|Overend Park, Durango CO|
|Pedal the Peaks. Bike savers|
|Aaron's bike getting the stink eye|
|Timeless Santa Fe, NM|
|IMBA World Summit Chapter Congress|
|IMBA folks and Dirt Rag folks= trouble|
|Dale Ball Trail System, Santa Fe NM|
|Stuff getting done Summit style|
|Winsor trail: NM goodness|
|Hans Rey on the Winsor Trail: Always happy, always ready to ride|
|From Duff to Dust. Winsor Trail Santa Fe, NM|
|Bob Allen killing it in the Stider Bike races around the Square in Santa Fe, NM|
So I finally have had time to pull out some more images from our trip to the IMBA World Summit in Santa Fe, NM. To my dismay, I am also realizing that many of my images from the trip have been lost due to my fumbling around with Lightroom. Not a huge loss but one key piece of the trip is certainly gone and that is a bummer! Learned my lesson that is for sure.
In any case our trip extended from the Denver area to Salida and then to Durango where I had an awesome and rare chance to hang with my little brother. We hung the bike up for an afternoon and went fishing on the Animas River. We actually caught some fish, but it was hard going as the water was so low.
The next morning however we were able to hit the Overend Park Trails for a quick ride and thanks to Pedal the Peaks Bike shop for saving Aaron's ass by fixing his bike and for hooking us up with our style of riding. We looked on our phones for a good bike shop in Durango and saw that there were like 100 or something. We quickly realized that 99% of them were XC shops and decided to google some more all mountain/freeride brands and Pedal the Peaks came up hot so we went there. We were well rewarded for doing so, they knew their stuff.
Once out of Durango it was World Summit in Santa Fe. I personally busted butt that full week and was only able to ride a few times, and certainly did not take many photographs.
Both my rides were on the Dale Ball System. By then I was used to the dusty, dry and loose conditions and because of that Dale Ball lived up to its name and of course, I had a ball!!
The highlight ride of the full trip for me was indeed the Winsor Trail. We had some real conflicts of quality levels on most of the trails we rode heading to Santa Fe, but the Winsor trail actually lived up to the hype. It was a really cool ride. We started with snow and ice at the top and then descended all the way into Santa Fe and ended of course with Cactus, sun and sand at the bottom. I was able to ride with Hans Rey and a bunch of other really cool advocates. Of course the night before Aaron and I and most the crew had been up to something like 4am. We had to shuttle at 7.30 and again of course had no plans. To say I was shocked when Aaron was pounding on my door at 7am to get the shuttle rolling is an understatement. When I asked him how we were going to do this (meaning the shuttle), his reply was legendary. "By sheer fu%*ing will power" was the answer and I have to say, that is indeed what it took to rally up there. But once we did it was all worth it for sure.
That next day we headed to the Angel Fire Bike Park. This was my first experience with lift served gravity mountain bike riding. Of the myriad of trails down the mountain four or so of them were in the realm of the Spirit Mountain Flow trail we had just built. In fact Bruce, one of the main trail builders at Angel Fire had actually attended our Trail School only a few weeks before. So it was great to have him as a guide. I hit some of the biggest air of my life and basically pounded the hell out of my EX 9.8. I used all five inches of travel that is for sure. My arms and face were sore from all the grins and jumps that is for sure. I was so busy riding that I did not snap a single pic which is a bit of a shame but I will always have that experience in my heart regardless. I think I saw the future that is for sure.
We actually ended the trip by heading to Bentonville, Ark. The bummer is that these are the images that seem to have vanished off my hard drive and that is unfortunate. Bentonville is the home of Walmart and we were lucky enough to ride with Tom Walton himself, hang at the Phat Tire Bike shop (prettiest bike shop in the USA, great job Chris!) and see the amazing work that the Walton family has done in that community. Trails being a huge component of the revitalization effort there. We ended up riding all over the town on purpose built, pro designed single track and it was truly amazing. Couple that with the arts scene and the food scene and you have a community development plan to be jealous of. I pulled a lot of ideas for Duluth from there that is for sure!
In any case....that is the rest of the story in grand detail. Of course there are all the small details, like the fact that Elias had a flat on EVERY ride we did and other things, but I will leave that to beers and bars as we hang out.