Outerbike rides into town March 31 to April 2, bringing hundreds of gearheads — as well as dozens of vendors — bent on experiencing Moab’s famous trails on the latest mountain bike equipment and technology.
Now in its third year as a springtime showcase, Spring Outerbike now rivals in popularity to Fall Outerbike, which typically draws 1,000 people to Moab, said organizer Ashley Korenblat of Western Spirit Cycling Adventures.
“Outerbike is growing,” Korenblat said. “Attendance is up for the spring event in Moab and we expect it to soon catch up to the fall event, which is at capacity with 1,000 attendees.”
The Outerbike event was created to connect mountain bike and gear manufacturers directly with consumers, so that avid mountain bikers could shop directly for certain products, Korenblat said.
During all three days of the event, mountain bike enthusiasts have the opportunity to test ride the latest bikes during demonstration rides held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. They can also bring their own bikes — or rent one locally — and spend the days riding Moab’s world-famous single-track trails.
Local bike shops say many people in the mountain bike industry visit Moab specifically for Outerbike.
“In general, the event gets more people excited about bikes in the Moab area,” said Chris Hill, of the Moab business Bike Fiend.
Jacques Hadler of Moab Cyclery said events like Outerbike are a “great thing” for the entire economy.
“Having an event like that here in Moab and the state of Utah is good for everybody — good for Moab, good for the state,” Hadler said.
Korenblat says Outerbike will stay that way — asserting that the event remains “committed to the state of Utah.”
“A few people wrote to us about not coming to Outerbike because of Utah’s public lands policy,” Korenblat said. “ ... But it’s hard to influence the conversation [on public lands] if you leave the room.”
After the Outdoor Retailer Show’s recent announcement that it will leave host-city Salt Lake City due to the state’s public lands policy, state leaders’ ongoing legal efforts to transfer federal lands to state control, as well as their opposition to the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument took the national stage.
“While we share the concerns of our colleagues in the outdoor and bike industries, we know that we can do more to influence public land policy in Utah by continuing to do business in the state,” Korenblat said.
She asserted that macro economic forces surrounding public land use — like oil and gas prices, as well as increasing demand for “places for people to get outside,” will ultimately lead to improved public land policies.
“The recreation economy isn’t perfect, but it’s Utah’s future. And we just need to keep working on it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Korenblat says Moab is the perfect place for Outerbike, an event that encourages bike enthusiasts to test gear and allows manufacturers to showcase the latest in ever-expanding technology.
“Moab is like no place on earth for testing bikes — among many other types of recreation, and Western Spirit is proud to work with all of Moab’s recreation visitors and local businesses and groups to make our home in Moab a model for communities around the country,” Korenblat said.
The Spring Outerbike gathering will be held at the Bar M Trailhead 8 miles north of Moab. Registration for Outerbike can be completed online at www.outerbike.com, or at the event, which opens at 8 a.m. daily.