“The whole point of the Jurassic Classic is to celebrate the community and biking,” says Mike Dicken, the Director of the Jurassic Classic Mountain Bike Festival.
The Festival began in 2012 as a local mountain bike race. Then in 2017, the Lander Cycling Club, the organization that benefits from proceeds, made the choice to expand the race into a festival to appeal to a wider range of people. As such, the Jurassic Classic Mountain Bike Festival is about to kick off its third year later this week. From Thursday, August 22 through Sunday the 25th mountain bike enthusiasts from all over Wyoming and the surrounding states will meet up with Fremont County locals in Lander. Organizers are expecting to top last years attendance with over 200 participants. An estimated 50% are from outside of Fremont County.
The four-day event is filled with group rides, clinics, and demos from the biggest vendors in the mountain biking industry.
…and work on local trails.
Mike, a member of the team at Gannett Peak Sports in Lander, says the focus of the event isn’t all about the usual demos and vendors – the focus is celebrating the community of Lander and biking in general.
According to Mike, the whole point is to get the community involved and to showcase Lander for JC attendees. Locals all know that Lander has a strong cycling culture and great trails, but “we’re looking for repeat visits. This is ultimately about bringing more people to town, which is good for everybody; gas, restaurants, hotels, not just the bike shops.”
Mike says a lot of the JC participants have attended other events in Lander, such as Climber’s Fest and “they’re just looking for an excuse to come back and have a good time.”
So the organization of the Jurassic Classic puts emphasis on involving local businesses to show everyone a great time. For example, Lander Brewing Company will do a special brew just for the event called “chain reaction.” The Lander Bake Shop provides meals. Bhava Shala instructors lead morning yoga sessions. Check out a full list of local and national sponsors here.
Participants also team up with locals and BLM/Forest Service to do work on local trails. Which improves things for tourists and locals alike.
“People tell us the homegrown feel is a big draw. It generates excitement and momentum around town.”
But does that translate into economic impact? Mike referenced one study, done in Montana, which found that bike tourists spend between $75 and $100 a day. That doesn’t seem like much, but in a small community like Lander it adds up, especially if the visitors are repeats coming to town for events like Brew Fest or Climber’s Fest.
Given the year over year growth in attendance (year one saw just over 100 participants), the Jurassic Classic organizers may be on to something…and the whole thing is a ton of fun!
Check out the full schedule of events and if you want to be a part of the party, check out their website to get pre-registered. You can also buy tickets Thursday afternoon at the Lander Bake Shop from 2-5pm or Friday, also at the Bake Shop from 9am – 5pm. Tickets are $55 for adults and $35 for kids.
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