“If you are a mountain biker, this is your bucket list.”
A bold, and appropriately succinct statement for sure, but not one without warrant. This is how the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) sums up their “Epic” designated rides. All over North America, these are the rides that epitomize the very best their respective geographies have to offer, while earning the distinction of blowing minds for everyone who has a chance to experience them. For over a decade, IMBA has been collecting online nominations for a new crop of Epics to be introduced each year. More than 60 rides are now classified as ‘Epic,’ varying from epic backcountry adventures to innovative trail systems in urban locations. Even with the immense variation one could expect to find all over North America, what unites them all is that they offer some of the best riding you’ll find in their home regions, and are well worth the journey.
What do the IMBA Epics and the Kitsbow Sprinter have in common? For the next 6 weeks, everything. All summer, we’ve been all up and down the Pacific Coast, sampling the great riding along the way. We’ve also been inland to all the expected Epics in Tahoe, Park City, Bootleg Canyon, and Moab. But this time, we wanted to chase a new story and head much further east to discover what happens when you step off of mountain biking’s more familiar paths. We want this pilgrimage to introduce us to the trail bosses, advocates, and local legends east of the Mississippi, to see the rides they call ‘epic,’ and the shops they call home.
The Sprinter is currently Eastbound, rocketing along Interstate 80 and making tracks for trail dates in Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama (and maybe even a brief stint or two in Florida), all before wrapping up this epic tour back in Utah for Outerbike, the first week of October.
Obviously we want to hear from you — about your favorite trails, your favorite shops, and your favorite places to throw dirt. But more importantly, we want to ride with you. We have our full demo kit available for trying on and trying out, and will be providing refreshments for group rides along the way. So as we move across the country and get closer to each pin on the map, stay tuned for the announcement for each meet-up, trailbuilding day, and ride location via Twitter as well as on our Facebook page. Instagram hounds also rejoice, as you’ll find regular updates in pure image form here. Stay subscribed, join the conversation (use hashtag #sendthesprinter on Twitter) and we’ll see you out there. [zp]