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  1. #1
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    VMBA's Vt MTB Festival at Ascutney Trails July 13-14

    New location - 50 miles of great singletrack rides.
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    VMBA - 2013 Vermont Mountain Bike Festival

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    VMBA's Vt MTB Festival at Ascutney Trails July 13-14-vtmtbfest_2013logo.jpg

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    A sample of the riding at Ascutney Trails:


  3. #3
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    Many thanks to STAB for hosting the Fest and building an incredible network. VMBA is lucky to have so many great chapters!

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    My girlfriend and I are coming up from northeast PA and can't wait ti sample some of VT's trails. Looking forward to a good time. The people that maintain the trails as well as put on these festivals need to be applauded, and not taken for granted.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  5. #5
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    My wife and I discovered Ascutney last Monday. We'll be back for sure. We didn't have enough time to bike everything, but what we "sampled" was fantastic. We were alone on the mountain (with our dog...) and had a blast. Camped at the State Park that night.

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    Ascutney Trails Glimpse

    Mile Long Field is central to the Ascutney Trails Sytem. It always a great place to be.


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    Already Booked a 2 bed room condo at Ascutney for the weekend.

    This will be a great location for the VT Fest.

    Hey, Jim: Will the the other great trail systems of great Ascutney (other than Mountainside-STAB trails) also be featured at the advent??? I hope so!

    Liam

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    Already Booked a 2 bed room condo at Ascutney for the weekend.

    Hey, Jim: Will the the other great trail systems of great Ascutney (other than Mountainside-STAB trails) also be featured at the advent??? I hope so!

    Liam
    Liam,
    We plan on a couple of guided rides on the private stash, provided that we get landowner approval. Glad to hear you are coming.

    Jim

  9. #9
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    My buds and I are really looking forward to it...and I just renewed my Stab membership...summer is looking good!

  10. #10
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    Comment/Question:

    1. A major plug for this festival. I came up from southern new england last year, had not really explored VT trails much before and this was an awesome eye opener. Great people, great riding, all around great event. In fact, it inspired me to set up a camping vacation for this year (subject of a later post). Can't wait for this year's event - especially because it's going introduce me to yet another area.

    2. On my third year of trying, I finally got into VT50. Will this year's festival feature the 40-50 mile epic ride on Saturday? I hope so. If not, anyone interested in organizing one?

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IF2004 View Post
    Comment/Question:

    2. On my third year of trying, I finally got into VT50. Will this year's festival feature the 40-50 mile epic ride on Saturday? I hope so. If not, anyone interested in organizing one?
    Unfortunately, the VT50 crosses the land of about 50 different landowners, who give permission for that day and event only. Riding those trails in July might put the race in jeopardy. You wouldn't want to be known as the rider who killed the 50.

    The Fest presents about 50 miles of singletrack (the VT50 is about 1/3 singletrack) that you don't ride in the race. This includes guided rides on Ascutney Trails, nearby Cornish Town Forest and French's Ledges, plus some one-time access to some of STAB's private stash. We'll have rides for Techies, Flowsters and Newbies as well.

    See you then.

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    Sorry if my question was misleading. Wasn't suggesting a VT50 course ride, I was just wondering if there will be a 40-50 mile guided ride option like there was on Saturday of last year's festival. Just a thought as I'm getting psyched up for the festival. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    VMBA's Vt MTB Festival at Ascutney Trails July 13-14

    We're working on an epic tour for Saturday. It won't be 40 miles, but will include a lot of technical terrain, so it will feel longer.

  14. #14
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    Are there any shuttle trails on the mountain?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Are there any shuttle trails on the mountain?
    No. It is all cross-country biking.

  16. #16
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    I can make it up for Saturday only. Is there a 1-day option or do I have to be stealth?

    Will there be group rides for all levels (looking for 'advanced' option)

    I have 23 tooth cog for my SS that so-far I have only needed for Ascutney..looking forward to it!
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  17. #17
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    Sorry, we don't have a 1-day price for Saturday. Most of the activities that are included in the price (most of our costs) occur on Saturday - BBQ, band, MTB Olympics, night ride w/ demo lights, guided epic ride, etc. Sunday is just guided rides, vendors and demos, so we are offering a reduced rate for those who can only make it on Sunday. (If you want another guided ride, I'll set you up with a local next time you are here.)

    There will be guided rides for all levels.

    As far as being stealth, we are planning for retina scanners at all trailheads and surveillance drones will be circling overhead :-) Seriously, just like at last weekend's NEMBA fest (which was way more expensive), we'll be looking for wristbands. Remember, this is the prime fundraiser for VMBA and STAB, and it all goes toward trails!

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    VMBA's Vt MTB Festival at Ascutney Trails July 13-14

    "Guided epic rides' ... Do tell more. I probably won't make it but if there is some truly epic riding (worth $50) I may.

    How many miles and difficulty is the referenced epic ride?

    Have a blast.
    Biking At Home Dad - blog Being a dad and racing singlespeeds
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    What's the riding like there? I do most of my riding in the KT/Stowe/Millstone area. I've never been to STAB. Lots of climbing, technical, flowy? Curious what we'll be in for.

  20. #20
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    I'll chime in to say the riding at STAB is excellent; a nice mix of tech & flow and plenty of climbing if you want it. Jim is a genius at trail layout. Worth $50? Hell yes, worth double that.

  21. #21
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    Wondering what tires are best for riding there. Coming from PA with rocks, roots, etc. Ride an RM Element with Trail King up front and a Bontrager XR4 in the rear. GF rides a Giant Trance X2 with Knobby Nics. Will these be ok or would a lower knob tire work better?
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  22. #22
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    depends on the weather ^

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by adinpapa View Post
    "Guided epic rides' ... Do tell more. I probably won't make it but if there is some truly epic riding (worth $50) I may.

    How many miles and difficulty is the referenced epic ride?

    Have a blast.
    The epic ride is almost 30 miles, of which about 22 miles is single track. Since most of this ride is off the public Ascutney Trails, there are sections of dirt road and double track to connect these trails. There is a lot of climbing and rocky sections. About a third of the singletrack is very technical (no drops or jumps, all XC), and a majority of the rest would be rated Black Diamond at KT.

    Since these are private trails, we have to limit the number of riders. Festival attendees who register early are given priority on all ride sign-ups.

  24. #24
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    Jimbikeski...Your description (The epic ride is almost 30 miles, of which about 22 miles is single track. Since most of this ride is off the public Ascutney Trails, there are sections of dirt road and double track to connect these trails. There is a lot of climbing and rocky sections. About a third of the singletrack is very technical (no drops or jumps, all XC), and a majority of the rest would be rated Black Diamond at KT.

    Since these are private trails, we have to limit the number of riders. Festival attendees who register early are given priority on all ride sign-ups.).......................................

    Sounds great! Thanks, We will be there Friday night to sign up for the guided rides. Ride On!
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  25. #25
    web-footed pedaler
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    I'm planning on going. What little I've ridden down that way was excellent VT terrain. Definitely looking forward to it.

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    Wider, 'stickier' tires are always best for New England 'cept in a drought, which we are NOT having.

    Hey Jim et al.,

    Just wanted to say that I was up at Ascutney on Saturday and rode all of the new trails on the ski area face and on mile long field (and in between)--What a wonderful and thoughtful enhancement to an already wonderful and thoughtful trail system.

    The Stab trails have been great for years, but by and large, they tended to favor the strong (and fit) intermediate and expert rider. However, the Stab crew has recently laid out some truly amazing new trails that do something I have always found hard to create: That is, They've made beginner mountain biking trails that are actually Fun and Exciting to ride (for beginners and experts alike). These are Big swoopy open climbs and descents that actually allow the newbie (and the less than perfectly fit) to experience the prime sensations of mountain biking. And, the constant stunning views from most of these trails is the icing on the cake.

    My plug is: There are few other contained areas that serve up so much diversity and quality trails (by the miles) for all level of riders. Fewer still are hosting a great festival on the weekend of July 13-14th. The location is perfect for a festival--Everyone owes it to themselves-from rippers to casual day trippers-to attend this festival. Hope to see you all there.

    Liam

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    Liam, Going to the fest but want to get over to stab beforehand to check out the type of trails you mention. Any suggestions for a good loop or loops--have friends who are beginner to low intermediate. Thanks, Sven

  28. #28
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    Damnation,

    The Map sold at the Brownsville general store is very detailed...quite an extensive set of loops exists on the main face of Ascutney ski area and Mile Long-Field. The 'Woods between that area (Gracie's Loop, Bank on it, Sluice, other fun swoopy 'new-school' connectors) is wonderful and spices up the ride (and none of it represents the more 'expert' oriented trails at Ascutney...though, the entrance to Bank on it and some of the downhill turns on sluice are a bit much for a novice- Plus across from Mile Ling Field Trails is a warren of great beginner and intermediate single track as well. Just that area alone serves up, I'd guess 12-15 miles of trails suitable for strong beginners and intermediates.

    However, I am not a local or a 'regular'(though I am a paying STAB member)-so my thoughts and knowledge here are NOT very authoritative and Jim and his crew can share a lot more enlightening description and route selection of trails...In fact, that's the reall reason to attend the festival-they will lay out and guide the truly best routes for every ability.

  29. #29
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    Thanks Liam, Appreciate your response. Hope to get over to STAB this Sunday to check things out before the fest--that is if the rain ever let's up!! Have a condo at the Resort Friday through Monday of the Festival---looking for a great time. Cheers, Damnation

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    Jim, Planning on going to the festival. Also will be in Ascutney on Sunday, July 7, to check out some trails. With all this rain what are the trails looking like, does it dry well there? Looks like rain may back off by Friday this week. Thanks, Damnation

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    Quote Originally Posted by damnation View Post
    Jim, Planning on going to the festival. Also will be in Ascutney on Sunday, July 7, to check out some trails. With all this rain what are the trails looking like, does it dry well there? Looks like rain may back off by Friday this week. Thanks, Damnation
    A flash flood hit us very hard on Tuesday. Washouts, 3 bridges moved or destroyed. The singletrack suffered very little damage (mostly the old, poorly designed double-track.) We are closed right now, but it drys out fast. Saturday we are having a massive Trail Day. We will re-open Sunday, but what's open will depend on our progress. Everything will be open by fest time, although there might be a few, short "Walk-Your-Bikes".

    Good news - weather looks excellent from now through the fest!

  32. #32
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    And now for the good news:
    Name:  Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 6.36.07 AM.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnation View Post
    Jim, Planning on going to the festival. Also will be in Ascutney on Sunday, July 7, to check out some trails. With all this rain what are the trails looking like, does it dry well there? Looks like rain may back off by Friday this week. Thanks, Damnation
    Those trails are still under water - need a few more days to dry out - please hold off. We are not ready to re-open yet, as I had hoped. We repaired or built 5 bridges yesterday, filled washouts, re-armored many stream crossings and sure-packed several new mud spots. We'll have another big crew of volunteers out there today.

    We were hit with 4.5 inches of rain in 2 hours. Most of the Ascutney Trails and local trails stood up well, but some spots were devastated. They were so widespread, that we can't isolate them, and open up the rest. We'll be able to open up in a few days.

  34. #34
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    I have ridden at these trails many times this year. The bad thing is that you climb for most of the time, because to get to the fun parts you need to reach the top of the trail system, which takes about the same time to descend, but then there are more climbs at the end.
    One trail anyone going to the festival should try is called Hayride. It is a more fun way to get down mile long field.

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    Ascutney Trails are back OPEN! One bridge still needs an access ramp completed, one stream crossing to fix, and the lower fields need a couple of days to dry out. We should be completely open by Friday.
    VMBA's Vt MTB Festival at Ascutney Trails July 13-14-trail-report-july-8.jpg

  36. #36
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    Wow, I was thinking about going until I saw the entrance fees. What is with the high prices? Is it possible to just go and check it out without paying nearly as much?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Wow, I was thinking about going until I saw the entrance fees. What is with the high prices? Is it possible to just go and check it out without paying nearly as much?
    Pedro's fest cost at least this much 13 years ago. What do you consider "affordable?" Plus this is a fundraiser - it would be difficult to net anything after expenses if the price was any lower. I'd say it's a great deal considering most of the VT single track networks are barely rideable right now - the STAB crew is working like crazy to get a huge network 100% open during the muddiest summer in Vermont history.
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  38. #38
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    For those of us who aren't in the best biking shape, but want to check it out to see what it's all about, $60 is a bit much... For those guys who want to be up on the mtn all day, I can see it being worth the outlay.

  39. #39
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    I agree that the price is somewhat out of context. I could go to a music festival for four days with camping and insane line-ups for about double this. The fact that it is a fundraiser is awesome, but maybe there are some goals getting crossed up. There are a thousand ways to raise money, but there is only one annual Vermont Mountain Bike Festival. For those who want to go for one day, I don't know. I sent an email to Tom to see if I could go take pictures for a college photography class. Maybe I miss interpreted his email, that happens, but I was pretty surprised with his reply and felt it was pretty shrude. All he said was he appreciated that we register and that he would not partake in any photo release issues. Take it for what it's worth, it's just my opinion. I'm sure he probably gets countless stories from people trying to get a free hand out, I only wanted to take pictures.
    Also, before I come off like some TGR know it all nay-sayin troll, I didn't persue the issue with Tom. I imagine he's under intense pressure to pull this thing off despite the heinous weather we've been having. I can go to the Catamount races to take pictures. But I can't justify the price. I pay my annual fee to the local club. And when I have more time I'll donate that too.

  40. #40
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    It's not even that I have a problem with the price per se, just that we're not going with the intention of participating in most of the events, we just want to go and see what goes on, check out the various vendors etc. We live in the area and ride Ascutney occasionally (and probably shouldn't complain about spending a few bucks for the privilege, but I digress) but speaking at least for myself, I'm only good for a few hours of riding at the most, I couldn't possibly get my money's worth.. I'm not a noob to riding, but I'm way out of shape.

  41. #41
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    I"ll pay $60 and drive 1hr15min for a 30mile epic ride. If I get there and the ride is full... well that would suck.
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    If you want to check out the Ascutney Trails, you may come any other weekend, buy a $6 map (or photo the kiosk map with your phone and pay nothing) and follow the extensive signs. Over 50 volunteers are giving up their weekend (not to mention the thousands of planning and repairing hours) to help pay for these trails and others throughout Vermont. They will be showing you the best routes for newbies (even a dirt road ride) to ninjas on rides from 1 1/2 to 6 or 7 hours long, including private stash and and 2 nearby networks. Some fest-goers will just take an easy green ride or 2 with swoops and views to entertain all bikers, or trying out the latest bike demo. Then chill while checking out the latest gear, having a beer while watching the crazy MTB Olympics, before the (included) pig roast and band, and sitting by the fire watching the night riders impersonate fireflies in the fields below. And even if they don't win a drawing or use their (included) map to explore on their own, they'll feel that it was well worth the less-than-half-the-price of the NEMBA Fest.

  43. #43
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    Thanks for the hard work and amazing trails Jim. Your network is one of my favorite in NE. Wish I could attend. Sure is unfortunate you have to waste your time defending the festival to team chardonnay. Sure you have nothing better to do with your time. Good luck with the weather this week.

  44. #44
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    What if I just want to go and see the vendors and bike demos for 2 hours and then go home, not to return the following day. I also don't see why I have to pay just to ride around for 2 hours at the place while not participating in anything. I bought the map a while back.
    P.S. I am only asking a question.
    Last edited by CannondaleF9; 07-10-2013 at 01:13 PM.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    What if I just want to go and see the vendors and bike demos for 2 hours and then go home, not to return the following day. I also don't see why I have to pay just to ride around for 2 hours at the place while not participating in anything. I bought the map a while back.
    P.S. I am only asking a question.
    Why do you have to pay for a ticket to a football game if you only want to buy a hot dog and watch the opening kick off? Ride another day and go to your local bike shop.

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    My gf and I are coming from PA 6 hours away, and didn't hesitate at registering for the fest. We looked at it as an investment. If we really enjoy the trails we now have another place to go on a bike vacation. Plus she has never been to a mtn bike fest. I'm sure it will be well worth the money. Thanks to Jim and all that are involved for their dedication to the sport and their hard work and time they have freely given up to make this happen.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  47. #47
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    I guess this just shows Mileage May Vary. I find the $60 very reasonable for the weekend and an opportunity to contribute to a great trail system. That is the fee and if it doesn't work for you feel free to go somewhere else that weekend. Probably no need to complain about it though as one is free to do anything else and why would you want to go to this venue to ride when it will be kind of crowded if you are not interested in using any of the services provided at the festival? Just my thoughts.

    Thanks to all putting in the hard work now and throughout the year so that we can have a great trail system.
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  48. #48
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    I guess I just have to go to Pine Hill Park this weekend.

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    Would I be OK bringing my single speed pugsley? Or should I bring the fs bike? Been enjoying the pugs a lot lately, but if the climbs are super steep and long I might be the geared bike.

    Never ridden Ascutney before but definitely looking forward to it!

  50. #50
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    I'm with a lot of the guys who don't think $60 is that bad. It's in line with what a lot of folks pay for tickets to a football/baseball game, or a round of golf. I (and most of you) am used to paying nothing in order to ride, but a festival takes a lot of man power and this doesn't seem too steep in my opinion.

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