Here they are! Your ride leaders for this year’s Leaf Blower! How did they get into riding? What’s their favorite trail? And some fun facts! Get to know your leader before you head out with them for the day!
Featured image courtesy of Mike Hitelman Photography.
I got hooked on mountain biking when I realized how badly I sucked at skateboarding. Not to say I’ve ever really excelled at biking but the whole concept of suspension seemed to lessen the blood loss and time spent on crutches. As I’ve grown into the sport and culture of mountain biking, my riding tastes have changed–I relish full days spent in the saddle as much as I love a day spent crushing vertical at Highland or Burke. Mountain biking is familial and that’s another part of what I love about it–it’s hard not to make friends when you run into someone on the trail. I’m grateful beyond words to call Stowe home and to be part of a group of people so motivated to build awesome trails for the MTB world to come and enjoy…
I bought my first mountain bike, too long ago to admit. It was a Nishiki hartail (the only choice at the time), from Dave Sullivan of The Mountain Bike Shop, here in Stowe. There weren’t many of us around at the time, but those of us who were, had an awesome time discovering riding trails in the woods – yahoo!! We always started our rides from town (never drove to the ride), and mostly rode ‘Brownsville’, off of Brush Hill Road (often through private property and back yards, to get there). As time went on, riders (who shall remain unnamed) would snip and cut random trails throughout town to provide more places to explore, over root, rock and dirt. Most of which are still ridden today, through the generosity of land owners. Fast forward to today, where people are coming from near and far to experience some of the best riding in the northeast. It’s amazing to see how the mt. bike scene has evolved. I love seeing new people – of all ages – getting hooked, just as I did! My favorite trail? I’d probably have to say Zog. It was one of the first cut in Cady Hill Forest, and brings back so many awesome memories of riding for hours, ’til dark, with good friends. And, that’s the best part of it – riding with friends, and making new ones; and seeing something so well embraced, by the community.
Back in the day, before suspension, I raced both road and mountain bikes. This was 1989 Kanc Classic which I won. I was New England Mt bike champion in 1987 and 1989. That was along time ago. Now I ride for recreation.
Growing up in Vermont I was always in the soil either hiking or running. It wasn’t until I started working at my current place of employment that I was introduced to mountain biking though. The first time I went out I remember doing Cotton Brook and just about dying trying to make it up the first couple of hills. These two women walking the trail caught up to me and asked if I was “OK”. I laughed and said “maybe”. I still think back to that first bike ride. Needless to say that first ride didn’t get me. I get out as much as possible and love to get involved with the mountain biking community. Recently I joined IMBA’s National Mountain Bike Patrol group to help with events and education.
Riding is Stowe is a gift. There are so many great trail, but Kimmers has to be my favorite. You can really send it on the trail.
Get ready to shred! Looking forward to sharing years of riding and trail antics with all the young rippers at the 2015 Leafblower.
Fulfilled a life-long dream of moving up here three years ago…and then fulfilled another dream of learning to mountain bike a year later. Still a major work-in-progress, I’m having a blast learning, riding new trails, meeting new people and making great friends….got sucked into winter riding last year so now my obsession is year-round. Yay!
I started racing motocross when I was 6 and did it until I went to college. My first start in mountain biking was in 1993 in college – Two wheels, dirt, stores easier than a dirt bike, seemed like a No Brainer. During the week the bike was my campus transportation. On the weekends – My roommate and I would head for the hills. Steel frame, rim brakes, 1” of front fork, hiking shoes, and water bottles. We were clueless, but having fun.
Then I graduated, Sallie Mae was knocking on my door, and life took over. Most hobbies got put on hold until I was able to get myself back to Vermont and clear a few hurdles…
The second start was much more abrupt in 2007. My neighbor called one afternoon and said – Hey, I just had a mountain bike built up. I saw your bike in your garage (the same Trek 930 I used in college). C’mon, I’ll show you some of the local trails. We went to Perry Hill… By the top of the first pitch – I couldn’t get the air to tell him to hold up. By the top of the hill – I was too tired to throw up (trust me, I wanted to)… Then we got to come down. I was hooked. The next day I was at The Ski Rack buying a bike with an aluminum frame, a real fork, and disc brakes. If you want to get good at something – Go out and do it!
If you’re looking for fun facts – Mild mannered Application Engineer for an aerospace company during the day, Mountain biker, skier (downhill, back country, skate) all of the other times. Vermont is a massive playground – Get out and enjoy it (better yet – Enjoy it with a dog at your side!).