Up North: Mont du Lac hosts Philphest, newest mountain bike race & fundraiser

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: October 14, 2020 10:49 PM

Last weekend more than a couple dozen riders took off in Philphest, Mont du Lac's newest mountain bike race. 

Warm weather and beautiful fall colors greeted riders at the resort on Saturday. 

Racer Robert Bushey of Proctor said, "all the colors [were] awesome at the top trails, [they're] all yellow and it's very nice out there."

Mont du Lac equipped their chair lifts with hooks so racers could ride up with hill with their bikes. Philphest marked the first day the resort offered that service.

"All the participants will either ride all the way up the hill if they're feeling very ambitious, or they'll head on the chairlift," said Bridgette Duffy, Mont du Lac's sales and marketing manager. 

As for the creation of Philphest, Duffy said they were looking for another way to have people come out and, "see the amenities that we have available as well as all of those mountain bike trails."

The 1.5 mile race track started by their trophy lodge. Riders completed two down hill runs, with each race staggered three minutes apart.

On average, racers crossed the finish line above the base lodge in about eight minutes. 

Robert and his young racing buddy Sawyer Bushey said the downhill jumps made the race challenging but exciting.

"I like the adrenaline," Sawyer said. "I like just being nervous and then you finally pass the finish line and you're like, I did it!"

After the race live music capped off Philphest.

However, the overall purpose of the event was steered towards a bigger cause. Named after active biker and Mont du Lac staff member Phil, Philphest doubled as a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of the Northland.

50 percent of each ticket sold was donated to the organization. 

"It's an excellent idea," said Superior racer Carolyn Jones. "I hope they get a lot of donations out of this. It's nice to support a club."

Duffy added they hope to host the second annual Philphest next fall. 


Alicia Tipcke

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