Last month we posted an article about the crazy trail building effort that has been putting Port Jervis on the mountain biking map of late. In the past two years, over 30 miles of fresh trails have been blazed in the nearby Watershed Park, and the city of Port Jervis has really embraced the cycling community and its impact on both the local economy and environment. It’s an impressive project! Now, the city is gearing up to host what they hope will become the largest mountain bike festival in the region: the Erie 80.
The Erie 80 will take place on October 21st, right in the heart of autumn. A slew of registration options are on offer, including 12-, 25-, and 50-mile distances, Masters and Junior categories, and a separate SingleSpeed category (which happens to be a favorite among the promoters!).
Racers start and finish right downtown on the main drag in Port Jervis before making their way up to the Watershed Park, north of town. From there, riders will experience an awesome variety of single track, pedaling along reservoirs, cliffs, and down tech-y descents.
While the trails offer plenty to look at, there’s a good chance many of the riders won’t be pausing to enjoying the views! This year’s edition of the Erie 80 is promising several thousand dollars in prize money and merchandise, so there’s a lot on the line! On top of that, the race is promising equal payouts for men and women, so there’s plenty of prize money to be had!
More Than a Race
The Erie 80 is as much a festival as it is a race, however, so there’s plenty to enjoy even if you don’t intend to hit the trails. Front Street in the downtown area will be completely closed off to traffic, and dozens of vendors will be on-site, including shops, industry representatives and food trucks. Fox ‘n Hare Brewing Co. will be setup with a full beer garden area, and a concert stage will feature The Reggae Jam All-Stars, among others.
The motivation behind the Erie 80 Festival is simple–promote the sport and create a fun atmosphere for all. Dejay Birtch of Starcrawf Promotions, the event promoter, has been working closely with city officials and local businesses to pull the festival off. Originally from Port Jervis but now living in Arizona, Dejay has been a part of the national mountain bike scene for years, and in many ways just wants to bring his love of the sport back to his hometown. He says his motivation is to “create a good time for everybody”, and the community seems to support the idea.
Erie 80 is Coming
Registration for the Erie 80 closes on October 20th (the day before the race), but there is a $15 discount if you sign up before October 5th. All registration information as well as race category options can be found here on BikeReg, and of course you can always find more info on the Starcrawf Promotions Facebook Page. The Erie 80 Festival is open to all ages, racer or spectator, so grab a friend or bring out the family! It’s sure to be a great race, and an even greater afterparty!