Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Women Everywhere

Have you seen the new Mountain Bike For Her magazine out of Canada? It's rad. It features beautiful photos and excellent content, but my favorite part is that is shows women as an equal part of a sport we've been participating in for decades. The imagery is my favorite - photos of women actually shredding, like we tend to do.

I see momentum building for women as we're represented more and more in the sports we love. Think Lynsey Dyer's all-women ski flick Pretty Faces and the opening segment of Warren Miller's No Turning Back featuring Jess McMillan and Ingrid Backstrom taking on big-mountain lines in the Chugach with just as much skill and even more finesse than most men. 

Check out Issue #3, including features on sustainable trail construction, nutrition and weight training, and the sisterhood of shred. While you're at it, read the other two issues as well. And keep reading! It's only going to get better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Makes You Get on Your Bike?

We love the sentiment in this video.  As cyclists, we come from all perspectives, but ultimately we're all out there together. What makes you get on your bike?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Train Dirty


Ever heard of the Dirty 40? It's one of the most anticipated Gravel Grinds of the season. Join Onion River Sports every Monday August 11, 18, 25 right up until the Dirty 40 on the 30th.

                                        Dirty 40 Training Rides at Onion River Sports.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On-Trail: Fix a Flat

Check out the latest from Sarah in Women's Adventure Magazine and learn how to fix a flat tire on your next mountain bike outing. This is the first installment of a series of on-trail fixes. These tips apply to road bikes as well!

Read  the first installment, How to Fix Your Flat Tire, here.

Ride On: Support VMBA and Get a Chance to Win an Ibis Bike

Vermont has some stellar riding, and it’s only getting better.

A new statewide membership program managed by the Vermont Mountain Bike Association ( aims to increase rider membership, thereby leading to more trails. To sweeten the deal, VMBA has partnered with Ibis to offer a chance to win the bike of your dreams in exchange for every $5 donation. Whether you’re a resident rider living in Vermont, a visitor, general supporter or just plain lover of new bikes, $5 is easy to part with to support more trails and for a shot at that new ride. Every $5 donated gets you a chance to win.

VMBA is the umbrella non-profit organization serving 15 mountain clubs around the state of Vermont. VMBA coordinates state level land-use agreements and landowner liability policy and provides insurance and trail grants programs, all of which directly benefit the chapters working on the ground to build more trails. When VMBA is strong, there are more resources for all of us, and that just means more riding.

Head over to VMBA ( to make that donation and get a chance to win the bike of your dreams – you choose the model, size, color – everything! For only $5, what do you have to lose? Every $5 donated increases your odds. And even if you don’t win the bike, you get more trails, and that’s always winning.

The folks at Ibis are excited to partner with VMBA on this raffle along with RockShox, SRAM, and MTBVT. For more information about Ibis check out this recent article on Pink Bike: The Ibis Story.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trails for the Future: VMBA Trail Building Workshop, Day One

Our local mountain bike club joined other clubs from all around the state this past weekend to attend the annual Vermont Mountain Bike Association sustainable trail building workshop. Attendance at the workshop is one of the many benefits offered to clubs that join VMBA.

The workshop was held at American Flatbread in Waitsfield, host to one end of the new Mad River Riders' Revolution Trail. We spent the morning in a classroom setting, getting to know each other and learning from some of the best: Brooke Scatchard and Mariah Keagy of Sinuosity, a local mountain bike trail design/build company.

We learned how to build trails that are environmentally sustainable and that last into the future. We took our new skills to the Revolution Trail to work on some problem spots. 

For more on sustainable mountain bike construction, you can check out the book "Trail Solutions: IMBA's Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack" and visit the International Mountain Bike Association website, where they host a variety of resources related to trail design, construction and sustainability.

Also, stay tuned for an upcoming article from me on sustainable hiking and biking trail construction in the Active Vermont section of the Sunday Rutland Herald / Times Argus on July 26, 2014.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Trail to Connect Two Towns

A fall view from the CVT in Groton State Forest.
The Cross Vermont Trail connect communities along the Winooski and Wells Rivers, from Burlington to Ryegate. At times sharing the route with roads and at times traveling its own path through forests and fields, this four-season trail allows hikers, bikers, skiers, and commuters to connect coordinates on the map.

Being in Washington County, we frequent the portions of the trail that connect Plainfield and Marshfield. This is a particularly beautiful section, especially through Groton State Forest.
The CVT entering Groton State Forest.

Here are some ways to take advantage of the CVT on your bike: 
Here are some ways to support the CVT:
  • Ride the Central Vermont Cycling Tour June 22 with easy, moderate, and advanced options
  • Support the Keystone Project, which is the completion of a critical section of trail that gets trail users off of Route 2, by contacting your local representatives in favor of providing transportation funds to the project
    A bridge crossing Nasmith Brook in Marshfield.
    The CVT between Plainfield and Groton is double track with an easy 1-3% grade.
    A fall view of Marshfield Mountain from the CVT in Groton State Forest.
    The trail east from Nasmith Brook Road in Marshfield.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Don't Ride Closed or Wet Trails (Or a Kitten. ... No, no kittens will be hurt)

You’ve by now probably seen the New England Mountain Bike Association PSA, “Don’t Ride Muddy Trails or a Kitten Gets It,” or something like that. While no kittens are actually harmed in the making or riding of singletrack, it is really not cool to ride it wet. 

“What’s the big deal?” you say. “I’m the only one out here, I’m not doing any harm.” Well, if we all thought that way, our trails would be a world of hurt and our clubs would go bankrupt trying to keep up on the maintenance. 

I talked with local trailbuilder Kevin Jacques, lead trail builder at Millstone Hill Touring Center, a little place you may have heard of over in Graniteville. (It’s basically awesome.) I asked him about spring opening dates for local mountain bike trails, to include in a recent article on the topic. We didn’t talk in time for the article so I couldn’t quote him there, but I wanted to share what he had to say.

“The biggest reason for adhering to open/closed dates is mostly due to rain and the spring thaw. Water doesn't only soften the soil; it also can become a rushing torrent following mountain bike tracks downhill during a rainstorm. What took Mother Nature moments to destroy took trail builders hours or even days to build. We love to ride trails to, maybe even more so than most, this is why we build trail. We don't want to spend our time repairing damage from folks that ride when trails are posted. Just imagine how much more time we would have to build NEW trail if we didn't have to spend time repairing.”

Want to know more about trail building? Jacques encourages every mountain biker to put in at least one work day a year at their favorite trail or club. “With all the riders in this state, imagine what that would do!”

We all can't wait to get out there! But first, check in with your local club for trail openings and closures, and stay off the trails after a rain event.

Happy Trails

Giving Back: Twinfield Bike Rodeo

Four members of our local mountain bike club headed down to the local school this morning to help kids get on bikes. The morning started with parents dropping their kids off with bikes, helmets, and school supplies, and the bikes were organized by classroom. We set up a bike skills course and safety check station (helmets, brakes, air in the tires, chain oiled up - check!) and the kids came out one classroom at a time. Student volunteers were set up to support the younger cyclists throughout, with games of red light-green light, obstacles, traffic simulations, and a winding serpentine to practice bike handling skills. The kids had a blast, and so did we!

 Oh, and after the safety course, the kids cruised around on their bikes. Who went off-roading? The girls. No big deal, we're pretty awesome.

Happy Trails!