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Recap: The First-Ever NW Tune-Up Festival Featured Bikes & Music in Bellingham

Jul 13, 2022
by nwtuneup  
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Photo: Eric Mickelson

The inaugural Northwest Tune-Up Festival, the summer’s premier bikes, music & beer festival, celebrated the spirit and soul of the Northwest in absolutely epic style this past weekend in Bellingham, Washington. Held at the city’s spectacular Waterfront park and Galbraith Mountain biking trails, the family friendly event hosted several thousand people over the course of three days. From enduro racing to bike demos, kids activities to beer-tasting and world-class music, the Tune-Up’s first year was truly an incredible experience for locals and visitors alike.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

With more than 50 exhibitors throughout the Waterfront Expo Village and Demo Center on Galbraith, festival goers eyed the latest gear, clothing, bikes, and accessories from bike and outdoor brands. At the Beer Tasting Garden, over 20 of the region’s top breweries and cideries had their finest on tap, while a Brewer’s Hour offered a meet-and-greet to learn more about these craft libations.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson


The Specialized Galbraith Enduro presented by Soil Searching drew riders from near and far, offering a larger-than-usual pro purse and the chance to experience Galbraith Mountain’s world-renowned trails. Each night, the festival’s main stage lit up with big names, such as The Dip, Wolf Parade and grammy-award winning artist PJ Morton. The dancy-heavy crowds were backdropped by stunning Bellingham Bay and spectacular sunsets, as summer has finally arrived to the Northwest.

Friday, an epic kickoff.

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Photo: Paris Gore

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Photo: Paris Gore

Following a land acknowledgement with members of the local Lummi and Nooksack tribes, Day 1 of the festival jumpstarted things with two high-intensity bike events. On Galbraith Mountain, the Specialized Status X Fanatik Mohawk Jump Jam brought out an insane level of talent as riders threw sky-high tricks on the trail’s massive jumps. Winners of Best Whip, Highest Air on the Hip and Top Shredder of the Day scored a new, complete Status bike.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

Down at the waterfront, competition was fierce in the MAXXIS Pumptrack Drag Race presented by EVIL Bikes. Racing head-to-head on the newly built track, riders were afforded two laps in the elimination-style format. In the end, the women’s category was dominated by Jill Kintner, Matilda Melton, and Ivy Newell for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Eddie Renyolds, Lear Miller and Hayden Damon, claimed 1st, 2nd and 3rd for men’s. The larger-than-usual pro purses awarded $1500, $1000 and $500, with equal payouts for men and women.

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Photo: Heather Carter

During the day Friday, Angi Weston from Radical Roots hosted kids clinics on the smaller pumptrack, while all levels of riders took demos out on Galbraith and Chuckanut Mountains.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

As golden hour crept over the Waterfront, the Tune-Up’s main stage lit up with the night’s musical lineup, including Buffalo Nichols, döp, Low Hum, Vegyn and Skiitour. The amazing sounds of The Dip closed out Night 1 before a spirited crowd.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

Saturday, enduro racing, clinics, demos & more
Racers lined up Saturday morning ready to start the first-ever Galbraith Mountain Enduro. The course was long and presented a heavy mix of the mountain’s most technical trails, testing riders’ stamina and ability to keep it all together. When the dust had settled, the podium was captured by Jill Kintner, Miranda Miller, Matilda Melton for pro women’s, and Remi Gauvin, Myles Morgan and Eric Olsen for men’s. Huckwagons and Transcascadia Excursions ran shuttles all day, bringing riders and spectators from the Waterfront to the mountain and back.

On Saturday at the Cedar Dust jumps on Galbraith, Angi Weston hosted an intro to jumping and cornering clinic. At the demo center, festival goers could try out the latest bikes, hop on group rides with Kona Bicycles or demo a new set of pedals from Tenet Components, and more.

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Photo: Paris Gore

By evening, at the festival’s main stage, Cut Chemist and Chali 2na had bodies MOVING, dancing and jumping–from the front row all the way to the VIP lounge. Headliner Wolf Parade closed out the night in epic fashion to a packed crowd. Those with energy still left (and there were many!) headed out to experience the after parties.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson


Sunday, the grand finale
Without a cloud in the sky, Sunday was HOT. Some folks were feeling the effects of the first two days. Others were ready to ride, as the second day of the enduro got under way on the Galbraith trails.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson


On this third day of the festival, the demo center was still popping as riders tried to squeeze in one or two last (free) demos at this smorgasbord of bike tech. Everyone from curious newbies to expert riders could try out a fresh new whip.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson


Sunday evening at the Waterfront brought the weekend’s grand finale. After an amazing lineup, the Allah Las played, filling the air with their incredible sounds. Then, PJ Morton took to the stage and absolutely shook the universe with his grammy-winning voice and talents. It was an extraordinary end to an all-time weekend.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson


Suffice to say, the Northwest Tune-Up’s debut was full of incredible people and experiences. Indeed, a true celebration of this region’s unique and rich cultures.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

We’d like to offer a special thank you to our sponsors of the Northwest Tune-Up: Specialized, Maxxis, Evil Bikes, Smartwool, Diamondback, Transition Bikes, Superfeet and Craft MTN, all of the exhibitors and YOU, our extended and passionate community!

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

The Northwest Tune-Up is part of Bellingham's signature event program in partnership with the City of Bellingham and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, aimed to encourage commerce, maximize national and regional exposure, enhance the existing quality of life for residents, and help build a legacy for recreation in the Whatcom County.

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Photo: Eric Mickelson

Author Info:
nwtuneup avatar

Member since Apr 18, 2022
9 articles

7 Comments
  • 9 0
 Was a great weekend in Bellingham! We were super stoked to be a part of an event so great in our own backyard! Cheers to the organizers, bands, riders, vendors and volunteers who made this happen. What an event! Good times!
  • 3 1
 So great to have you- we can't wait for next year!
  • 4 0
 I just got a manual machine from you at the port gamble evergreen festival. I’ve been using it a lot and I really like it.
  • 2 0
 Sounds pretty freakin amazing if I don't say so myself. I wish I was there. Kudos to the organizers and the bike community.
  • 1 0
 Everything about this looks awesome!! Go Bellingham! One question: Why are ebikes getting shuttled?? Did we forget to chargers? That shuttle driver is getting a workout.
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