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7th Annual Little Big Bike Festival

Truckee, May 26
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INFO: May 26, 7:30 a.m. until dark, Truckee Bike Park, register online at

It’s no secret that Tahoe is a mountain bike mecca. But if you’re new to it, there’s a lot to learn in a world where flying over the handlebars (a** over tea-kettle) is a real possibility. It can be hard to pick these skills up for the first time in the middle of the forest, halfway up a mountain, though. Truckee Bike Park offers the perfect training grounds.

This six-year-old Truckee feature is free to the community, and made possible entirely by funds raised by Biking for a Better World. Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, and Truckee Sanitation District have also assisted in the project. As long as the weather is decent, and you’ve got a helmet and working brakes, you can ride the pump tracks, dual slalom, cross-country loop, and more, ranging from easy to advanced (marked by color) until sundown.

Building a love of the sport is also about sharing it with the community, so park directors Cortney Knudson and Brooks McMullin are gearing up for the seventh annual Little Big Bike Festival on May 26. The event is an effort for both fundraising support and bike education, and will include a ladies skills clinic as well as an open clinic for kids.

Knudson, a lifetime rider, feels strongly that clinics are the best way for the novice to build skills. “As a beginner, learning the proper riding technique right off the bat is invaluable because you don’t have to correct bad habits as you progress,” she says. Proper learning is possible on the park’s beginner terrain, but so is progression, as you can see what the next level of terrain looks like, and pick up skills by observing other riders.

For kids, the bike park is food for the brain. “It’s a math problem … figuring out how many pedals it takes to get to a jump … When they can visualize, ‘I wanna hit that jump, I wanna ride that line,’ and they accomplish it, it gives them confidence in life,” Knudson explains.

The Little Big will celebrate the park with booths, food, a beer tent, and opportunities to join in on the fundraising efforts. In the afternoon, a “jump jam” will take place, where anyone, at any level, can ride. Then, there’s a dual-slalom race to finish out the day.

Tahoe might be full of great mountain biking, but the Little Big is a don’t-miss opportunity to pedal on down and get connected with the community.

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February 14, 2019