The Teva Mountain Games, which start on May 31, 2012 in Vail, Colorado, are an all-encompassing four-day celebration of everything outdoors. Twenty-three events are scheduled featuring a variety of sports like kayaking, cycling, trail running, fly fishing, stand-up paddleboarding and more.
Three of the 23 events will showcase mountain-biking skills. A couple of the events are truly one-of-a-kind, bringing elements of other action sports like BMX into the mix.
Here's a look at each of the mountain-biking disciplines:
X-Country Mountain Bike
Starting at the base of Golden Peak, bikers race up Vail Mountain in an epic, fan-friendly 4.5-mile loop. Depending on the division, racers will do anywhere from 1-4 loops. The competition, which takes place on June 2nd, is open to anybody (there's even a race for kids 12 and under) with a big prize purse in the professional and single-speed divisions.
Different terrains will be conquered on the course, including forest service access dirt roads and single track.
Reminiscent of the BMX freestyle events made popular at the X games, the Teva Slopestyle freeriders catch an inspiring amount of air with earthworks of gap jumps, berms and spines.
The course is built at the base of Vail Mountain, and the competition will take place June 1st. Three judges will score the participant's two rides based on creativity, amplitude and technique. Top 12 riders advance to the finals, where they get two more runs on the course.
Prizes go to the top six placers, with the winner earning $2,750.
Teva Freeride Dual
Using mountain-biking skills that riders need to navigate the trickiest trails, the freeride dual event on June 2nd takes those talents and drops them into a head-to-head competition.
Riders will navigate an obstacle course that mimics a gnarly trail, complete with jumps, ramps and other obstacles. The course is only two feet wide but riders often elevate eight feet in the air at times. They can choose a variety of bike options, from BMX bikes to DH-style rides.
Two identical obstacle courses are set up side-by-side with two riders racing head-to-head. Winner advances until one remains to claim the $1,000 first-place prize.
More: How to Bunny HopReady to ride? Search for a mountain bike event.