There really isn’t a battle, that’s just the name of the creek that originates in Cypress Hills near Medicine Hat, Alberta. It's actually a friendly mountain bike race with 70 of your favourite downhill grinders casually riding their mountain bikes along the slopes of Cypress Hills. Share this page on Twitter.
No, wait. What I really meant to say is, Yes, it’s a battle. The Battle Creek Showdown and festival is an epic four-hour time-limited race where entrants ride a seven-kilometre loop as many times as they can in four hours. Don’t be fooled thinking this will be easy just because it's in flat southern Alberta.
Cypress Hills, at 4500 feet, is higher than the town of Banff! Due to some misguided glaciers, this mixed forest on rolling hills was avoided by the flattening actions of the sheets of ice that rolled through some 16,000 years go. What was left behind is an outdoor lover's paradise.
By combining steep terrain, winding trails, berms, drops, jumps, gravel wash and rooted paths the course is fast and fun. As racers make a lap through the village of Elkwater, they should grind to a stop or miss out on the bacon frying at the aid station.
As the officials from 670 Collective Mountain Bike Club tally the scores, post-race eats and brews are available at the Camp Cookhouse. Again, don’t be fooled by the name. This restaurant is amazing. You’ll find the best homemade burgers on its menu.
The awards presentation will have almost every competitor winning a prize - including the person who comes in last - who takes home the Lanterne Rouge award. Here comes the festival part, spend the evening listening to the tunes of Taking August.
The biking continues on Sunday in the South Saskatchewan River Valley in Redcliff. The guided group ride takes to the tight, technical terrain where 670 Collective - the host cycling club thrives.
If you go
Entries are $80 for solo riders and $140 for teams of two.
There’s no bacon if you don’t enter and registration is limited to 70 riders so sign up for the Battle Creek Showdown before it's too late.
Elkwater in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is only 45 minutes south of Medicine Hat. While you are in the park, relax on the shores of Elkwater Lake, or cycle the other 63 kilometres of trails. Take a tour with the friendly park interpreters to learn more about the geological history of the park or drop a line iin to catch a fish or two.
Get planning and head to Medicine Hat this summer; learn more here.
Ready to rock the Battle Creek Showdown? Share this page with your bike-loving friends.