Events in Australia and Colorado go carbon neutral

Two mountain bike events happening in opposite hemispheres have something in common besides bikes....

Two mountain bike events happening in opposite hemispheres have something in common besides bikes. Both are going carbon neutral for the first time in 2007.

The Breckenridge Singletrack Festival will bring mountain bikers together in Colorado September 7-9. This inaugural festival will feature riding on local trails, games, cold beer, live music, and free clinics.

Organizers are partnering with Sustainable Travel International, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote sustainable development and eco-friendly travel, to offset 100% of the carbon emissions arising from the production of the festival. They will track carbon emissions and purchase carbon credits, which support projects that prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, to offset them.

Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase carbon credits to offset their own carbon production related to attending the festival at the festival. Other green initiatives at the festival include using biodegradable beer cups and supporting recycling. Breckenridge is the site of the Firecracker 50, which this year will host the USA Cycling National Marathon Championships.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the VAUDE Highland Fling will also be going carbon neutral for its November 10-11 marathon in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

"We've always been a little concerned about the resources our events use and the amount of fuel used by riders travelling to them," said Event Director Huw Kingston. "We've justified this by the fact that if people weren't riding one of our events they'd still be doing something else for the weekend - driving, riding, eating and drinking - and the fact that such events offer huge health and social benefits. We have employed a consultant to calculate the CO2 production involved with running the event itself and the transport to the event by the 2000 riders and supporters and to select an accredited business through whom we will purchase Carbon Credits."

Just like Breckenridge, organizers will cover the cost of credits for the event, and racers will be able to pay for credits to cover the effects of their own travel.

For more info on the VAUDE Highland Fling, see www.wildhorizons.com.au (registration opens June 20). For more info on the Breckenridge festival, visit www.brecksingletrack.com.

[Cyclingnews incorrectly published that this Highland Fling would determine the Australian MTB Marathon Champions. In fact, the marathon national champions will be decided at the Maxxis Coffs Mountain Marathon, sanctioned by Mountain Bike Australia, on July 1. - ed.]

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