With Halloween behind us (if just barely), some folks begin to think about what travel they want to do in the coming year. Well, rather than simply write about my favorite event promoter as their events unfold through the calendar, I’m going to shine a spotlight on them now, before anyone has booked hotels for 2024 vacations.
Bike Monkey has become my favorite event promoter for a few different reasons, but mostly because of the remarkable experience I’ve had at a great many races and other assorted events I’ve ridden over the years. Bike Monkey has proven to be the best-produced. They offer more different categories than I can possibly count, including some really neat stuff, like the over/under category for families, where a parent pairs with a son or daughter. I think there is a real benefit to riders when their category is 16 riders rather than 300, and while more categories means more prizes and more organization, the backbone of the Bike Monkey operation is organization.
Bike Monkey’s RFID timing system is the only one I’ve encountered that seems to go off without a hitch, which might be why they have provided timing for the California Enduro Series for a number of years. The events always come with a post-race meal and beer—good beer—and, perhaps most significant—their courses are as fun as they are demanding.
Though Bike Monkey began as a mountain bike-race promoter, most of the events they do these days tend toward the gravelly. Fish Rock (Mendocino County) and the Hammer Road Rally (Fresno County) are considered “groad,” while Truckee Tahoe Gravel (Lake Tahoe), Stetina’s Paydirt (Carson City, Nev.) and Heart of Gold (Nevada City, Calif.) are all classified as gravel events.
Bike Monkey’s signature events are their two eight-hour mountain bike races, Boggs (Lake County) and Wente (Mendocino County) and I can say if the only events I ever pin a number on again for are these, I’ll be good with that.
For anyone looking for an excuse to travel with their bike—either gravel or mountain—I recommend coming out for one of their events, particularly Fish Rock, which will satisfy anyone’s hankering for redwoods.