Photos: Aaron Rohde
Ridden and written: Jon Severinghaus
The Stowe Mountain Bike Club’s annual Leaf Blower Fall Classic is quickly becoming a Columbus Day Weekend tradition, adding the smiles and laughs of well-ridden and well-fed mountain bikers to the town’s festivities. Set against the backdrop of near peak foliage and blessed with beautiful fall weather, this year’s event welcomed 140 riders from as far away as Rhode Island and as close as Stowe’s Mountain Road.
Find your ride leader in the sea of amped up bikers.
We can’t say enough to applaud the SMBC for nailing the logistics of the event. Check-in was a breeze, pick-up a wristband for food and bevies, grab a slick pair of custom wool socks, and find your blaze orange bandana clad ride leader to take you on the day’s adventure. There were two distinct big routes this year, one headed into the hills of Stowe’s Sterling Forest and the other to the buff trails of Cady Hill Forest and Adams Camp. With many of the region’s hardwoods already shedding their leaves, the surfing was spectacular. Surfing the red and orange leafy pow that is… Crisp air rich with the flavor of fall, the endless crunch of leaves, and seemingly uninterrupted views kept us blinking to make sure it was all real.
Smiling riders, huge tires, leaves and singletrack.
Mike grins ear to ear while finessing a rock feature on Kimmer’s Trail.
Poppin’ foliage and rippin’ dry trail.
Once everyone had logged some serious time on singletrack the vibe shifted to relaxing revelry as riders enjoyed a catered local meal, frosty adult beverages, and the crackle of a fire. The annual “Foot-down” competition commenced, with local wrenches Ron and Jarrod spending a considerable amount of time in between the pumpkin boundaries duking it out for prizes and endless bragging rights. We’re not sure who took the overall crown, but it sure was fun to watch!
The fire was kept fed much like the scores of ravenous bikers, and stayed lit well into the night.
The evening wrapped-up with mountain bike, SMBC, Vermont, and “Stowe Back in the Day” trivia. Knowledge was dropped and history was taught. Someone on the MTBVT team may have been responsible for a few of the more challenging questions… Any event that concludes with a tasty beverage in hand, and laughs around a fire is one we don’t want to miss. See you next year riders!
2013 Event Sponsors and Supporters
This year the event received a tremendous amount of support from local and regional businesses all excited to do their part and help the mountain bike scene continue to grow. The Stowe Mountain Bike Club and MTBVT would like to send a huge thank you to all of the event’s sponsors and supporters!