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There are a bunch of good ones. The usual season opener, Barking Spider held at the Hemingway Butte ORV area south of Nampa, might be your best bet. Though not the most scenic of rides, the loop is not technical and the climbs are moderate. The Coyote Classic held outside of Eagle is also a good spot, though as I understand it the beginner loop does include a pretty steep climb. Idaho City would definitely be a tough one as all classes ride the same loop. Check out the Knobby Tire web site, www.knobbytireseries.com, and the Wild Rockies site (though currently down for some reason), www.wildrockies.com, for descriptions of the courses. Also check out the results to see how long you might expect to be on the course. If you've been thinking about it, you've got to check one out. I gave it a try this year at Barking Spider and now five races later, I am addicted. You will find that very quickly into the race, the field stretches out and you will be either riding on your own challenging yourself or riding amongst a similar group of riders discovering your strengths and weaknesses. In all my years of riding, the challenge of racing has without a doubt contributed to the greatest leap in my biking my skills and abilities.
 

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King of the Barneys
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BelaySlave said:
One of my goals next year is to race in a mtn. bike race somewhere in SW Idaho. Not race with the hopes of getting first...but to just take part of. What would be a good one for a beginner like myself? Thanks!
I agree with Adam that Barking Spider is a great first race. But I don't know much (ie, have not ridden) anything in the coyote classic. Barking Spider is known for crazy weather, but hit a nice cool, overcast day,and it's beautiful out there. Short lap for beginner of about 9.5mi.

Here's a write up I did on the race 4 or 5 years ago.

http://tinyurl.com/4amh3

I haven't raced since. --How ya gonna spend a whole Saturday at a race when you can be riding Sun Valley or McCall with friends--??

Chris Brown
 

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A: Wife, kids, ummm mid-life crisis

The kids can stay entertained at the race sites and I can always be home for dinner. Believe me, its a lot easier to fit a race in than to get away for a dawn to dusk, perhaps longer excursion. Throw in riding partners that also have kids and if I'm lucky I get one weekend a year to do a camp/bike trip with my buds. As for that mid-life thing - could be, I'm not sure - but compared to some other mid-life crises (e.g. sports cars) my wife finds this one rather cheap. Thus, there's a really nice new bike in my future!!!
 

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King of the Barneys
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AdamW said:
A: Wife, kids, ummm mid-life crisis

The kids can stay entertained at the race sites and I can always be home for dinner. Believe me, its a lot easier to fit a race in than to get away for a dawn to dusk, perhaps longer excursion. Throw in riding partners that also have kids and if I'm lucky I get one weekend a year to do a camp/bike trip with my buds. As for that mid-life thing - could be, I'm not sure - but compared to some other mid-life crises (e.g. sports cars) my wife finds this one rather cheap. Thus, there's a really nice new bike in my future!!!
If you're gonna have the midlife thing, racing a mtnbike sure beats a 2nd mortgage to buy the red Vette, gold chains and cheesy leering at teenagers while you cruise Main St., eh?

I've ridden half a dozen of the popular W/R courses, and they really are a treat. Great scenery, variety, and most are within 3 to 4 hrs drive of Boise. Disappointed they dropped the Border Town Challenge over Memorial Day weekend due to the govt kicking us out. Now that was a sweet gig.

chris brown
 
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