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  1. #1
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    2011 Vermont Mountain Bike Festival Trip

    Vermont Mountain Bike Festival Trip July 2011

    We had been planning on attending the 2011 Vermont Mountain Bike Festival since attending the 2010 session. Timing worked pretty good to include taking my Daughter to University of Vermont to attend a summer Field Hockey Camp. Her camp started on a Thursday morning which set us up perfect to enjoy riding Thursday and Friday outside of the festival and enjoying the festival rides on Saturday and Sunday. As can happen well laid plans changed as my fellow 2010 VT MTN Bike Festival alumni were forced to cancel 2 days before departure. I still had the Field Hockey Camp for my daughter so started out as planned anyway and figured I would just ride alone on Thursday and Friday and then join the festival for the weekend.
    Good Karma struck as the 2 of us were driving to Vermont on Wednesday…..riding friend Joe and partner Sue called……they were looking for info on the festival . After discussing the festival at length they asked who was coming up with me. When they found out the situation they invited me to join them and 2 more riders to spend the weekend with them including staying at their cabin on East Long Pond near Cabot Vermont! Hotel reservations and stay were quickly shortened /cancelled and plans changed for the better.
    My Daughter and I arrived in Burlington Wednesday for a now one night stay at the Residence Inn. We checked in and quickly headed over to the Vermont Pub and Brewery (the first brew pub in Vermont) for some food and I got a chance to sample 6 fine brews. I also had been trying to get a ticket to the Vermont Brewers Festival taking place on the weekend but had not bought tickets early enough…it was sold out. We talked to several people at the Pub who were attending the festival….it really sounded like fun.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  2. #2
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    Vermont Mountain Bike Festival July 2011

    Thursday we checked out and I delivered my daughter to UVM for the Field Hockey Camp. She was excited to meet new teammates and looked forward to her camp. I headed over to find Switchback Brewing to see their Brewery, unfortunately they were not touring visitors , well another trip up to catch a tour someday! Next I visited The Ski Rack in Burlington, An amazing shop that covers a city block. While there a bike department associate suggested a few spots to ride locally. I made my way to Sunny Hollow in Colchester for a ride. I took a look at the map at the trail head and decided to ride in and take lefts at every intersection which should take me completely around the perimeter of the area and back to where I had started. The ride started nicely….i was alone with no one else around….about 15 minutes into the ride I began to cross a bridge(Tribourough Bridge I think) and drove right off the edge. I fell about 3 and ½ feet and landed head first. Knocked the wind out of myself as well as smacked the helmet on left front edge pretty hard. I was seeing double and not clearly for about 5 or 6 minutes. I stayed down on the ground resting for a total of about 12 minutes and then my vision finally returned to normal. Continued with the ride at that point, enjoying the Sunny Hollow trail layout and construction. The only problem with my plan of taking only lefts was that there were some trails that were not on the map. I ended up 3 times crossing to a point where there was a military installation. Each time I turned back and somehow got twisted around on the trails. Finally worked my way to a fence line that I followed back to the main stem trail coming into the park. I played around on the interior beginner loops for awhile so that I ended up riding everything at the park. Sunny Hollow was a great time except for my fall off the bridge. Fellow Ship Of the Wheel fingerprints are all over this place in terms of nice trail build. I finished my time in Burlington area with a visit to Moe’s for some dinner before heading for Cabot and my rendezvous with Joe, Sue, Reggie, and Tim. The weather was picture perfect all day including when I arrived on East Long Pond near Cabot. It Is a Incredibly beautiful place.

    Friday we headed to Kingdom Trails for a ride on the Burke side of the area. We rode up from the Kingdom office to the CCC trail and down JBar….a thrilling descent. We rode everything else on that side before heading down Moose Alley to get over to the other side of the area. We finished up with a run down Kitchel and Herbs back to the village. As always enjoyed Kingdom Trails! We left after having ice cream and shakes at the village ice cream stand. Next stop was Cabot Cheese factory for sampling and buying of some types of cheese we cannot get back home.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  3. #3
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    VT MTN Bike Festival

    Once back at East Long Pond we cleaned up for the evening and our trip up to the Burlington Brewers Festival. Reggie’s wife had taken a bad fall the weekend before so she did not make the trip but Reggie had an extra ticket to the Brewers Festival, Karma striking again! I bought it from Reggie and we were on our way to the festival. Sue had arranged for a designated driver (her dad and mom) so we all loaded in the Expedition and made our way to the Burlington Water Front and got dropped off right at the Brewers Festival Entrance. Vermont makes great beer! There are 22 breweries in Vermont. They were all at the festival as well as a few from New York, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Quebec Province. The festival was set up well and 6 oz samples awaited us. Almost too much choice but I sampled the following Brewer’s merchandise: Trapp Family Lodge, Rock Art, Switchback, Wolavers Organic Ales, Lake Placid, Wormtown, Otter Creek, Long Trail, Hill Farmstead, and Peak Organic. Great people, great beer, and great friends made for the perfect finish to the day. Again, we had fantastic weather throughout the day.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  4. #4
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    VT Mtn Bike Festival 2011

    Saturday we woke early (6am) and got ready for our first day of the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival put on by the VMBA and several local clubs including the FellowShip of the Wheel from the Burlington area. We got to the Waterbury festival site at 8:45 am, a little late for our liking but we had a plan. We walked the festival site quickly to see what vendors and groups were there and then registered picking up our goody bags. We also signed up for rides. Joe and Reggie signed up for the Stowe Epic and Tim and I signed up for the Mad River Valley intermediate. Last year I did the Stowe ride as well as Perry Hill, incredible riding….fantastic scenery and really cool tech terrain up top at Perry Hill. The registration and signup was well organized and we breezed through and got ready to drive to our ride destinations. We assembled in the Mad River Valley at a Bike shop and Barbeque Restaurant. I parked across the street at John Egan’s old bar and eatery. About 40 of us assembled to hear the guides describe the ride and groups. It worked out perfect as they had a group doing the epic at a slower pace. That is the group Tim and I went with. We were 18 strong and had a bailout point mid ride. 11 of us finished. Peter our guide was fantastic leader of the group. He explained along the way the history of the trails as well as kept us informed of upcoming trail features. The ride can only described as can’t miss for the adventurous rider. It had plenty of climbing and descending in a beautiful setting, lots of tech spots to negotiate, and a high canopy, we rode for about 4.5 hours. Most of the ride you could see Sugarbush North ski area just above where we were riding. Throughout the ride we had a leader and usually 2 other guides, one riding middle and one riding sweep. Well in my opinion the Green Mtn riders can throw down with the best of em! There all kinda stealth too…..understated riding gear and absolutely no boasting….just genuine enthusiasm about the great terrain they have put together over the years. Thanks goes out to all the guides for the rides at the festival. We finished up the ride and promptly found a swimming hole behind the bike shop. I believe we were swimming in the Mad River, it was crystal clear and cold, perfect to refresh after the ride.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  5. #5
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    Saturday continued.....

    We moved back to the festival and cleaned up our bikes and put them away. A big improvement this year was that the food was ready earlier than last year. We ate at 4:30pm under the tent to avoid the direct sunlight and heat. Hanging out in the dining tent worked out well (my favorite part of festival after the riding!)as we met many people and traded stories of how our rides went for the day and began to formulate plans for the 2nd day of the festival. We had heard many people talk about Hinesburg/Carse/Sleepy Hollow complex of trails in Hinesburg. Another improvement this year was the raffles and swagfest happened right after dinner on the festival site as opposed to going to a local bar for that part of the festival. We left at about 8pm and headed over to the Alchemist in Waterbury center. Great scene at this brewpub and of course great beer! After a few beers we headed back to Cabot to hang around the campfire.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  6. #6
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    VT MTN Bike Sunday.....

    Sunday we decided to ride on our own at the Hinesburg/Carse/Sleepy Hollow complex but opted for a bit of a later start so we could enjoy East Long Pond. Reggie and I kayaked the lake in early morning. Next Sue, Joe, and Tim jumped in the kayaks and escorted Reggie and I as we swam across the lake and back. We finally got over to Hinesburg at about Noon and began to explore the area with a map I had printed off the web with help from a fellow MTBR contributor. We found there had been a major weather event in the area we chose to start(Econumou Rd)….lots of trees down….heart breaking I am sure for those that built the network in this area. We bushwhacked and eventually picked up some trails that got us out of the area we had started. I think it was some combination of Boneyard, Homestead, Eagle Trail, Iron Maiden, Eagle Trail, BackDoor, parts of Dragon Tail(although really damaged), got lost and ended up on Hinesburg RD., made our way back up BackDoor to Missing Link, then Eagle Trail and parts of Lost Trail back to the car. The crew took a break and I realized I was about to be late to pick up my daughter up at UVM.
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  7. #7
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    VT MTN Bike

    . Reggie, Joe, and Tim decided to go explore more and added another 2 hours to the ride. I packed everything away quickly and drove up to UVM just as my daughters last game finished. She packed down her room and we started the long(6.5 hour ) drive back home. We enjoyed picture perfect weather all days. The ride down the western side of VT looking over Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks provided a beautiful and fitting end to a super Vermont Trip. I will definitely return to the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival next year if at all possible. Hinesburg/Carse/Sleepy Hollow will be my first ride on Saturday in 2012. Thanks again to all the volunteers who took the time to organize and execute the Festival. Ride On!
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  8. #8
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    The 5th Day.....

    Joe, Reggie, and Tim hung stayed in Vermont for another day so they could sample Millstone Hill Quarries. They enjoyed the visit immensely and in fact deemed that their favorite ride spot so far in Vermont, although they really enjoyed everything they have explored so far. 5 Days of perfect weather, no major mechanicals, and everyone made it home in pretty decent shape. Great trip!
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    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  9. #9
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    Seems like it was a blast Jeff. Hopefully I will be around next year and can head up there with you guys!

  10. #10
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    sweet stuff.

    gonna put this on my calendar for '12!

  11. #11
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    Nice write-up Jeff - Glad we could hookup and enjoy Vermont's beers, trails, sights, sounds and ambiance. Truly an enjoyable time with great weather and people.

  12. #12
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    Nice documentation of your trip, looks like you had a great time! I just rode many of the trails you listed for the first time ever and wow was I impressed! The bike fest is on my must do list next time. I see you hit The Alchemist in Waterbury, good choice, and possible the best beers ever.
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  13. #13
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    Excellent write up. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, Switchback is only open for tours on Saturday.

    Next time you are in the area, hit me up with a PM. I do lunchtime rides from work at Sunny Hollow and can show you around through more of the stuff, plus some other Fellowship goodies in/around the BTV area. I used to live near the HTF/Carse and built some of the trails. Now I live north of town and there are some older gems that aren't as well-travelled.

    Glad you had a great visit to our fair state!

  15. #15
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    very nice write up!
    09 Marlin Disc
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    Great write up! Mark your calendars for July 14-15, 2012. Thanks, Patrick

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