Outerbike is a great event traditionally held annually in Moab in October. New for 2015, however, there are three separate events: two in Moab and one in Whistler.
Here are are ten easy reasons you should go, even if you are not in the market for a new bike.
1. Demo bikes… lots of them.
For a mere $180 you can ride from sunup to sundown, trying some of the best bikes in the industry, and some that are difficult to find. In Moab, vendors such as Pivot, Ibis, Marin, GT, Durango Bike Company, Fezzari, Polygon, Scott, Rocky Mountain, Yeti, and more lined up with choice builds in every size and style. Adjacent to the Bar M trail system, riders were able to take each bike out for about an hour for a full thrashing on beginner, intermediate, and expert trails to see what each ride could dish out. Even if you already have a bike you are happy with, it is a great place to go to experience new geometry, technology, and ride bikes that you may not have in your area.
2. Demo gear and equipment.
In addition to bikes, other vendors were on hand to loan out components and accessories. Spank was on hand with pedals, bars, and stems. EVOC and Osprey had a full line of packs to try. iXS was loaning out helmets. TOGS had their new thumb over grips. Nuun and Gu were handing out free nutrition products. San Marco was on hand with saddles.
3. Get free swag.
First of all, you get a free pair of socks and a water bottle just for walking in the door, but if that does not impress you (what will?), participants had the opportunity to walk away with scores of other swag: tons of gel shots, hydration tablets, stickers, water bottles, bottle openers, parts for their bikes, more socks, grips, saddles, and so much more. I personally came home with so many things just to give away to friends who need it more than I do!
4. Take demo bikes on shuttle rides.
Though most bikes were for the demo area near Bar M, certain bikes were tagged for *free* shuttle rides to try them out on gnarlier trail systems. On Friday, Outerbike participants could check out a bike to take to the Amasa Back Trail System. On Saturday, they had the option to take bikes on the Magnificent 7 Trail in the morning, and the downhill-ish “Dave’s” trail in the afternoon. On Sunday, shuttles departed for the North Klondike Trail System. Friends who were not demoing bikes were joining shuttle participants for long, killer rides.
5. Bring your family.
Bringing your wife and children is a great way to get them to try a variety of bikes on trails of all levels. Aside from bikes, Moab is an adventure destination with Arches and Canyonlands National Parks nearby, and more “extreme” adventures including Jeep and RZR tours. There are are lots of things to do with your family, or for them to do without you while you test and lust over bikes.
6. Make new friends.
Riding with a handful of people you know makes memories for a lifetime, but Outerbike is also a place to make new friends and try bikes together. The atmosphere was open and friendly, and some participants came from around the world to try all of these demo bikes in one amazing location.
7. Try new things–and the food!
There was so much to experience beyond demoing products and free swag. The food (lunch) was consistently top-shelf and everyone I spoke to raved about it. Having an opportunity to try different flavors of gels, hydration replacements, and other new nutrition products was a nice touch. Several of my friends tried the Pizza Margherita product below and did not have favorable comments. For some reason, it looks delicious to me… we will see.
8. Get advice about your bike and riding.
Component manufacturers were also on hand to make sure that demos were running smoothly, provide expert-level support for vendors, and education for anyone who had questions about their products. SRAM/Rockshox was there displaying the Bluto fat bike fork and the RS-1 inverted fork. MRP had a handful of products and friendly representatives. I was fortunate enough to strike up a conversation with the Fox mechanic, who interrupted his lunch to help me dial in my new Fox 36 fork (thanks Louis). I was really appreciative of the time he invested.
9. The Outerbike party(s).
Free Beer. Yes, you read that correctly. Moab Brewery was on hand every afternoon to provide pints to participants after a hard day in the saddle. On Saturday evening, the official Outerbike party was held at Woody’s, which featured a live band and even more fun. The afternoon beer-garden was not only a great way to wind down, but also a place to swap stories and compare notes.
10. Experience Moab! (Or Whistler if you speak Canadian, eh?)
There are few better places to ride in North America than these two mountain biking destinations. There is merit to trying a demo bike on your home turf, but the same can be said about trying dozens of bikes from different manufacturers, back to back, on some of the most varied and brutal terrain known to mankind. Outerbike is not just a place to try a few bikes, but a place to become immersed in bike culture for a long weekend and to live and breath cycling. For most of us, that is a little slice of heaven.
Thanks to Outerbike and the Vendors for an excellent experience this Spring! Check out the Outerbike registration site here.