BY GEORGE MARATOS
“You don’t need to be wearing spandex and tons of armor to come out.”
Those are the sentiments of Marsha Cameron when describing Sima Slamfest, the Yukon’s premier mountain bike event she is helping co-direct.
Fresh off the success of the inaugural Sima Slamfest in 2008, the Yukon’s largest mountain bike festival is once again set to take place July 31 to August 2 in Whitehorse.
Held at Mount Sima, Slamfest not only acts as the Yukon’s Downhill and Cross Country (XC) Championships but also a multi-day festival to commemorate mountain biking in the North.
Make no mistake though, Slamfest is not just for mountain bike enthusiasts.
The festival schedule is jam-packed with all-day music, film and food, along with numerous vendors, a bike and gear swap and even a beer garden for the “big kids”.
There is also a designated skills park, a professionally taught racing skills camp and overnight camping.
The world premier screening of Radical Films Kranked Revolve also makes up the weekend agenda.
“It’s a steal of a deal when you look at everything that comes with a pass,” explains Cameron. “This is a great opportunity to showcase our sport and get more people involved.”
Speaking with Cameron over the phone it would seem there is no shortage of interest when it comes to the sport of mountain biking in the Yukon.
In just its second year, the Whitehorse-based Contagious Mountain Bike Club Cameron helps run has in excess of 100 members.
The Yukon female mountain bike club, Dirt Girls, has also seen a spike in ridership.
“There are so many riders in the Yukon,” boasts Cameron enthusiastically.
This year’s Slamfest is a testament to that.
Last year it was just a one-day event and in just a year it has ballooned to a three-day festival.
Ride Guide TV, broadcast in 60 countries and in over 60-million households, is also making the trip to Whitehorse to document this year’s festival.
Cameron says it is the more than 50 volunteers that are to be thanked for helping grow Slamfest to its current state.
From designing the downhill and cross-country course, to staffing the festival on race day, to even helping kids decorate their helmets, Cameron says it’s a tribute to the growing interest in the sport and the commitment to making Slamfest a large mountain bike celebration.
“Our goal is to make this as inclusive and fun as possible,” says Cameron “We want to get a bunch of kids of all ages out that just like to play on bikes.”
Sima Slamfest begins July 31 and runs to August 2. Passes are $50 for adults and $30 for youth.