Athletes test endurance at 6 in the Stix

Annual mountain bike festival had riders young and old hit the trails at the Cranbrook Community Forest.

Adventure-seekers hit the trails at the Cranbrook Community Forest this past weekend for 6 in the Stix.

Adventure-seekers hit the trails at the Cranbrook Community Forest this past weekend for 6 in the Stix.

Adventure-seekers got their fill on trails through the Community Forest this past weekend at the annual 6 in the Stix event up at the College of the Rockies on Sunday.

A two-day affair, parents, teens and even young kids got the chance to gear up on their mountain bikes and get out on a few different courses to test their endurance.

“We were quite a bit bigger than last year, which—as an event organizer—is always nice to see,” said Charlie Cooper, with RM Events. “I think we had about 175 adults and teenagers participating.

“On Saturday, with the youth Stix, we had about 95, which is a good jump from the previous year.”

A fast-growing staple of outdoor adventure in Cranbrook, 6 in the Stix features a 13-kilometre single-track loop over various types of terrain in the Community Forest with the finish line at the top of the College of the Rockies parking lot.

“We used the same course as last year, so it’s 13 kilometres through the Community Forest, trying to pick and choose our trails carefully so its inviting for new cyclists to try a new event,” Cooper said.

The kids get their turn on Saturday with a smaller course for those who are just starting to get going on their bikes.

“Saturday we have the kids, they do a 1.4 kilometre loop into the community forest right behind the college,” Cooper said. “The idea is to keep it very similar to the adult race, but the loop is shorter and they also have 30 minutes to complete as many loops or 60 minutes for whoever chooses to go a bit longer and pedal for a bit for a time. It just kind of opens it up to try and get as many young kids as possible.

“We had a third race, which is 15 minutes on pavement and that’s just a hoot because you got the two-year-olds on stride bikes all the way up to five or six year olds who are enjoying some good biking.”

Competing in over 100-plus categories including solo, team solo, relay and more, athletes came in mostly from Alberta and the West Kootenays, in addition to a large contingent of local competitors.

As always, no event gets off the ground without support from volunteers.

“This year we had exceptional support from volunteers,” Cooper said. “We had people come out from different places—coming out with competitors, so family and friends. Lots of local people, we had people all over Kimberley, Cranbrook and Wasa.

“As an event organizer, that is so nice to have.”

For more information on the event, including results, head online to www.rmevents.com.

 

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