Big Bear Trail Center is a special place for riding. The trails are an equal part of challenging and extremely fun. Located in a Jurassic like setting, the site of a human on a bike is almost more out of place then it would be to see an actual dinosaur move through the landscape. Massive ferns in deep dark woods and boulders left from a time far beyond comprehension.
This is year number three for our Dirt Fest West Virginia festival, and we dare to say our best one yet. We were greeted on Thursday with swirling clouds and driving rains threatening to saturate the trails and drive away campers. By Thursday’s end, the clouds had parted, and the sky turned shades of pinks and reds. Red skies at night, a delight for both sailors and mountain bikers.
The bulk of our attendees and vendors began to roll in Friday morning populating the massive grass airstrip, the clouds once again swirled darkening the sky, only to part in the late afternoon. One by one riders headed for the trails to get the weekend’s festivities started. A group of women kicked off the official beginning of the festival with a ride exploring the demo loop. Reports from the trail were that there was mud, but each rider I spoke to delivered the news with a smile.
Saturday at Dirt Fest is always packed with lots of rides and activities in the expo and beyond. This year we moved morning yoga out to the pines to enjoy the serenity of early morning in the woods. Take Aim Cycling conducted skills clinics all day long, there were cooking classes for bikepacking, and retro bike appreciation seminars.
Surly Bikes was once again hosting their Rolling Fatty ride. At last years festival, it was a highlight of the weekend. An impromptu biathlon that featured bikes and bb-guns awaited riders amongst the pines. As not repeat the same song twice this years Rolling Fatty once again under the guidance of Andrew Foran of New River Bikes headed out for a few hours two-wheeled shenanigans. There was a brief rock ride up “Feat of Strength Challenge” as riders slipped and bounce there way up a rock feature. Foran demonstrated that no modern technology is a match for skill and talent as he tackled the feature effortlessly on his rigid single speed. Once riders reached the pines, it was time to see who had the best aim with a slingshot before heading back to the airstrip for the rest of the night’s activities.
As Optimus Riff began tuning and setting up for the Saturday nights, musical entertainment Pivot Cycles hosted a snacking happy hour in the form of a charcuterie buffet. Saturday night was also the addition of our costume party, that’s right Halloween in July. As attendees dance and conversed around the giant fire pit, we declared this year Dirt Fest West Virginia a success.
We would like to thank our partners at Big Bear Lake, all of our volunteers, vendors, and attendees for making Dirt Fest the highlight of the summer for us. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.