Northwest’s first Tune-up Festival brought amazing experiences to locals and visitors

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Submitted by Northwest Tune-Up

The inaugural Northwest Tune-Up Festival, the premier bike, music and beer festival of the summer, celebrated the spirit and soul of the Northwest in absolutely epic style over the weekend of 8-10 July at Bellingham. Held in the city’s spectacular waterfront park and Galbraith mountain bike trails, the family-friendly event hosted several thousand people over three days. From enduro races to bike demonstrations, kids’ activities to beer tastings and world-class music, the Tune-Up’s first year has truly been an amazing experience for locals and visitors alike.

With over 50 exhibitors in the Waterfront Expo Village and Demo Center at Galbraith, festival-goers were able to discover the latest gear, apparel, bikes and accessories from bike and outdoor brands. At the Beer Tasting Garden, more than 20 of the region’s top breweries and cider houses had the best on tap, while a Brewer’s Hour offered a get-together to learn about these handcrafted libations. Friday’s opening ceremony included a reconnaissance of the land with members of the local Lummi and Nooksack tribes.

The Specialized Galbraith Enduro presented by Soil Searching has attracted riders from near and far, offering a larger than usual professional purse and the chance to experience the world famous trails of Galbraith Mountain. After the dust settled on a rowdy and long course, Jill Kintner, Miranda Miller and Matilda Melton took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the women’s pro category. Remi Gauvin, Myles Morgan and Eric Olsen won the top professional spots for the men.

At the Specialized Status X Fanatik Mohawk Jump Jam, an insane level of skill was on display as riders threw dizzying tricks over the massive jumps of the Mohawk track. The winners of Best Whip, Highest Air on the Hip and Top Shredder of the Day received a complete new Status bike. Meanwhile, at the Mountain Demonstration Center, everyone from curious beginners to expert riders could take a spin on a new bike and top-of-the-line components.

Friday at the water’s edge, competition was fierce in the MAXXIS Pumptrack Drag Race presented by EVIL Bikes. Racing head-to-head on the newly constructed track, the riders were allowed 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 finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd for the men. The larger-than-usual professional scholarships awarded $1,500, $1,000, and $500, with equal payouts for men and women.

Each day, bike trainer Angi Weston of Radical Roots conducted clinics, including jumps, turns and kids’ sessions at the water’s edge and on Galbraith Mountain. Huckwagons and Transcascadia Excursions ran shuttles all day, every day, bringing riders, runners and spectators from the waterfront to the mountain and back.

As the 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 dancing crowds were surrounded by beautiful Bellingham Bay and spectacular sunsets as summer finally arrived in the North West.

Suffice it to say, Northwest Tune-Up’s early days were full of amazing people and experiences. Indeed, a true celebration of the unique and rich cultures of this region.

Special thanks to our Northwest Tune-Up sponsors: 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 County Tourism Whatcom, aimed at encouraging commerce, maximizing national and regional exposure, improving quality of existing living for residents and to help build a legacy for recreation in Whatcom County.

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