Extreme mountain biking in North Dakota

Photo courtesy: Threefold

WATFORD CITY, N.D. - A world renowned extreme mountain biking trail 15 miles south of Watford City will hopefully be even more popular soon according to Director of Maah Daah Hey 100 Mountain Bike Race Nick Ybarra.

Ybarra said the 114 mile long Maah Daah Hey trail has 12,000 feet of elevation gain, with constant ups and downs; something you would only expect in the mountains.

“When people think of North Dakota, they don’t expect extreme mountain biking. They don’t think that one of the world’s greatest trails could possibly be in North Dakota,” stated Ybarra.

701 Cycle and Sport of Bismarck is planning a location in Watford City on Main Street, allowing a lot more people to utilize the path. Ybarra says the bike shop is much needed, because of the eight races a year that bring in people from all over the world. After eight years of hosting the bike race, they have a finish rate of only 50 percent.

“The trail is extreme. It's humbled a lot of mountain bikers over the years, even professionals that think you can come out and just crush this hundred-mile mountain bike race, and sometimes it ends up crushing them," Ybarra explained.

Ybarra said the shop will have bike rentals, allowing him to start a high school biking club that uses the path, as well as get elementary students involved.

"To introduce them to something that they can do for the rest of their lives and possibly fall in love with as much as I have. That's my plan," Ybarra said.

Ybarra adds that the trail is attracting more people to North Dakota and changing the mentalities tourists might have about coming here.

701 Cycle and Sport has tentative plans to open late June.