New winter bike race debuts on Saturday
EAGLE-VAIL — Get out your fat tires Saturday and join in the inaugural Eagle-Vail Derail Winter Bike Race. The second race in the Vail Grail series will test your winter bike handling skills on a never-before-seen circuit race course starting at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion at 4 p.m.
This new race is the first winter bike race for the Vail Recreation District, and the second race in the Vail Grail Winter Race Series, which kicked off with the Vail Mountain Uphill over Presidents Day weekend, and will conclude with the Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle on March 18. Participants who complete all three races have a shot at winning the coveted Vail Grail, a permanent trophy that will bear the male and female division winners’ names for years to come, but you don’t have to have competed in the Uphill to still sign up for the Derail.
The Eagle-Vail Derail circuit loop will be approximately 1.5 miles in length, so be sure to bring friends and family as this will be a spectator-friendly event. Kids will race for 20 minutes and adult categories will race for one hour. The winners will be determined by the number of laps completed in those times. Prizes will be awarded by category — men and women juniors, beginners/sport and open — the afternoon event means you can get up on the mountain in the morning and come ride bikes in the afternoon.
The cost for this race is $20 in advance and $30 on race day for adults and $15 pre/$25 day-of for students. The course will be open for pre-riding Friday afternoon and all day Saturday before the race. While fat bikes are recommended, they are not required. An after-party just down the street at Vail Brewing Co. will feature the awards ceremony, and all participants will automatically be entered into a raffle for the chance to win exciting prizes, but you must be present to win. Racers 21 and older will get a free beer when you show your race number. Online registration is now open at vailrec.com/register.
In addition, The Kind Bikes and Skis will be on-site with a limited number of demo bikes starting at 2 p.m. Demos will cost $40 and the money collected will be donated to the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association’s Adopt-A-Trail campaign. To reserve a bike for the race, please call The Kind at 970-926-1260.
Vail Grail Champions
In addition to Vail Brewing Co., sponsors of the Eagle-Vail Derail include The Kind Bikes & Skis, 808 Distillery, Alpine Wine & Spirits and The Steadman Clinic.
The Vail Grail champion will be decided March 18 at the sixth annual Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle. Choose from a 5K or 10K race and bring the kids for the 1K fun run to celebrate all things green in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. Taking place on Vail Nordic Center trails, this event includes race categories for snowshoes and Yaktrax, as well as a non-prize-eligible running shoe category. All races begin at 4 p.m. followed immediately by a lively post-race party at the new Vail Golf & Nordic Clubhouse. Pre-registration costs for the shuffle are $20 for adults and $15 students, or $30 day-of for adults and $25 for students.