Event Recap: Northstar Freeride Festival

Sep 18, 2018
by Northstar California Resort  

PRESS RELEASE: Northstar Freeride Festival

Photography and Words: Peter Day

Over 15 years ago, Interbike had its first event near Las Vegas at Bootleg Canyon. It started as a small demo event out in the desert; they had to haul out all their food, drink, and yes, porta-potties too. Today, Interbike has become THE event to attend with representation from over 80 brands featuring the latest and greatest in the bike world. We were excited that Interbike decided to come out here to California for the first annual Free-ride Festival at Northstar. We had demos, giveaways, an eBike race and a downhill race! Dozens of brands were in attendance including Troy Lee Designs, Bosch, WTB, Bontrager, Osprey, and many, many more.

Photos from the Boogaloo eBike race on Saturday can be found here.

Photos from the Boondocks race on Sunday can be found here.

The first stop of the day for us was the Outdoor Demo area. Here, you could check out newly released gear, demo a bike, enter to win prizes, and meet the industry leaders in the biking world.

We wanted to check out some gear, so we headed over to the G-form tent and chatted with Bill Rudell.

Across the way was WTB, where we met up with Heather.

We had to stop by Canyon Bikes as well, where they had the Torque Spectral Grail available to demo.

Leatt is a long-term sponsor of our downhill series here at Northstar California.

We also got to talk to Osprey.

They had most of their packs available for demo.

On our way to the gondola, we had to stop and talk to Brandon at Ride Concepts: a new mountain bike footwear brand.

After a few hours chatting with vendors, it was time to race.

Registration was busy and fun as always!
On the gondola ride up, we got to chat with the founders of Krank-It.

Upon arrival at mid-mountain, there were several more vendors set up including Bosch, TLD, and Five-Ten.

Racers were getting ready for the Boogaloo to start.
Spectators enjoyed lunch and checked out the vendors offerings.

A huge shout out must be made here to Bosch and Troy Lee Designs. They both were huge sponsors for the crazy fun Boogaloo eBike race on Saturday.

The kids each got a set of TLD gloves!
Each rider in the pro and open category received a specially made A1 Helmet from Troy Lee Designs.

Troy also brought their all-new Stage helmet.

For those that don't know, the Boogaloo race is a 4-part Class 1 E-bike race. First up was the youth division followed closely by open and pro division. The groms got two laps, while the pros got 4!

Each division got one big mass start. We had youth, open, and pro divisions.

Trust us, you're gonna be tired after one of these. It's not quite the same as downhill.

Bikes are limited to 20mph pedal assist/750watts with no throttle.
Each course is designed with E-bikes in mind to be not only challenging... but... okay yeah, challenging.

There are steep ascents, technical downhills, and we left a jump in at the finish line for good measure.

Why not try an eBike race for yourself?

Troy himself is a huge believer in the benefits of eBikes. After having a hip injury several years ago, eBikes have allowed him to stay active in the sport he loves.

More information on the Boogaloo race series can be found here.

We had another successful day on Sunday with the final race of the year on Boondocks going off flawlessly. We hope you were able to come check it out, and if you did, we hope you had a blast!

All in all, our first Freeride Festival was a huge success. We were stoked to have Interbike in our neck of the woods this year.

What can we do to make next year's better? We want to know! Leave your suggestion in the comments below!


  • 27 0
 Was I the only one hoping to see actual freeriding at the Freeride Festival?
  • 2 0
 That’s just crazy talk.
  • 26 0
 Pushing an ebike up a hill: something I plan to never experience.
  • 16 5
 Ebike race in the US and the universe did not implode and no trails where shut down. Imagine that.
  • 8 0
 There aren't enough people awake to comment and cry about it yet.
  • 1 0
 They are the land managers, so they can do whatever they want! No ones really gonna cry about it as long as they pay their lease!
  • 6 0
 And also we're laughing too much seeing them being pushed up hill!!
  • 4 0
 @drivereight: in the general sense, that's super false. the USFS and other land managing agencies care about what you use land for. you don't just pay the lease and do what you want.
  • 2 4
 it's on private property and the land owners can use the trails as they please. your point is irrelevant.
  • 11 3
  • 7 1
 I’d rather go to Downieville and ride a gas powered dirt bike on the trail and is free!
  • 2 0
 This event was great, had a fun time. The vendors were all lead by fun and cool people, a lot of discounts to be had as well. 25% of Kali helmets!

The biggest problem I had is there was no vendor map. I didn't know who was there, or where they were. Myself and others couldn't figure it out until the day of the event, which was a bummer. We reached out to Northstar on 3 occasions for information regarding the event and didn't receive much information back. No one knew for sure when signing up for the event if we needed to purchase a ticket for the demo bikes or not, and we were originally lead to believe we needed to buy tickets. The day before the event we found out that we didn't need to purchase tickets, and Northstar did give us a full refund.

Thanks to Pivot for bringing out a TON of bikes, and Northstar for making sure there were enough trails open all weekend for the event and not shutting down any of the fun trails for races and whatnot.
  • 4 2
 I guess the e-bike thing is the end of any land use argument that mountain biking is part of the human powered side of outdoor recreation and ought to be considered with hiking, canoeing, climbing back-country skiing for land management purposes rather than the offroad vehicle, snow mobile, powerboat side of land management. Oh well Frown
  • 1 1
 They fucked us good. Thanks shit bike industry.
  • 1 0
 Interbike/Northstar management - "Lets do an outdoor demo at a bike park, but we're not going to have bike manufacturers actually bring any bikes to demo....yeah, that's a great idea!"
Pivot and Canyon were the only companies lending out bikes to demo.....and not one company had a DH bike to test, at a bike park....with DH trails.
  • 1 0
 Just remember that there would have been plenty of people who would not have a chance of even completing let alone racing a normal race that now got the opportunity to have some fun I don’t understand all of the hatred towards ebike racing, only and American issue?
  • 5 1
 I'm awake enough to cry ☹️
  • 4 2
 "Why not try an eBike race for yourself?" - Well, I don't really have an extra $4k+ to put towards a second bike let alone an E-bike. Good enough reason?
  • 3 0
 This race costs about $60 to enter and you get a free $150 helmet no matter what place you finish. All the bikes in the amateur class are FREE demo bikes. There are a few good reasons.
  • 2 0
 Moped riders "racing" with matching helmets that look like they're from a hardware store. I'm glad they came up with a sweet name like boogoolagoogloo.
  • 2 0
 Effin props to the dude with the hand powered trike. That thing looks wild!
  • 2 0
 please, don't have the e bike race cut off the downhill race course on practice day... what the hell was up with that
  • 2 0
 Wish I could demo a canyon sender!!!!!!!
  • 2 1

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