PressCamp finished on Friday. The format is this: a bunch of bike brands take over a luxe condo complex in the sun-soaked ski resort of Deer Valley, Utah, and 30 or so journalists are shipped in to get one-on-ones with the brand managers and execs. In the afternoons, the writers and photographers get to ride the bikes and kit they've been told about in the morning. Luckily, I've been here with my 16-year old son, Josh. He has been the BikeBiz cub reporter, visiting brands on his own, and loving it. He's a roadie so went on the organized road rides, but he's also now a convert to dirt. Deer Valley has lots of dirt.
Deer Valley is a ski and bike resort in the Wasatch Range, located about 40 minutes east of the international airport at Salt Lake City. Down the hill from the plush resort is Park City, a former mining town with a Main Street lined with Victorian wooden houses that would have once been miners' cabins but which now retail for upwards of a millon dollars apiece.
The Sundance Film Festival is staged in Park City each February. It's an upscale town, with dining to match. Close to town is the Mid-Mountain Trail, a 20-mile MTB trail that starts in Deer Valley, stays at about 8000 feet and is twisty, turny, swoopy and all the other sweet singletrack adjectives you can think of. (Josh and I rode it on the day we arrived).
Park City has 400 miles of mountain bike trails. That's worth repeating: 400 miles. Even for a ski town which wants to suck up to mountain bikers, that's a freakin' lot. And the length and quality of the trails is the reason Park City is the one and only gold-level 'ride center' in IMBA's rankings.
And this easy access to world-class trails is one of the reasons Lifeboat Events chose Deer Valley to host PressCamp, the fifth Deer Valley staging of the six year old event. The other reason, of course, is close proximity to a major airport.
Lance Camisasca, president of Lifeboat Events, which organizes PressCamp, said it's highly likely next year's event will be staged in the Silver Baron Lodge at Deer Valley.
The Enve ride is one of the highlights of PressCamp. Journalists get to ride a long, mostly downhill trail on Enve-equipped bikes from Intense and Turner.
Josh and I were expertly guided around Deer Valley trails by Kathy Sherwin, who works for the resort and rides for the Stan's No Tubes MTB team.