Bay Area Riders, mark your calendars for September 7th, as San Francisco’s first Mountain Bike Festival is going down. Entry to the festival is free of charge and includes a demo riding area, youth bike skills area, box jump demo. The headlining event is a short track XC race dubbed the McLaren Short Track Challenge. Net proceeds from registration fees for the race will benefit the McLaren Bike Park.
The event is presented by the SF Urban Riders, a rag-tag group of cycling advocates that banded together in 2007 (or 8) with a dream to create a bike park as well as other trail riding opportunities in San Francisco. We’ve been affiliated with the group since those long gone days and supported them from the start, first helping create their web presence, and now with the marketing materials for this event.
Costs for the McLaren Bike Park are estimated to be between $1.25 million to $1.5 million. A good chunk of that has already been raised; the bike park was awarded a $250,000 grant in January 2013, with a matching grant awarded to SF Parks and Rec of $250,000 in July of 2013. However, more is needed to make the bike park shovel ready. (for more information click here)
I’ll be the first to concede and admit it’s a bit ironic to hold an endurance event to fund the utter radness that will be the first World Class Bike Park in the Bay Area, but having ridden the short track course as well as the other trails in the park I can say it’s pretty damn fun riding, especially considering you’re only a few minutes from downtown San Francisco. Not only are there some incredible views to be had, but the SF Urban Riders have been holding regular trail work parties and created some seriously fun pockets of flow.
The short track course is a 2 mile loop with about 200 feet of climbing per lap with single track, double track and short paved sections in the mix. It favors XC style hardtails and with CX season upon us, we expect to see a lot of folks out on CX bikes as well. I’ve been stomping around on my 29er hardtail, with a dropper post which makes drifting some of the flat off camber turns a blast. Having dabbled in Short Track Racing in Portland, I expect to be on the verge of puking my guts out by lap 5. (or less)
We’ll be gathering to pre-ride the course, (and hopefully regaining a sad, pathetic semblance of fitness at the same time) and show folks the trails Tuesdays after work at 6pm at Betabrand. Check out the SFUR Facebook page for more details.