Posted by Editoress on 05/23/06
Squamish Mountain Bike Festival
Courtesy Paul Demers
Another full weekend of fat-tire fun awaits for those attending this year's Squamish Mountain Bike Festival weekend June 16 to 18. In addition to Saturday's marquee event - the 11th annual North Shore Credit Union Test of Metal -there are activities organized to keep everyone entertained throughout the weekend.
"We're planning to hold a number of events to complement the race," said Test of Metal race director, Cliff Miller. "There will be lots of the things that visitors have come to expect, plus some surprises, too."
The main event on Sunday is the "Rock Star" invitational downhill competition. This year, some of BC's best will compete against the locals for supremacy on the granite in Valleycliffe.
"We've always kept this locals-only," said event organizer Al Ross of Tantalus Bikes, "but we're raising the bar a bit and inviting some pros from the North Shore to compete."
Although an invitational event with a limited number of participants, Ross emphasizes its grass-roots origins. "If you're interested in riding, come in to Tantalus Bikes and introduce yourself. This is not an closed event."
In its five year history, Rock Star has had only two winners. Jason "J Lo" Lorenz won in 2001, 2002 and 2005, and Kyle "Hercules" Ritchie won in 2003 and 2004, but they have yet to go head-to-head in the event. "This year Herc and J Lo will have to face each other," Ross said. "We're going to see if one of them can claim the undisputed title or if someone new will rise to the challenge."
The event will begin with a motorized trials demo up the Rock Star course. This sport, which is popular in Europe, uses motorized bikes with very low gear ratios and fat, soft tires to climb rock faces and obstacles.
"I think people will be very surprised by the athleticism and talent these guys have," said Ross.
For the smaller set, the Mini Test will once again be held on Sunday morning at the beach at the old Nexen Lands. Information is available on the Test of Metal website or at Corsa Cycles.
Throughout the weekend, the Squamish Arts Council will exhibiting works from local artists at various locations.
Updates of events and times can be found at www.testofmetal.com
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