Spirit Mountain Fills with Mountain Bikers for Bike Duluth Festival
Over 300 registered bikers flood the mountain.
DULUTH, Minn.- Everywhere you looked were helmets and handlebars as the Bike Duluth Festival celebrated its 6th anniversary.
The festival raised money for Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shore (COGGS) and Gary New Duluth Development Alliance.
Last year $25,000 was raised for each beneficiary, and this year they hope to clear $50,000.
“Duluth has become a world class mountain biking destination,” said Dan Markham, Director of Operations at Kraus and Anderson, the main organizer of the event.
While 300 registered to compete, the crowd in attendance included more than just bikers.
“They’re not just bikers that are out here but just other community members that have heard about it and are coming out to see it,” Markham said.
“So y’know we want to continue to grow with it, and we’re always looking for better ways to do it.”
A number of different races and trails were available for all mountain biking skill levels.
“Long Enduro, Short Enduro, downhill events, youth events, all kinds of different events that started at 9:00,” said Markham.
The bikers’ energy carried them through the thrills and spills.
While many took a tumble onto the gravely mountain terrain, they bounce back up to their feet and on their bike in no time.
“You have to push yourself and go fast,” said 13-year-old mountain biker Ian Tanui. “You can look at lines and go slower because the mountain bike community is nice.
“If there’s someone fast behind you they can go around they’re not gonna say move over and push you aside.”
“It’s a really tight knit community,” Markham said. “They all know each other and spend a lot of time racing together and so when there’s an opportunity to come and compete on the hills and do more than just the recreational biking.”
But some come for the feeling they get racing down those hills.
“It’s free,” said Tanui. “Like football and all that you stand on a field and run with the ball.”
“Mountain biking you can do anywhere.”