Paul Larson loses his grip on wet roots during the 3rd annual Stowe Epic Ride, put on by the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum at Trapp Family Lodge, part of the Eastern Fat Tire Association (EFTA) New England Championship Series. Photo: Aaron Rohde
The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Epic Summer Event was a great race that can, unfortunately, be summed up in one word: slog! Considering that the Stowe area had a ridiculous amount of rain during the week leading up to the race, things actually turned out amazingly well. It was noteworthy that they were able to host the race at all. I’ve heard that Eskimos have something like a hundred words for snow. Mountain bikers in Vermont may develop a similar extension of their vocabulary for mud this summer. How many different kinds of mud are there? I’m not sure, but I think we rode through nearly all of them in this race.
The only real disappointment of the day was that the course had to be shortened from 20k loop down to 7.5 miles. It was really a shame because the sections that were removed are truly exceptional single-track. The Stowe Mountain Bike Club is pretty aggressive in protecting their trails. For the past couple of weeks, their “status” had most of their trails closed whenever I checked. Ultimately, it was a good thing to alter the course because I’d hate to see those trails damaged. With the number of people out on the course Sunday and the amount of mud that was churned up as a result, it was a wise choice. I think the locals would have flipped out and hunted down Brian, the race promoter, if we had ruined Kimmers.
In spite of some bad conditions that were beyond anyone’s control, Brian and crew put on a great race. I’m really wishing I had discovered this race before because this was obviously great terrain to race on. They really made the best of a difficult situation. They also get kudos for providing what is perhaps the most punctual awards ceremony I’ve seen in a long time. This is one that will be worth hitting again next year when the conditions are likely to be more favorable. Results are up on the VTSSM web site and at EFTA.
Read Mark’s full recap of his darn muddy good time at the VTSSM Epic Summer Event on his blog Single-Speed Slogging >>
Words: Mark Tucker
Photos and captions: Aaron Rohde
Photo: Aaron Rohde