Submitted by Northwest Tune-Up

The inaugural Northwest Tune-Up Festival — the summer’s premier bikes, music, and beer festival, celebrated the spirit and soul of the Northwest in absolutely epic style over the weekend of July 8–10 in Bellingham. Held at the city’s spectacular Waterfront park and Galbraith Mountain biking trails, the family friendly event hosted several thousand people over the course of three days. From enduro racing to bike demos, kids activities to beer-tasting and world-class music, the Tune-Up’s first year was truly an incredible experience for locals and visitors alike.

With more than 50 exhibitors throughout the Waterfront Expo Village and Demo Center on Galbraith, festival goers were able to check out the latest gear, clothing, bikes, and accessories from bike and outdoor brands. At the Beer Tasting Garden, over 20 of the region’s top breweries and cideries had their finest on tap, while a Brewer’s Hour offered a meet-and-greet to learn more about these craft libations. Friday’s opening ceremony included a land acknowledgement with members of the local Lummi and Nooksack tribes.

The Specialized Galbraith Enduro presented by Soil Searching drew racers from near and far, offering a larger-than-usual pro purse and the chance to experience Galbraith Mountain’s world-renowned trails.  After the dust settled on a rowdy–and long–course, Jill Kintner, Miranda Miller, Matilda Melton captured 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively for the women’s pro category. Remi Gauvin, Myles Morgan and Eric Olsen claimed the top pro spots for men’s. 

At the Specialized Status X Fanatik Mohawk Jump Jam, an insane level of talent was on display as riders threw sky-high tricks on the Mohawk trail’s massive jumps. Winners of Best Whip, Highest Air on the Hip and Top Shredder of the Day received a new, complete Status bike. Meanwhile, at the on-mountain demo center, everyone from curious newbies to expert riders could take a new-to-them bike and top-end components out for a spin. 

Down at the waterfront on Friday, competition was fierce in the MAXXIS Pumptrack Drag Race presented by EVIL Bikes. Racing head-to-head on the newly built track, riders were afforded two laps in the elimination-style format. The women’s category was dominated by Jill Kintner, Matilda Melton, and Ivy Newell for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Eddie Renyolds, Lear Miller and Hayden Damon, took 1st, 2nd and 3rd for men’s. The larger-than-usual pro purses awarded $1500, $1000 and $500, with equal payouts for men and women.

Each day, bike coach Angi Weston from Radical Roots hosted clinics, including jumping, cornering and kids sessions at the Waterfront and up on Galbraith Mountain. Huckwagons and Transcascadia Excursions ran shuttles all day, each day, bringing riders, racers and spectators from the Waterfront to the mountain and back. 

As golden hour crept over the Waterfront each evening, the Tune-Up’s main stage lit up with the night’s musical lineup. Headliners included The Dip, Allah Las, Wolf Parade, Cut Chemist with Chali 2na, and grammy-winner PJ Morton. The dancy-heavy crowds were backdropped by stunning Bellingham Bay and spectacular sunsets, as summer has finally arrived to the Northwest.

Suffice to say, the Northwest Tune-Up’s debut was full of incredible people and experiences. Indeed, a true celebration of this region’s unique and rich cultures.

We’d like to offer a special thank you to our sponsors of the Northwest Tune-Up: Specialized, Maxxis, Evil Bikes, Smartwool, Diamondback, Transition Bikes, Superfeet and Craft MTN.The Northwest Tune-Up is part of Bellingham’s signature event program in partnership with the City of Bellingham and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, aimed to encourage commerce, maximize national and regional exposure, enhance the existing quality of life for residents, and help build a legacy for recreation in the Whatcom County.

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