By Teri Vance
Carson City Visitors Bureau
A nationally recognized mountain bike race, expected to bring a $15 million boost to the local economy over five years, will be hosting an event in Carson City in June.
During Interbike in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Epic Rides announced Carson City Off-Road — the third event in the Epic Rides Off-Road Series.
“Due to its proximity to the emerald blue waters of Lake Tahoe and its genuine Old West frontier charm as Nevada’s state capital, Carson City is the perfect place for the expansion of the Off-Road Series,” said Todd Sadow, Epic Rides president. “Not only has the city welcomed us with open arms, but the local mountain bike community has also been hard at work, building an amazing network of singletrack trails at the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada that connect to the Lake Tahoe basin.”
Joining April’s Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Ariz., and May’s Grand Junction Off-Road in Grand Junction, Colo., the Carson City Off-Road is scheduled for June 17-19 and will offer a Pro Purse of $100,000 across all three events – the most significant cross-country mountain bike purse worldwide.
The race will feature three graduated distance course offerings, from professional to amateur, including the recently opened Ash to Kings Trail along west Carson City.
“That trail was Muscle Powered’s first,” said Jeff Potter, a board member of the nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a bike- and pedestrian-friendly community, who spearheaded the trail-building effort. “The fact that Epic Rides is coming here and using that trail is validation that our community is on the right track.”
Each level will begin and end in front of the Capitol and will also include the iconic Tahoe Rim Trail with sweeping views of Lake Tahoe.
A spectator-friendly Fat Tire Criterion will race through the heart of the city and along the west side past the Governor’s Mansion that Friday night.
“From rank beginners to seasoned weekend warriors and world-class professionals, the Off-Road Series welcomes mountain bikers of all experience levels with three different length courses challenging the mind and body as well as delivering awe-striking vistas of nature’s beauty,” Sadow said. “But what really separates the Off-Road Series from other events is that it’s far more than just a mountain bike event. It’s a celebration of community, offering three days of beer gardens and free live music for everyone to enjoy regardless of whether or not one rides a mountain bike.”
Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Visitors Bureau, said the ride will be a large economic driver.
“With an estimated 600 riders competing during the 2016 inaugural event and a buildout of 2,000 riders by 2021, the Carson City Off-Road will bring an economic impact easily surpassing $15 million over the next five years,” Dunn said. “Having the opportunity to attend the Grand Junction Off-Road this past May only reinforced the impact this turnkey signature event will have on our region.”
He said fits in perfectly with the city’s rebranding as an outdoor recreation destination.
“We’re fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world,” he said. “We have some outstanding trails with breathtaking scenery. It’s time we let others see that, too.”
For more information, go to epicrides.com.