Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth Festival returns this weekend

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The Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth festival is this weekend, with three days of exciting events to look forward to at Spirit Mountain.

Activities begin Friday with early registration, check-in, and pre-riding from 2pm to 7pm. The first event of the weekend will be the Chainless Downhill race at 5pm.

On Saturday, Bike Duluth continues bright and early with registration starting at 7:30am and an opening ceremony at 8:30am. Vendor Village and Demo Town will be from 9:30am until 6pm.

There will be multiple races on Saturday, with varying skill levels. The long Open Enduro Race will take place from 9am to 5pm with experienced riders going through seven timed downhill stages before pedaling back to the top of the hill. All of the trails on the Open Enduro Race are rated single or double black diamond.

The Sport Enduro Race will go from 9am to 3:30pm and accommodate riders of all skill levels. A shorter race than the Open Enduro, this race will consist of four timed stages taking place across select ultimate flow and intermediate tech trails. The timed downhill stages, racing on green and blue rated trails, are followed by chairlift rides back to the top.

As the festival is open to all ages, there is also a Youth Downhill Race from 1pm to 2pm, a Kids Fun Course from 11am to 3pm, and other kids activities from 10am to 4pm.

The fun continues Sunday with the Partial Exposure Trail Race from 8am to 11am. This race will be a 15-mile, single loop course exclusively on green and blue rated Duluth Traverse trails. Set up to accommodate all skill levels, the race begins at the Grand Avenue Chalet, moves through west Duluth, up to the top of Piedmont trail system, and over to Brewer Park. The descent will be down the Keene Creek trail, finishing on the Kingsbury Traverse back to the base of Spirit Mountain.

Sunday also features a challenging, 30-mile route that covers every type of trail in Duluth, highlighting some of the most technically difficult trails in the Piedmont area.

“It’s called Northern Exposure, not for the faint of heart,” said organizer Chris White. “It’s a little different group. You just put it up on your garmin and you follow it slowly all through town and then ride some of the difficult trails back to Spirit.”

The Northern Exposure Trail Race will be from 8am to 1pm and is designed for experienced riders.

Also geared toward those with more experience is the Advanced Downhill Race. Advanced Downhill will feature numerous table-top jumps, rock gardens, gap-jumps, and wide sweeping berms. It will also send racers down “Calculated Risk,” one of the premier gravity trails in the state. The flagship feature of the Advanced Downhill race is “The Terrarium,” which gives spectators the opportunity to watch the racers as they sail down a steep, rocky face with a 5-foot drop at the bottom.

The Kraus-Anderson Bike Duluth fest was founded in 2013 with the goal of not only showcasing the city’s dynamic trails but also giving back to the community. There will be a silent auction on Saturday, and funds raised will go to Harbortown Rotary of Duluth and COGGS. Each year, two local nonprofits are chosen to receive funding from Bike Duluth.

“I just enjoy all the people that come out. It’s fun to see everybody,” said White. “It’s fun to see the community come out. A lot of people will come out just to see it, to ride it and all the people that are supporting it.”