Hinton mountain bike festival enjoys good traction

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The Beaver Bike Fest and Gravity Cup will bring a wide range of pedal heads to experience Hinton's mountain biking terrain.
Photo courtesy of Mike Mahoney mikesphotojournal.com

For two-wheeled festival seekers, it’s time to enjoy the ride

BOB COVEY

HINTON, AB - Mountain bikers in Hinton have done a lot of uphill climbing over the past four years and on September 14 & 15 two events will reap the rewards of all the hard work.

The Beaver Bike Festival will bring together dirt shredders from around the region while the Gravity Cup will attract top-caliber downhill racers to Alberta’s newest bike mecca.
“There’s nothing like it in the area,” said Stacey Gross, event-coordinator for the Hinton Mountain Bike Association. “These events are showing Alberta’s mountain biking potential.”

Hinton has been raising the biking bar for several years now. Its mountain bike park has been gaining recognition for not only its progressive features but for the collaborative approach bikers took with its construction. With the support of the Town of Hinton and the guidance of professional bike park designers, the facility was created entirely by committed volunteers. 
“If it wasn’t for volunteers it wouldn’t have been built,” Gross said.

Like it was flowing down the bike park’s sweetest stretch of single track, momentum built to the point where HMBA wanted to showcase what it had in its backyard. The results are the Beaver Bike Festival and the Gravity Cup, happening June 15 and 16.

Pegged as separate events but occurring on the same weekend, both events will bring a wide range of pedal heads to experience Hinton’s mountain biking terrain. 

“It gives our amazing bike park and our trail system more recognition, for sure,” Gross said.

The family-geared Beaver Bike Festival, in its fourth year, gives bikers of all ages and skill levels the chance to test their balance with events like the snail race and the tap down. These events reward the bikers who keep their feet on the pedals the longest. 

At the other end of the spectrum, a need for speed will be on display by riders in the dirt jam, the downhill and the skills event. The bike parks’ wall rides, teeter-totters, “skinnies” and other obstacles will be utilized to give spectators a show, Gross promised.

“The dirt jam is a major draw,” she said. “A lot of these young kids can really shred.”

The future will be on display for those young shredders at the following day’s Gravity Cup. The first of a two-part AFD Racing event, Hinton’s Gravity Cup will see pro and semi-pro riders duke it out for downhill glory on distinctly DH terrain.

“The course is muddy, rooty and old-school gnar,” photographer Mike Mahoney said after taking in last year’s action through his camera lens. “The riders blast past you so fast your clothes ripple.”

The aggressive lines and dramatic falls taken by the riders are worth it for the big cash prize at the end of the race. The Hinton event is the first of two, which make up the Gravity Cup, with the second leg taking place a month later in Whitehorse, Yukon. 

“These guys were fast, focused, and fit, dialing the corners and pedaling hard right to the finish line,” Mahoney observed.

Freewheel Cycle’s Wendy Hall represents Jasper when she attends, and competes in, the Beaver Bike Festival. The mom of two young bikers says the festival is one of the most anticipated weekends of the summer.

“There are some incredible riders boosting huge air right in front of you, yet it’s totally geared for kids and families,” she said. “Jasper should be so lucky to have something this cool.”

For the casual mountain biker, the serious dirt digger and the fun-seeking festival-goer, set your sights on Hinton’s Beaver Bike Festival and Gravity Cup.

Be sure to check out more details on the Beaver Bike Festival and Gravity Cup on FestivalSeekers.

STORY LINKS:

  • For more information on the Beaver Bike Festival or to get your HMBA membership, visit bikehinton.com

    For Gravity Cup details, check afdracing.ca

    To sort out details on how to get to Hinton for the Sept. 14 weekend, visit www.hinton.ca

The Beaver Bike Fest is open to young children, with several special events, to give them a taste of mountain biking.
Photo courtesy of Mike Mahoney mikesphotojournal.com