And they are off

Bike racers, six to 65 years old, participated in the first Bailey Cycle Fest, held May 11 and 12, at the Bailey Outdoor Education and Recreation Area. (Photo courtesy of BOERA)

By all accounts Bailey Cycle Fest was a smashing success. On the weekend of May 11-12, 325 mountain bikers descended on the Bailey Outdoor Education and Recreation Area for two days of Rattler Racing excitement, with the Colorado Junior Cup on Saturday and Fandango on Sunday.

This was the BOERA property’s first-ever Colorado Junior Cup, a special Rattler Racing event dedicated to increasing junior turnout in mountain bike races. The nonprofit Junior Cycling Project event benefited the Platte Canyon School District in Bailey.

The Bailey community also welcomed the return of Fandango, a USAC-sanctioned race with all the qualities of a World Cup mountain bike race, packed into a challenging five-mile circuit at 8,000 feet. According to Rattler Racing’s Dave Muscianisi, registration was up 50 percent for the Colorado Junior Cup with 200 racers, and it was up 25 percent for the Fandango with 125 racers.

“We were so excited to host Bailey Cycle Fest at BOERA,” said Nikki Batzer, president of the BOERA Board of Directors. “As an organization, we’re dedicated to giving our Platte Canyon youth opportunities for outdoor education and recreation—and giving financial support back to our schools. With Rattler Racing, we were able to offer this incredible race weekend to our kids and community, raise much-needed funds for PCSD, and have a lot of fun along the way.”

Muscianisi and Batzer estimated that two to three spectators accompanied each racer at the weekend festivities, particularly for the Colorado Junior Cup. Overall attendance for Bailey Cycle Fest likely topped 600 people.

“Registered racers’ ages ranged from six to 65, but that didn’t include the tykes’ race, and we know we had some preschoolers there,” Batzer noted. “It was remarkable, to see multiple generations out there together. We want BOERA to be a gathering place for our entire community to enjoy outdoor sports, spend time together and make memories. Events like this help make that vision a reality.”

One of the preschool-age racers was Bailey resident Jackson Knaub, four, who said he’s been mountain biking for two years. BOERA’s hills made an impression.

“I just really love those hills … and the bumpity bumps!” he enthused. “Yes.”

“We loved it,” said mom Jaime Knaub, who is a second-grade teacher at Deer Creek Elementary School in Bailey. “They were welcoming, and encouraging of our little guy without pedals. The announcer was super enthusiastic; he was aways saying something that would pump up the kids both as a group and individually. He was just awesome. We feel lucky to have such a neat event in our community.”

For the first time, BOERA invited food vendors to the Rosalie Road property. Conifer’s Snowpack Taproom and Bailey’s Mudslingers and Freedom Yum were on hand to provide sustenance to racers and spectators alike.

“We’re so grateful to all our partners for all their hard work making this weekend a success,” Batzer said. “That includes the Bailey HUNDO, which helped get our trails ready for the racers.”

Held each June, the nonprofit Bailey HUNDO and HUNDitO are 100-mile and 50-mile endurance mountain bike races that benefit youth biking initiatives in Colorado, as well as the development of Bailey into a world-class mountain biking destination. The Bailey HUNDO is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

To learn more about BOERA and its Bailey-based events and activities, visit boera.org. And, to stay up to date on the latest news, join the organization’s active Facebook community (facebook.com/BOERAinBaileyCO), and follow BOERA on Instagram (@Boera.Bailey).

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