Inaugural Bike Week event brings together talent and skill |

Inaugural Bike Week event brings together talent and skill

Cyclist Max Parsons launches off a jump at the Bear River Bike Park earlier this week. At 6 p.m. Friday the venue will host the first-ever Jump Jam and Photo Shoot-Out.
John F. Russell

— Agile and swift, one lone rider catapulted into the air. The method of momentum: his bike.

Max Parsons, who has been riding for about three years now, tested out a few new tricks Wednesday afternoon at the Bear River Bike Park. Built to perfection, the park offers an ideal venue for an event to showcase talents and skill sets.

For the weekly celebration of all things biking, known as Bike Week, the inaugural Jump Jam and Photo Shoot-Out will bring together bike enthusiasts and photographers for an event Steamboat has never seen before.

As a tandem contest, athletes will be featured jumping through the air but also serve as subject matter for photographers.

“The whole idea behind the event is to get people up here to check out a different side of the usual cycling and riding we see in Steamboat,” said Chad Harkins, project manager for Bike Town USA. “BMX (bicycle motocross) is really on the rise and we are trying to feature that.”

The event will take place at 6 p.m. Friday at the Bear River Bike Park. Registration is $25 to $35 for the Jump Jam and $50 for the Photo Shoot-Out.

After riding the course, Parsons explained it was a little different than what he was used to.

“This course has bigger jumps and more flow in it,” he said after riding a few runs. “There are some really fun turns and rollers and stuff in between the jumps. I’m excited to have a whole bunch of people out here riding and having a good time.”

Bear River Bike Park was built and completed thanks to the Bell Built grant, given to the Routt County Riders last spring. Bear River was selected by voters to receive the grant from a number of parks nationwide. The Jump Jam and Photo Shoot-Out will highlight this new asset to Steamboat’s biking community that has slowly started to gain popularity among the BMX and bike crowd.

Each rider for the Jump Jam portion of the event will feature BMX pros and amateurs who will complete three runs of gravity-defying stunts and maneuvers. Those with the highest two combined scores will win the pro-open category competing for $500 cash. Each rider will be judged by three local bike pros based on the rider’s height, style and difficulty of tricks.

Amid the bike acrobatics, the Shoot-Out competition will feature photographers contending for the best shot of the riders with hopes to win the cash prize of $1,000. Photographers will submit five photos on before midnight before the photos are judged. The pictures also can be accessed on Bike Town USA’s online gallery as well as its Facebook page.

“I think it will be really neat because we have two different aspects of the action sports world that are coming together,” said Tyler Goodman, executive director for Bike Town USA. “Getting two for one in the sense that we will have a Jump Jam competition but also a place for photographers to get involved and show some of their craft.”

Goodman explained that the although the park has been around a few months now, it is actually beginning to attract some popularity.

“There hasn’t really been anywhere for something like this to happen,” Goodman said.

What started out as just a suggestion for a photo contest evolved into an event that could utilize the newest amenity to Steamboat’s bike culture and bring together a variety of interests.

“There is a passion here for cycling,” Bike Town USA President David Scully said. “This is a first rate facility and our goal is to make it into a multi-day event that brings people to town to showcase not just the jump park but also other aspects that Steamboat has to offer for riders.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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