Fat tires of NORBA set to take off
June 16, 2007
It seems there’s some special about the hills of Deer Valley.
Once again, mountain biking’s finest will converge on trails of Deer Valley for a stop on the National Off Road Mountain Bicycle Association (NORBA) series June 15-17 and, as usual, the event should draw a crowd.
According to a statement released by Deer Valley, about 2,000 competitors of all ages and varying skill levels attend the event. But that number is no match for the number of spectators that will line up in front of Snow Park Lodge and along the downhill course directly behind the lodge.
According to Tom Spiegel, whose company, Team Big Bear, manages the event, the fan support at the Deer Valley stop is unmatched.
"People here like to come out," Spiegel said. "I’m amazed at the people that line the downhill course."
But he suspects it goes far beyond a love for the annual race. He says you can just feel that Park City is a cycling-friendly community when you pull into town.
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"People are out riding their bikes the town is just made for cycling," Spiegel said. "There is so much to offer people on the trails."
He says that of all the stops on the NORBA circuit, not one has as many well-kept trails just minutes away from the center of the city
"You guys don’t realize " Spiegel said.
And he rates Deer Valley’s trails among the nation’s best. He sent some professional mountain biking friends out to pre-ride the trails and see what condition they were in and the group came back gushing. According to Spiegel they compared it to country club quality.
"Personally, I think Deer Valley is one of the best venues out there," Spiegel said.
Spiegel suggests that cycling enthusiasts come out for Sunday’s races. Fans can spend a morning full of the chills and spills of pro downhill racing on the hikable course. Then, they can line the start and finish line to watch the cross-country elite race in the short track event, which is fast — 20 minutes plus a three lap count and features a short mountain course that can be easily seen from the road.
The longer cross-country events will follow the same course as in past years, winding up the hill and looping back down to the Snow Park Lodge to the start and finish line. The downhill, course, on the other hand, received a bit of an upgrade, with a challenging area on Big Stick added to make the race even more fun to watch, Spiegel said.
The event will also feature vendor booths located near the starting line, with food and cycling-related products to browse and enjoy between races.
The event is a qualifier for the U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships in August at Aspen-Snowmass Resort in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The National Mountain Bike Race Series includes cross-country, super D, downhill, short-track and dual slalom.
For more information, visit http://norbanationals.com.