GearJunkie.com’s Ryan Dionne reported from the 2010 Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo.
Four full days of gear, music, sun, and two-dozen competitions with some of the best adventure athletes in the world — all in and around a town (Vail) that’s above 8,000 feet in elevation. That is the Teva Mountain Games, which wrapped up its ninth iteration on Sunday. Despite the grueling competitions that went on even when mountain temps reached 80 degrees (hot for Vail!), and despite the crashes, bails or broken bikes and boards, at the end of the day, the town center was still packed with people hanging out, drinking beer and having a good time at one of the world’s great gatherings for outdoors types.
For me, going home sunburned, sore and exhausted made this event one I look forward to returning to next June. I rode the tough cross-country mountain bike race this year, and it took everything out of me. Maybe it was lack of pre-riding the course. Maybe I didn’t train as much as I should have. Regardless, my 17th place finish (out of 40 in my novice group) met my goal of finishing halfway through the pack or better. After all, for many people like me, the Games are more about the friendships and connections than where you finish.
I also got to try out a lot of new toys. Between testing CrankBrother’s Eggbeater 3 clip-less pedals, a pair of Native Sprint sunglasses, Wigwam socks, a GoPro HD Helmet Hero camera, and a VholdR Contour HD helmet cam, the mtb race was as much about testing gear as it was competing.
The Games ended on Sunday with all whitewater events being cancelled due to incredibly high, debris-stricken and dangerous river water. Kind of a letdown for some. But overall, the Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the event, put on another great show this year. As usual, the Teva Games weekend introduced hundreds of people to new activities all while helping keep mountain events alive with high-level competition and a high-alpine venue that is hard to beat.