Sunday, March 25, 2012

2012 Durango Skibike Festival Wrapup

by G. Kunkel

Wow, where is March going? For that matter, where is the skibike season going? It got an extremely slow start, snowed a little bit, and then really hasn't done much to write home about since in Colorado. Sounds like Tahoe got pounded last week.

I never did an online writeup of the 2012 Durango Skibike Festival. It happened and life hasn't slowed down since then. A great deal was accomplished organizationally at the festival on Friday and Saturday night meetings that took place at the festival. Minutes were recorded and hopefully turn up on the American Skibike Association website.

Thursday March 1, 2012 was spent loading skibikes and gear into a trailer and then picking up various people around the Denver Metro Region. We then headed south on Highway 285 towards Del Norte. We took a right onto Highway 160 which goes straight to Durango. It was snowing pretty good while driving over Wolf Creek Pass. We arrived at Pedal the Peaks in Durango around 9pm.

We checked into the Silverpick Lodge about a mile away from DMR around 11pm. Those setting up a booth at the resort got up around 6 am and were setting up at the resort by 7:30 am. Around four tent canopies and two open air skibike booths were there.

Greg Linder and Roy Meiworm helped register people attending the skibike festival. Those planning on participating all day were given vouchers to get half price lift tickets. Devin, Dan, Biscuit, and I used our free Real Deal coupons we get as Colorado ski resort employees to get free lift tickets to DMR.

Around 100 people registered in total for the festival over three days. Many demo'd all the bikes on display. Randy and Melanie of sold four skibikes - three to a set of triplets from New Mexico.

I got to try out a variety of Sledgehammers, Three-skis, and conversion kit skibikes. The Three-ski was fun but was definitely more like skiing. A leash was mandatory on this bike as its design can make for a runaway skibike if one falls off.

Devin Lenz and Patrick Neelan decided to try out each others equipment. Devin got Patrick on a pegger first and then Devin put on some footskis to try out a Stalmach skibob.

Day Two saw the massive group ride and the Big Air Competition. The group ride had around 45 people and was comprised of skibobs, peggers(freestyle), and conversion kit bikes. The ride was supposed to be slow and on beginner trails. It turned into a race and went on a number of dark blue trails.

The group skibike ride

The Big Air Contest featured the Lenz Sport 'Big Huck' jump and a several BMX type jumps. Biscuit crashed during practice and separated his shoulder. During the actual competition locals Todd and Cliff really impressed everyone with their tricks. Brandon Schmit did try the first competition front flip. The two stars however were two 14 year old girls - Shayla Blackmore and Jessica Arends.

Brandon's front flip attempt

There was a big group dinner and meeting on Saturday night at the resort. Everyone got to catchup and see the competition pictures taken by Dan Harper. Want to see the pictures? Go to Dan says "Please feel free to use these pics as you like. One request however, if you use any of these photos for advertising, blogs ext. please make note of who took them."

Sunday morning everyone got up and headed back to DMR to set booths back up. They have to be setup and torn down daily. Lots of people stopped by to demo bikes, ask questions, and make connections.

Bruce, a DMR skibob instructor, wanted to learn how to ride a peg skibike. We went up the lift with some skibikes and spent about 2.5 hours together. I gave the standard Winter Park Resort skibike lesson with instructor insight teaching tips. Bruce became an instant convert and wants a Lenz Sport Launch.

Eventually 2:30 rolled around and everyone had to pack up their vehicles and trailers for travel. Things tend to bounce around and we didn't want anything scratched up.

That evening we headed down to a big group dinner at Tequila's. The food was great and the company excellent. I did mysteriously wind up with a big sombrero over my head and a bunch of waiters singing 'Happy Birthday' to me. After this prank by Rod and his son Aaron (Devin's brother-in-law & nephew), we walked back to Pedal the Peaks and headed back to the lodge.

The next morning we packed up early and headed to Telluride via Red Mountain Pass. Red Mountain Pass is a force to be reckoned with in winter. We survived the pass and parked in the Mountain Village Gondola parking structure. We dropped onto a trail and went and got lift tickets. Scored free lift tickets once again through Real Deal coupons.

Had a great day skibiking around Telluride. Had lots of positive interest by guests and employees. We definitely were noticed. I headed to the small terrain park and relived memories of Team Bad Idea of Winter Park Resort. Real terrain park jumps are fun!

We packed up at the trailer and headed back. Got back home around 2:30 am.

© 2012 G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to G. Kunkel and A Colorado Skibiker Goes Skibiking with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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