Dust in Your Teeth

By Beacon Staff

Hose the mud off those knobby tires. It’s time to race.

As Whitefish Mountain Resort launches its summer mountain bike racing season at Big Mountain, fat tire riders trim out their gears for the Early Bird Cross Country Race, a prelude to the seven-week Thursday Night Race League. “People get muddy sometimes at the Early Bird,” says Josh Knight, Manager of Events and Recreation, “but Thursday nights are more of a dust thing.”

Splattered with mud or sucking dust, mountain bikers vie for cross country bragging rights on single-track race courses that change throughout the summer on Big Mountain’s lower elevations. “Altering the course highlights different riders’ strength,” explains Knight, “and the trails themselves are in really good shape this year.”

On June 30, the Early Bird Cross Country Race registration opens from 8:30 – 10 a.m. the Big Mountain Sports rental building. Slap down your $20 to enter the staggered 10:30 a.m. start that sends off waves of racers by age and skill groups.

On July 12, the Thursday Night Race League opens registration from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the Bierstube deck with the race start 30 minutes later. Running for seven consecutive weeks, the race series pits individuals and teams of five against each other. Dig $40 out of your pocket for the entry fee, or register before the first night for $35. You can also enter a single night for $10.

During the series, teams tally up points toward a traveling trophy. Those teams comprised of diverse age categories and skills usually rack up more points towards the bragging rights. “It’s like the Stanley Cup, where winners get their names on the trophy,” says Knight.

Bring those brain buckets. You can’t eat dust without ‘em.

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