It’s a long standing tradition for road cyclists to race the historic steam engines of the Nevada Northern Railway. In 2016, Wade Robison suggested in a joking manner about making an event out of it. In typical Ely fashion, the answer was: “Let’s race!” So Race the Rails was born.

The steam locomotive and the bicycle were both invented a little over 10 years apart. Both changed the way we travel. Which one will prevail in early September during Race the Rails in Ely? At the sound of the train whistle, mountain and road bicycle riders race onto their individual courses to see who can get back to the depot before the train. This is not a race against time or fellow riders. It’s a race against one of history’s most powerful inventions!

Race the Rails challenge courses, which attract about 100 riders each year, offer unique North Central Nevada terrain for both road and mountain bikers. Mountain bike racers test their speed and agility on a challenging 10-mile course through the beautiful mountains surrounding Ely, while road cyclists prove their speed and endurance on a 25-mile course along roads and highways in the area. Everyone who finishes the course will receive a finisher’s medal.

Entry fee is $65 until Aug. 7, then $75 up to race day and $85 on race day. The registration fee includes a tech t-shirt, finisher medal, train voucher and meal ticket. Extra t-shirts can be requested for an additional fee. Great Basin Trails Alliance hosts Race The Rails and 100% of the proceeds are reinvested into the trail systems within White Pine County.

For a full schedule of events and more information on Race the Rails and planning your trip to Ely, please dial the White Pine County Visitors Center at (775) 289-3720.


September 11, 2021
8:00am - 5:00pm

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Venue Location:

North Central




North Central