Recap: Fruita Mt. Bike Fest 2011

By T.C. WORLEY

A busted trailer axle and 27 hours of driving en-route — not to mention a late-season snowstorm that shut down Vail pass — were not enough to keep my comrades and I away from the Fruita Mountain Bike Festival last week. Held each spring in the western Colorado town of Fruita, the festival is in its 16th running. The trip and the festival were a good enough excuse to visit the area and take in the excellent high-desert scenery and singletrack, the latter some of the best I’ve experienced.

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Seve Bobusch (above) unloading at the trailhead. Below: Road weary but ready to ride

Trails like “Zippity Do Da” thrilled us with knife-edge, ridge-top passes, the land falling away sharply on either side. The seemingly endless and swooping flow of the “Kessel Run” put a grin on my face that still hasn’t worn off. And technical trails like “Lion’s Loop” challenged.

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Joseph Duffy hurling down “Zippity Do Da”

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The swoops and dives of “Kessel Run”

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Scott Sherman enjoying the view on “Zippity Do Da”

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Scott Sherman on “Kessel Run”

When the legs were tired, we took in live bands and cold beverages from New Belgium Brewing. Some lawn games, hot treats, the clunker-crit race, and bike demos from the likes of Niner, Giant, GT and more rounded out our evenings.

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Freak-bike at the New Belgium booth

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Zebra-woman lined up for the Clunker Crit race

In the end, we logged more than 60 miles of trails over the weekend and squeezed as much fun out of Fruita as was legal. God-willing, I’ll load the bike up again next April and be there to celebrate the 17th Fruita Fest. If you’re a singletrack freak like me, I hope to see you out there!

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An ostrich-riding lady in the Clunker Crit race

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Author T.C. Worley (on left) riding, and enjoying a snow shower with Pete Borgen; photos courtesy of Joseph Duffy

T.C. Worley is a Minneapolis-based photographer and contributing writer for GearJunkie.com.

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