If you’re a mountain biker or road cyclist, then words like Transylvania, Pisgah and DuPont probably make you yearn to quit your day job, throw your bike on the rack and head for the mountains. But if BMX is your thing, visiting western North Carolina is not necessarily number one on your bucket list. On Oct. 11, 2014, however, when The Oskar Blues REEB Ranch and The Bike Farm brought the Red Bull Dreamline to the Appalachian Mountains, our little corner of heaven became the center of the BMX universe.
The invitation-only event brought 32 of the best BMX jumpers in the world to compete on a course designed by pro rider Anthony Napolitan and built by Adam Aloise. Located on The REEB Ranch near DuPont State Recreational Forest, the course spanned the length of three football fields and featured 10 jumps, the tallest of which launched riders as high as 40 feet in the air.
“This is big, man, like, this one’s going to send you to the moon,” said 35-year-old BMX veteran Ryan Nyquist when he saw the course.
“It’s definitely gnarly, but like, when you go through it smooth, it’s just the best feeling in the world,” said rider Drew Bezanson. “And they’ve got a big wooden berm at the bottom, and that’s like the victory berm, like, you rip around that thing with the biggest smile on your face, because, A – you’re alive, B – you just rode the biggest best jumps in the world…and it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Approximately 3,500 spectators came to watch the event, which sold out within 24 hours. The 32 riders competed in two heats of 16 in the qualifying rounds on Friday, Oct. 10. In the unique peer-judged structure, the athletes judged their competitors in the other heat when they weren’t riding. The top six from each heat moved on to the finals on Saturday, which were judged by a randomly selected panel of non-qualifying riders.
At the end of the day, Australian Kyle Baldock took third, Californian James Foster came in second, and Nyquist, a fellow Californian and former North Carolina resident, took first place.
“To be here in North Carolina and win, and have the crowd here cheering, it’s epic,” said Nyquist.
The REEB Ranch, a campsite, event facility and bike playground near Oskar Blues’ Brevard brewery, was the ideal location for the event.
“Being out here in rural North Carolina was actually the best setting for this contest,” said Foster. “When we got here, I saw the course, and I was like, ‘This is perfect,’ like you couldn’t imagine a more picture- perfect setting.”
The REEB Ranch pays homage to REEB Cycles, Oskar Blues’ handmade bike company based in Colorado. Cycling has always been a huge part of Oskar Blues’ culture and a large reason that founder Dale Katechis chose western North Carolina as the home for a second brewery. The beautiful 145-acre farm, just 8 miles away from the Brevard brewing facility, features a beautiful barn with a top-floor apartment and a 1940s cabin at the base of two 43-foot waterfalls, all within riding distance of DuPont ….. State Recreational Forest.
The venue will play host to the brewery’s Burning Can Festival on July 17 and 18, which will feature canned beer from 45 breweries, live music, mountain bike rides through DuPont State Forest, BMX competitions and more. Check for updates at brew.oskarblues.com/events/burning-can-Brevard.
To learn more about the REEB Ranch and REEB cycles, visit oskarbluesreebranch on Facebook or