2011 Mountain Bike Season Preview

By Patrick Kell, Vermont Mountain Bike Association executive director

Photo by Curtis Savard

Photo by Curtis Savard

The mountain bike revolution continues to grow across Vermont. Access has taken off thanks to members, bike shops, and donors who support getting folks on bikes and into the forest to enjoy a good healthy buzz.

We have plenty of good news for 2011. Along with our clubs completing projects in Hinesburg Town Forest, West Windsor Town Forest, Pine Hill, Pittsfield, and across Vermont, we are working on two major initiatives creating trails for all abilities for riders across the state:

Grow Stowe Grow
We will continue working on the Vermont Ride Center/Mansfield Trail Network, seeing trails on the Adams Camp property in Stowe connect to the new singletrack network at Trapp Family Lodge, the Stowe Town Loops, and onto Cotton Brook and Little River State Park in Mount Mansfield State Forest. Lots of bridge and trail work was completed in 2010, with more projects in the works for 2011, including new trails on Adams Camp and trail design work in Little River State Park. This network grows each year, seeing existing and new trails coming together as a destination-quality network. Stay tuned for awesome new riding opportunities!

Nine Miles in Heaven
Our work in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area within the Green Mountain National Forest will take a huge leap this year, thanks to the U.S. Forest Service allocating $154,000 towards Chandler Ridge and Leicester Hollow. This nine-mile circuit will offer vistas across southern Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, on a trail ascending to an amazing ridgeline, descending through ferny glades, and winding through the boulder-strewn Leicester Hollow, back to the Silver Lake Campground. This is the start of a one-of-a-kind system, and the first on federal land in Vermont—a big thanks to the USFS for its vision with this project.

We encourage Vermont’s riders to pitch in with the statewide effort, either join your local club, lead a kids ride, help with trail-work, whatever it takes to keep the mountain bike revolution growing. Check us out at www.vmba.org on Facebook, and hopefully on the trails!

2011 Bike Models and Updates

Some new bikes (or heavily updated models for 2011) are the Kona CoilAir; Specialized Enduro; and Knolly Endorphin. These bikes are versatile, perfect for riding the varied terrain found in Vermont.

KonaKona CoilAir
The story: The CoilAir is built for everything—climbing, hucking, the bike park, cross-country. I’m looking forward to the chance to check out their Magic Link suspension to see what that is all about.
The specs: Gen2 Magic Link rear suspension technology, with 130 mm to 200 mm travel range; Kona Clump 7005 Butted Aluminum Tubing/Zero Stack 1.5 Tapered Head tube; New travel adjust Fox 36 180mm Talus fork; SRAM 9 speed drivetrain/Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic disc brakes; Sweet Easton Vice wheelset. $3,569.

Specialized Enduro
The story: An all-mountain bike, the Enduro will let me see what a 30-pounds, do-it-all rig is capable of.
The specs: M5 alloy FSR frame, with ORE tubing, ISCG mount, and replaceable derailleur hanger; Custom Fox RP2 rear shocks; RockShox Lyrik 20 mm Maxle thru-axle fork with 160 mm of travel; 2Bliss ready Clutch Control 2.3: dual compound front tire and rear Purgatory Control 2.2-inch tire; Avid Elixir R SL lightweight hydraulic disc brakes. $3,000.

Knolly EndorphinKnolly Endorphin
The story: The completely redesigned Knolly will give me a chance to check out a brand that we don’t see much on the East Coast, and see why people are so stoked on them.
The specs: 140 mm of rear travel; 12 by 142 mm through axle rear-wheel spacing; 44 mm head-tube; e-type direct mount front derailleur. $4,995

Save These Dates
May 15: Volunteer work day at Pine Hill Park, Rutland. 9 a.m. www.pinehillpark.org

May 12 and 13: The Vermont Mountain Bike Summit at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. Municipal managers and ski resort staff will gather for workshops presented by Gravity Logic, the builders of the Whistler Bike Park—the biggest and best bike park in the world. Gravity Logic will present workshops on developing world-class facilities, which we hope to see at resorts throughout Vermont in the coming years. Call 253-5900 and with code 50C39P to get a discounted rate on lodging at Trapp. More info on the summit at www.whistlergravitylogic.com

May 14: Trail work day at Strawberry Hill Farm Trails (meet at Stowe High School). Through the Stowe Mountain Bike club, 9 a.m.

May 21: Kingdom Trail Association’s Back in the Saddle III at Tamarack Grill in Burke. The Nick Cassarino Trio helps kick off another year of awesome riding in the Northeast Kingdom. www.kingdomtrails.com

May 28: Season opener at Grafton Ponds, Grafton. 843-2400.

July 16 and 17: The fourth annual Vermont Mountain Bike Festival at the Ice Center in Waterbury. Everything you could imagine in Vermont mountain biking. Rides for all abilities in Hinesburg Town Forest, the Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe trails, the trails around Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley, and right at Perry Hill in Waterbury. Vendors include Onion River Sports, Vermont Peanut Butter, Mocean Mate, Earl’s Cyclery, Trek Bikes, Clif Bar, and Dakine, among many others. Vermont Sports will be there giving away great prizes from Osprey, Eagle’s Nest Outfitters, MSR, and Thermarest. www.vermontmountainbikefestival.com

Ongoing MTB Rides
Five Hills Bike Shop rides on the Waterbury Trails. Leave from Five Hills Bikes at 6 p.m. On Thursdays. Ride is about two hours, mostly in the Perry Hill area. 244-7330.

Tuesday Night Ride begins on April 19. Dirt road rides in the Ascutney basin area. www.stabvt.org

Tuesday Ladies Night Rides. Various locations in the Waterbury area, not for beginners. mandy@bike29.com

iRide Bike Shop Monday night rides at 5 p.m., meet at the Stowe shop. 253-1947.

Skiershop Friday night rides at 6 p.m., meet at the Stowe shop. info@skiershop.com

Green Mountain Trails Group Mountain Bike Rides, Pittsfield. Meet at the giant wooden bike tire. Group will determine pace and difficulty. Sundays at noon. greenmountaintrails@gmail.com

For even more mountain biking events, check www.vtsports.com/events.