Bike festival goes from little to big | SierraSun.com

Bike festival goes from little to big

The annual Little Big bike festival at Truckee Bike Park began four years ago with a handful of women participating in a bicycle clinic.

Since then, the clinics have turned into regular sellouts with over 40 women taking part, while the event itself has grown to include two days racing, learning and highflying action.

This year's Little Big is set to kick off on Saturday, May 27, and will include newly added USA Cycling sanctioned short track cross-country races and cyclo-cross races for men, women and juniors. The festival will also include a kids' pump track jam, and a men's and women's jump jam.

The annual festival has played an important role in the expansion of the bike park over the years, and proceeds from this weekend's event will go toward continuing growth and expansion of the Truckee Bike Park.

"The reason we are doing this event is for fundraising, but we're also trying to create awareness and have families out there having fun together," Event Organizer Cortney Knudson said.

Knudson and fellow event organizer Brooks McMullin have been the driving force behind not only the Little Big festival, but the creation of the Truckee Bike Park itself.

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"(McMullin) and I have built the entire park," said Knudson. "We've volunteered our time over the last six years. We've done the entire park through fundraising and donations. The bike industry has given tons and tons of prizes — everything from raffles to awards. With people signing up for this event, it's going straight into the park."

According to McMullin, who also heads the two's non-profit, Biking For a Better World, it's been events like the Little Big that have allowed for the expansion of the park over the years with further developments in the works.

"We're approved for another phase," said McMullin. "Slope style that's going to have wood and steal features. We're approved for more lines. As soon as we raise the money we're going to build it."

McMullin said through Biking For a Better World he also aims to expand on the trail system around the Truckee area.

The Little Big is scheduled to start with the Ladies Bike Skills Clinic on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. The park will then open to the public in the afternoon with the first competition getting underway at 1:30 p.m. for the dual slalom races. Registration for the dual slalom pro division costs $35 with $10 going into a winner's purse. The amateur races cost $25.

Racing will continue the following day at 9 a.m. for the USAC sanctioned cyclo-cross and cross-country races. The festival will conclude with the kid's pump track jam and men's and women's jump jams. Registration for the pump track jam costs $20, and $25 for the jump jam.

Signups for the races and jump jams will be done onsite during the festival.

According to McMullin the event brought in 120 competitors last year, but with the addition of the two USAC sanctioned events he said he expects and additional 150 riders for those races.

The park will then host the Next Level Bike Skills Program, which will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from June 6 to Aug. 24.

The program is for ages 6 to 18 years old, and will focus on helping beginning riders up to experts with certified coaches on site.

The cost of the program is $25 per session for 6- through 10-year-olds, and $50 for ages 11-18. Private lessons are also available at $90 per hour.

For more information on the Truckee Bike Park, the Little Big and to register for the Next Level program, visit TruckeeBikePark.org.