Beer and bicycles. That's about all it takes to get us to an event these days. For folks in the Wood River Valley, this weekend, Oct. 17-18, marks the 11th annual Crosstober Fest
, combining live music, cyclocross and 75 different beers to try from more than 20 breweries worldwide.
Cyclocross, by the way, is a form of bicycle racing popular in autumn and winter that combines road cycling with mountain biking. The course ranges from one-and-a-half to two miles, with races taking 30 minutes to an hour. The course includes sections of pavement, wooded trails, grass, mud, snow, steep hills and obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry bikes as they navigate through. With hundreds of cyclists participating, it's a delightful mix of spandex and costumes.
The festival kicks off today at 4 p.m. with race registration, live music and beer drinking. The following day is chock-full of races for men, women and youth riders, as well as a lot of music and even more beer from Grand Teton Brewing, Sawtooth Brewery, Stone Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada, Snake River Brewing, Slanted Rock, Ninkasi, Payette, New Belgium, Crooked Fence, and the list goes on and on. Tickets cost $25 at Old Cutters Park in Hailey.