The weather was unusually warm for the 9th annual Moab Ho-Down Mountain Bike Festival in stunning Moab, Utah October 23-26th. This annual fundraiser has become a must hit event for hundreds of people from around the world. The 4 day long festival is often touted as ‘the best bike event of the year.’ Racers, riders, and dirt jumpers take advantage of the spectacular late fall riding conditions in the high desert of Southern Utah.
Thursday’s events included a Moab Mountain Bike Instruction women’s skills camp, a lively evening townie tour, and party with delicious pizza, bonfire, and beer provided by Coyote Shuttle and Paradox Pizza.
Friday featured the second half of the women’s skills camp, and the Raceface Movie Night at historic Star Hall. The local theater maxed out on capacity with 300 bikers, featuring short films and Brandon Semenuk’s Rad Company, provided by Red Bull Media House. The Friday night movie also held the biggest raffle of the weekend, including a new Fox 36 fork, Transition Klunker, Go Pro Hero 4 camera, Raceface Carbon Cranks, and many more incredible prizes.
The Shimano Enduro Race, on Captain Ahab and Hymasa trails, was held Saturday the 25th. These awesome new trails, recently built by Trailmix, truly combined the need for technical skill, and endurance. Three year reigning Open Men champ, Mike West put down a solid effort but was forced to relinquish his title to the unofficial mayor of Moab, Kyle Mears. Another Moab local, Beth Roberts raced hard and took the win over Sarah Rawley in the Open Women’s class. Mears and Roberts took home $500 each, and all amateur class racers who podiumed won fantastic Shimano prizes.
Costumes were a must for the Huge Marin Party at the Moab Brewery Saturday night. Flagstaff band, The Shindaggers, and local Moab DJ Illbeats Radio shook the house of over 600 costumed people. The party was buzzing and the costumes were amazingly freaky.
Before the G-Form Jump Jam at the Moab Bike Park on Sunday, the pump track comp took place. Cody Kelley took the win for the men and Wendy Palmer for the women. The jump jam was a huge success with close to 40 participants. This year the payout for tricksters was in the form of cash during the entire jam. The ‘money fairy’ was handing out $1000 in $20 bills to anyone throwing down sick tricks. The tricks thrown on the jumps were amazing, despite the slightly windy conditions. Dj Brandt was able to take the win, followed by Cody Gessel in 2nd who, to the crowds amusement, jumped and flipped in a shark costume at the end of the jam.
The 9th Annual Moab Ho Down Mountain Bike Festival presented by Chile Pepper Bike Shop, Shimano, Marin, The Moab Brewery, G-Form, and Raceface was able to, for the 3rd year in a row, raise $8000 to benefit the Moab Bike Park, and Trailmix, simply through riding, racing, and having a great time. Join the fun next year October 22-25th. You can always find more information over on the Ho Down website at www.moabhodown.com
Words: Wendy Palmer Photos: Corie Spruill
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