After two years living with friends in the Mad River Valley, the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival returned to Ascutney. It's hard to overstate the excitement that passed through the local riding community when we announced the decision to host the Fest on our trails again.
The week began with an iffy weather forecast, and Friday's clouds and raindrops lingered longer than we would have liked. Some riders got extra showers, but nevertheless the rides rode on, and everyone returned with smiles. We experimented this year with the Friday ride offerings - neighboring chapters WAMBA and UVMBA guided tours around Mt. Peg and Boston Lot, respectively, to participants on their way to the main action at Ascutney Trails.
We were excited to share the event with our neighbors. Both groups have worked tirelessly in recent years to build amazing trails, and they deserve the recognition. We're lucky to be surrounded by such energy!
We closed Day 1 with a great show by local rockers About Gladys and food from Trail Break Taps + Tacos mobile unit. And Saturday came, fueled by Abracadabra Coffee and Anne Yates' mind-blowing cinnamon rolls. The guided rides filled the hills, while in the Fest Village a full slate of clinics ran non-stop, with top-level instructors teaching skills both on and off the bike.
With a great burst of driving rain, the afternoon cooled and the humidity dissipated, and the afternoon rides rolled back in. Woodbelly Pizza, Lazy Cow Ice Cream, Green Mountain Nutrition smoothies, and more tacos flew from the food trucks.
Game time! And did we have games! And raffles! Committee members Liz and Leah set up an entirely new schedule of games with trick bikes and teambuilding at the forefront. And thanks to the generosity of so many vendors and sponsors, the raffle prizes were incredible this year. Some lucky souls got to go home with a lot of valuable new goodies.
To wrap up Day 2, Moxley Union hit the stage and crushed it til the lights went out. We scored big getting these two bands back-to-back - don't miss either of them if you have the chance!
And then Sunday came, and we rode with those end-of-the-weekend legs, enjoying the crisp summer morning and fueled up again by our morning food maestros. As the parking lot emptied and the clean-up crews got started, we spent a lot of time giving high fives and enjoying the euphoria of a successful event. Not even the dicey weather early in the weekend was enough to dampen the spirit of the 2018 Vermont MTB Fest.
A few months ago, readers of VT Sports Magazine voted the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival the best mountain biking event in the State, tied with another amazing event. We hope this weekend lived up to that honor.
The list of sponsors, vendors, volunteers, neighbors, members, and teammates is long and every one of them deserves a personal thank you for making the Fest a success. To everyone who came to enjoy the trails, thank you for braving the uncertain weather and having a weekend filled with fun. We hope to see all of you again in 2019!!
For full pics and video, visit our festival highlights page!