As Whistler turns its collective mind to the upcoming Turkey Sale and finding the best deal on skis and boards, plans are underway to bring a new mountain biking tradeshow event to town next summer.
It's called Outerbike and it's currently kicking off in Moab, Utah.
Outerbike offers a chance for a sneak peek, and test rides, on the latest models of bikes for the coming year.
And this year you get to do all that on Moab's legendary trails.
Next year Whistler will host its own event complete with demo days, skills clinics, and after-parties.
"If you're about to spend quite a lot of money on a bike, it's really nice to know that you've made the right choice," said organizer Ashley Korenblat, CEO of Western Spirit Cycling. "It's a really great service for the consumers to be able to test the bikes... and really give them a feel for what works best for them."
Outerbike has grown steadily since it began in 2010 with 400 attendees. This week Oct. 1-5 organizers expect to see more than 1,000 bike enthusiasts hit up the Demo Days and make the most of the skills clinics and guided rides in Moab.
This event will also see the greatest number of exhibitors, and the largest number of bikes and people so far, with attendees flocking to Outerbike from 42 different States and 12 countries.
It costs $160 to register and that includes lunches, shuttled rides, prizes, movies, parties and beer.
Next year Outberbike will expand from one event to the three — a new March event in Moab as well as the October event, and the new Whistler event June 4-7.
"Whistler is the model for lift-served mountain biking on the planet, pretty much, and there's also great cross-country riding right there, which makes is a perfect venue for testing both kinds of bikes," said Korenblat.
She's not sure of how many to expect the first year in Whistler, estimating around the same numbers as the first Moab event — 400 to 500 people.
"There's really solid support for it from suppliers already," said Grant Lamont, local mountain biker and event organizer who is involved in bringing Outerbike north of the border.
This is a natural fit for Whistler.
"I think it fits in with our culture," said Lamont, adding that it's important to fill Whistler's calendar with events that embrace the town, not interrupt it.
The June event will run on the same weekend as the Whistler Half Marathon.
"There are lots of great bike festivals," said Korenblat. "But Outerbike is the only one where really the whole focus is: what's the next best bike for you?"
Check out more at www.outerbike.com.
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