Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Dirt In Vermont

Time To Ride 2013

As I sit here listening to the rain fall, I think about the year 2013.  The last few years have been full to say the least but when I think about this past Spring, into Summer and then into Fall, I start to feel something  and I smile....

Last winter, while out skiing, I started thinking about the upcoming riding season. I decided I would ride and photographically capture, edit and share the entire riding season, then go out on a limb, put it all together and raise money for our local MTB clubs. Now when I think back on this I can honestly say I had no idea what I was really getting myself into.  I am by no means a professional photographer, I simply like the feel of a camera in my hand and like to share what I see. I also like to ride *a lot*.

In the end we raised over $800 for our local mountain bike chapters. This helps pay for tools, advocacy, legislation, beer....(after trail work of course), and helps chapters reach out to new avenues. I cannot thank all the folks enough who rode with me, spoke with me, laughed, let me share their moments on a bike with me. Thanks also to all the sponsors who supported the show with raffle prizes, who did not even hesitate to support my project and donated their products and time so that we could make TTR (Time To Ride) positively the best time we possibly could. Here's to VMBA (Vermont Mountain Bike Association), Vermont Peanut Butter (Chris Kaiser), Darn Tough socks, Forsake shoes, Vasque, MTBVT crew, The Alchemist, the good folks at Jackson's Lodge (Mark, Gloria, and Lu) who took us in, Onion River Sports, Muscles Not Motors, Dirt Rag Magazine, Cannondale, Specialized,, SRAM and the Savoy Theater.  You all made a night possible where you could literally feel the energy and spirit of the VT MTB community.

When we moved here we knew we wanted to live in the mountains with mountain people. In Vermont mountain biking has come along way, from riding class four roads, VAST snowmobile trails in the Summer on private land, illegal or hand shake stashes of single-track, that either got discovered and destroyed or legitimized and solidified a community. As double-track turned into single-track, techy met flow, you could feel there was something there, it was good, REALLY good! It was the mountain bike culture in VT. That was over eight years ago and MTB'ing in VT  hasn't looked back.  I could ramble on and name names but you all know who you are, we all know who you are and if you don't, I only have two words for you: get involved. I like to joke that some folks think single track just simply grows on trees....well it doesn't.  It takes blood, sweat, some elbow grease, a couple of shovels, and a community, and yeah sometimes tears..wait I think I meant beers...But in the end its the people and together with those shovels, a smile, advocacy and some time we can make mountain biking in Vermont even stronger. I like to quote a good friend of mine: "you have to pay to play" and this doesn't  necessarily mean money but of yourself. So get out there and get involved.

Now stop listening to the rain, wax some skis and get outside...the snow is coming

 I is the singletrack.