It’s not every day you get to race and watch cyclocross in a spectacular setting, while sampling over a hundred beers and listening to live music, but Hailey, Idaho is rewarding anyone who makes the trip with such a combination on October 18 and 19.  Judging from last year’s event, Crosstoberfest is one of those events that could make many cyclocrossers’ bucket list, and the rare one where your family will want to join. Crosstoberfest is returning for its tenth edition in just two weeks. Full event details below.

Crosstoberfest is returning with a challenging course that tests riders' skill. http://crosstoberfestidaho.com/; photo by Tal Roberts.

Crosstoberfest is returning with a challenging course that tests riders’ skill. http://crosstoberfestidaho.com/; photo by Tal Roberts.

by Mike McKenna. photos by  Tal Roberts

HAILEY, IDAHO – In the eyes of many, it’s nothing shy of a match made in heaven: bicycle racing meets beer, they fall in love and decide to throw a party. The annual Idaho Crosstoberfest  is just such a celebration. Combining two days of cyclocross races with a craft beer festival, Crosstoberfest—as it’s simple called in the Gem State—will be celebrating its 10th year this October 18 -19th.

Last year, the event attracted some 120 racers took to the course in Old Cutters Park racing for a $5000 cash purse while specators enjoyed the 100 craft beers and grub. Billy Olson, the event organizer said, “It couldn’t have gone any better. We brought the real European spirit of Cyclocross right here to Idaho.”

While cyclocross racing has been popular in Europe for over 60 years, the sport is catching on here in the States—and it’s doing so swiftly. And the Crosstoberfest twist on traditional bicycle racing has it roots in places like Belgium and The Netherlands, so it’s only fitting that handcrafted beer would get wedded into things.

Kids have plenty of racing opportunities too at Crosstoberfest. photo by Tal Roberts.

Kids have plenty of racing opportunities at Crosstoberfest. photo by Tal Roberts.

Crosstoberfest is returning; with over 100 beers to sample. http://crosstoberfestidaho.com/; photo by Tal Roberts.

Crosstoberfest is returning; with over 100 beers to sample.  photo by Tal Roberts.

Crosstoberfest Idaho was the brainchild of Billy Olson, a former professional road bike racer and owner of what is considered to be one of the best—and perhaps only—bike repair shop/beer geek haven/burger bars in the nation according to places like Outside and Bike magazines, the Power House Pub & Bike Studio. “This event is just a lot of fun,” Billy said, about truly grass-roots event that has been steadily growing since its inception.

The racing is top-notch, even if some participants aren't focusing on it. photo by Tal Roberts

The racing is top-notch, even if some participants aren’t focusing on it. photo by Tal Roberts



Both the pub and Crosstoberfest take place in Hailey, about a dozen miles south of America’s original destination ski resort of Sun Valley.

Hundreds of riders, racing fans and beer lovers are expected to attend this year’s Idaho Crosstoberfest, which features races for just about every age category and almost 100 different beers from more than 20 breweries from across the globe. Live music and locally grown and raised Bavarian-style food is also on the line-up.

Live music, beautiful surroundings, craft brews and the best form of bike racing. photo by Tal Roberts.

Live music, beautiful surroundings, craft brews and the best form of bike racing. photo by Tal Roberts.


Even if combining bicycle racing and a beerfest seems like and odd marriage to some folks, no one can debate that it sure makes for one heck of a party that makes the trip worthwhile and one to remember.

For more details, check out CrosstoberfestIdaho.com

Race, hydrate, and never have to get into a car. Crosstoberfest 2013 is a festival. photo by Tal Roberts.

Race, hydrate, and never have to get into a car. Crosstoberfest 2013 is a festival. photo by Tal Roberts.

 

 

There's something for everyone at Crosstoberfest. http://crosstoberfestidaho.com/; photo by Tal Roberts.

There’s something for everyone at Crosstoberfest. photo by Tal Roberts.


Crosstoberfest is returning; with more beer and cowbell than ever. http://crosstoberfestidaho.com/; photo by Tal Roberts.

Crosstoberfest is returning; with more beer and cowbell than ever.  photo by Tal Roberts.

 

For some, the beverages are a bigger draw than racing. Crosstoberfest. photo by Tal Roberts.

For some, the beverages are a bigger draw than racing. Crosstoberfest. photo by Tal Roberts.