WinterBike began as a simple idea: Let’s put together an event to celebrate our biking community…on snow! When we threw the concept out there and received a resounding “Yes!” from all parties, we knew it was a go. And before long people were contacting Mountain Bike Vermont and Kingdom Trails to find out more information. The question remained, however: if we build it, would they come?
At 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 10th, we watched the line of cars trundle up a frozen dirt road in East Burke, Vermont – bikes swayed on roof racks, toothy grins gleamed from behind steering wheels and license plates announced visitors from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec and Ontario. Riders had indeed answered our call to assembly!
And what an assembly it was. Nearly 100 riders joined us for the 8-hour event that included group rides on the famous Kingdom Trails, music, food, fire, beer, revelry, and a race that’s sure to become an annual fixture in Vermont – the IdeRide 6X, a six-man, snow-cross competition on a course designed by the state’s freeride ambassador Knight Ide.
There are many people and parties we need to thank but the first shout-out goes to Ol’ Man Winter. He’s been a fickle character this season but for WinterBike 2012 he delivered one of his best performances to date: perfectly packed snow under partly cloudy skies and a balmy 28 degrees. Long live Ullr!
Secondly, we have to thank our loyal biking brethren – the support you all show grassroots events such as this one is overwhelming. You guys rock! (And a very special thanks goes to Sean Ralph who drove the five hours from Ottawa, solo, and arrived early. Simply inspiring dude!)
Of course, all of this would not be possible without our sponsors. A huge thanks to Long Trail Brewery for their ongoing support. What would mountain biking be without beer? Road biking? Ryan, thanks for the vote of confidence in MTBVT. Jason, thanks for making the trip out.
To Vermont Smoke and Cure and Elmore Mountain Bread, thank you for the delicious treats. They were a crowd favorite. And thanks to the Market Cafe and Catering for the other amazing local eats.
Howie and Tim over at Green Mountain Distillers, your Maple Liquor received a resounding “Mmmmmmm!” followed by “Just one more before we head out on another loop.” Thanks guys! And Dan at Trout River, you’ll be pleased to know your keg was drained first. Evidently bikers like liquid lunches. Thank you much!
It was difficult not to hoard all the socks Tom at Darn Tough Vermont donated. They’re so good! Everyone loves them. Darn Tough? Damn straight! And to our other clothing sponsors, Louis Garneau and The North Face, thanks for keeping us warm and looking runway ready.
High five to Jay Knecht at Scott Bikes. Not only did he give us some shwag for the event but he also provided the entertainment in the form of an epic bail during the IdeRide 6X.
Other donators included East Burke Sports, Onion River Sports, Earl’s Cyclery, Five Hills Bikes, and Iride. Thank you for keeping us moving forward in mechanical bliss. And an extra special thanks to Carrie, Chris and Chief at the Village Sports Shop for going above and beyond, donating schwag, sponsoring the T’s and leading rides. Right on!
Speaking of the ride leaders, you guys kick ass! You also kicked some of our asses. (Ahem, Ron Murray.)
Thanks to all our supporters in and around Burke including the private land owners, Burke Mountain, Burke Mountain Academy and the volunteers they provided, The Inn at Mountain View Farm, The Wildflower Inn, Lynburke Motel, East Burke Market and Junipers Restaurant. We are grateful for your generous contributions.
To the competitors in the IdeRide 6X, Hells yeah guys! That was some scary racing at times! Congrats to Brooke Scatchard for destroying all the conformists and taking away $300 and schwag. Brooke won every round by a long shot, on a Pugsley he modified with a lefty fork and swept handlebars that, rumor has it, he fabricated himself. Knight Ide and Ryan McEvoy came in 2nd and 3rd respectively and we have to thank Knight again for dreaming up the 6X in the first place. Thanks for keeping us on our toes by constantly pushing the envelope.
To Dale and Darcy, we thank you for providing the acoustic music by the fire. Your tunes are catchy and enthusiasm contagious. And to the Nordic skiers, thanks for letting a bunch of two wheeling dirt bags tour around your territory. Feel free to skate ski our dirt trails any time.
Finally, a big high five goes out to the MTBVT/Kingdom Trails combo. Tim, Lilias, and crew, we truly go together like PB&J. Thanks for the awesome cooperation.
Stay tuned for more events from MTBVT. Next up, the Gravel Grinder in Waterburry Vermont on April 22nd.
See you on the trails!