Poison Spider partners for Moab Rocks
by Jacque Garcia
The Times-Independent
Apr 05, 2018 | 862 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A racer enjoys the view as he pedals through one of the Moab Rocks 2017 courses. 				            Photo by John Gibson
A racer enjoys the view as he pedals through one of the Moab Rocks 2017 courses. Photo by John Gibson

Moab Rocks is coming to town again April 14 through 16, bringing world-class bikers to the annual TransRockies racing event.

“We’re hoping to start with about 200 riders,” Aaron McConnell of TransRockies said. “We’ve got the rides every day and we’ve got the award ceremonies in the evenings at Swanny Park.”

The award ceremonies will feature a slideshow and a beer garden in the park Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. The ceremonies will serve a dual purpose: to congratulate the riders who excel in the stages of this year’s event and to raise money for Grand County Trail Mix, to help maintain the local trails.

“Every year we’ve done a fundraiser for Trail Mix, and we do a volunteer trail day after the race as well,” explained McConnell. “Usually we get a few racers and a bunch of the crew to come out for that event. We sort of canvas the field while we’re at the race.” Paul Spencer, chair of the Trail Mix board, explained how they coordinate with events like Moab Rocks to preserve local trails, saying, “We’re always keeping an eye on the trails, but if there’s a bigger event like this we try to get on the trails immediately beforehand and keep an eye on the condition, and when we go out after the event we can say definitively whether or not they were caused by the event ... What [TransRockies] will normally do is help us by coming out on the trails, and especially if there’s any off-trail riding, we try to fix any issues we see immediately.”

Involving the organizers of mountain biking events, Spencer added, creates a relationship between the organization and the local environment. “First of all it gets us manpower and it also makes them aware of their impact so when they come back they can make less of an impact,” he said.

This year’s event will host three stages. The first takes place at Porcupine Rim, the second at Klondike Bluffs, and the third at Mag 7.

“We always look forward to Moab Rocks,” McConnell said. “It’s such a fun community to be in with such a great cycling culture in the town.”

TransRockies coordinates with Poison Spider Bicycles for the event and uses the bike shop as a sort of home base for the weekend.

“I think we were connected through mutual friends when we started talking about the event,” said McConnell of the relationship. “Poison Spider was really helpful in getting the event off the ground and helping establish it in the area.”

Since the event was established in 2013, it has doubled in size. “The first year I think we had under 100 participants,” McConnell said. “We usually get a few repeat people who come back most years. We used to be in the fall, and last year we switched it to the spring, which really boosted attendance. A lot of bikers are keen to get some early racing in. A lot of our audience is from Canada and they like to be able to come down in the spring.”

This year’s event will host a number of world-class mountain bikers, including Geoff Kabush, Taylor Lideen, Justin Lindine, Payson Mcelveen and Marlee Dixon.

This year, the races will begin at Grand County High School instead of Swanny Park, as in previous years. “It’s supposed to reduce traffic disruption and getting across Main Street,” explained McConnell. “We worked with the city on the permit through the town.”

For more information visit transrockies.com/moab-rocks.

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