to keep the whole family busy. The festival will have a Kid Zone both days, with activities such as a bouncy house, face painting and kids’ races. There will also be live music, food, awards and a beer garden.
As far as the biking: “Saturday’s the competitive day; Sunday is the recreational day,” said RME event organizer Thane Wright.
Organizers say the Snake River Mountain Challenge will test riders’ stamina and endurance over a number of grueling cross-country courses that cover the entire Keystone Mountain Bike Park.
Wright said the mountain will shut down and be dedicated to racing on Saturday, with some high alpine trails that are usually reserved for hikers only.
Saturday also offers free live music, which will begin at 1 p.m. in River Run Village and feature Danna Rocks. Kids can take advantage of free face painting and caricature drawings.
Sunday’s schedule is a little mellower, with a wider range of festival events geared toward families and recreational riders of all ability levels. There will be a number of free riding activities that Parquette said will feature all the terrain that the Keystone bike park has to offer. It has been referred to as one of the premier mountain biking resort destinations in the country.
Sunday’s events include guided group rides for all levels, progressive bike skills clinics, yoga and a children’s balance bike race, all of which are free for Snake River festival attendees. Yoga will take place in the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre. Sunday kids’ activities will again run throughout the day, and a free concert will feature Six Million Dollar Band.
This year’s event returns the Snake River festival to Keystone, where it originated almost 20 years ago.
The Keystone Mountain Bike Park will be closed to the public until 2 p.m. Saturday for the challenge. The park will reopen from 2-7 p.m. with bike haul tickets available for $15. The bike park will resume normal operations for the public beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday. Race registration is ongoing, with day-of registration.
For more information, visit www.keystoneresort.com or call (877) 204-7889. For race registration and competition fees, visit www.warriorscycling.com/races/snake-river/registration.