Multi-year, multi-jurisdictional collaboration opens Eagle, CO’s backcountry to Firebird XC athletes

April 10, 2015 (Eagle, CO) – The Town of Eagle and organizers of the Eagle Outside Festival (May 15-17, 2015) are pleased to announce the addition of an ultra-endurance single-loop backcountry cross-country race to the 7th annual event. Roughly 40 miles in length (with shorter distances available), the new course winds through some of Eagle’s best trail offerings including Mike’s Night Out, World’s Greatest and Pipeline.

Approval for the newly established Firebird 40 XC represents the culmination of nearly three years of dialogue between the event’s production team and open space managers at the federal, state and community level. The new course is the product of a long-term partnership between Eagle’s open space and economic development teams, event organizers Uncommon Communications, and federal land managers in the areas of recreation, biology, archeology and wildlife. The freshly-minted Firebird course provides access to previously undiscovered territory for visitors to the emerging mountain bike destination. 

Convening at several points along the 35-month timeline, managers from the BLM and USFS provided thoughtful assistance and guidance, both proving invaluable to the production team. The result of the joint effort is the development and design of a responsible, sustainable and fun course that also showcases the incredible natural beauty surrounding the community.

From the event organizer
“Our first goal when we assumed control of the festival was to create a long-distance XC very much in the spirit of Breckenridge’s Firecracker 50,” offers event director Mike McCormack of Uncommon Communications, “A significant challenge for riders new to Eagle is the sheer size of its surrounding trail network. Unless you’re a local with lots of trial-and-error experience, getting lost isn’t a possibility, it’s a certainty. That’s an obstacle for the types of low-impact recreational tourism Eagle is courting.”

From the Town of Eagle
“The expanded course couldn’t have happened without a dedicated team of open space and land access professionals within the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service and Town of Eagle Open Space Department,” adds Eagle’s Mayor Yuri Kostick, “They quickly understood the connection between the provision of a safe and controlled backcountry experience and the positive economic impact increased familiarity with our trail network would bring to our community. I don’t think anyone would say that the process was easy, but things worth waiting for seldom are.”

From the Bureau of Land Management
“The BLM and Town of Eagle have a long history of working together to provide high quality recreation opportunities, which are important economic drivers for the area. The town and race organizers have worked closely with the BLM to permit an exciting event in a way that minimizes impacts to natural resources,” states Karl Mendonca, Field Manager for the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office.

From the United States Forest Service
“This new race segment will be an exciting addition to an already great event and highlights the wonderful recreation opportunities available in the western portion of the Vail Valley,” says Aaron Mayville, Acting District Ranger for the Forest Service’s Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, “The Forest Service is proud to have been a part of the team, and looks forward to future events that reflect the continued successful partnership between the Town of Eagle, BLM, and the Forest Service.”

The addition of a throwback-style big-loop race course is but one of several new amenities added to the event’s rapidly growing consumer demo. Other 2015 additions include:

  • Women's only clinics from former World champion Alison Dunlap
  • Expanded close-in camping offerings
  • National-level touring bands are booked to enhance the flesh out a weekend full of bikes, beer and bands

For more information about the Eagle Outside Festival’s free consumer demo, the new 1stBank Firebird 40, the Boneyard Boogie 10K Trail Race, the LoFi Chainless DH or the Howard Head Sports Medicine 5K Run/Walk, please visit

Based in Eagle, Colorado, Uncommon Communications is a full-service public relations and marketing strategy agency specializing in the active outdoor and cycling markets. Widely recognized as a leading voice in the national cycling access dialogue, Uncommon also spearheads Eagle’s Singletrack Sidewalks initiative and its MTB 101 youth MTB program. The agency’s event division also oversees events such as the Eagle Outside Festival, the Vail Outlier Offroad Festival and the Breck Epic MTB Stage Race.