Yeti Demo Day 2018
Yesterday was an amazing day, perhaps it could be considered historic. Our friends from Yeti drove out from Colorado with their bikes and helped us set up shop at a fairly remote location at Sterling Forest State Park, in Tuxedo, NY. That doesn’t sound historic but in our eyes, it was.
To provide a little background, the NYNJ Trail Conference has been digging hard for a few years on making world-class and multi-use trails at Sterling and are near completion on a 7-mile loop. With limited projects underway that are allocated as multi-use (MTB friendly), all eyes are on Sterling to see if mountain bikers can coexist with other trail users. Sterling has some amazing views and a beautiful lake. None of these are accessible from these new multi-use trails, so it was up to the NYNJTC to make trails for all users that were so good that they would draw interest and stand on their own without views and lakes. Mission accomplished!
When TBW and Yeti started putting up tents yesterday, nobody knew what to expect. Would anybody show up? Would the bikes draw people in or would the curiosity about these new “secret” trails bring people to the event or perhaps both? As the cars started rolling into the lot one by one with no bikes on them, we quickly realized that it didn’t matter. People were coming together to ride fresh bikes on fresh dirt and were stoked about both. When the lot filled up and people had to park offsite, we knew something was definitely up.
So how did the event go? Let’s start by saying the weather was phenomenal. Let’s follow by saying no ambulances were called, no fights broke out, the neighbors didn’t complain, and most of all everyone had a lot of fun. With almost 50 participants and 80 demos, the proof was in the pudding. I personally did a garbage cleanup of the entire parking lot and this was no Woodstock. Not a piece of trash left behind. Not even a single empty gel wrapper or water bottle. Mountain bikers are not the villains that we are perceived to be. We are people that love the outdoors, have limited time, and are obsessed with technology that is human powered. We respect other trail users and we have the utmost respect for the people that create the trails.
So what makes this day historic? In our opinion, it was an example of how if we’re given access to land, we will use it responsibly and get more people to enjoy the outdoors and the technology that gets us out there in the middle of our busy lives. Not everyone has the time for a 3-hour hike and some of us enjoy the thrill of some speed, a rock roller, or a few seconds of being airborne. All while stopping to say hello to other trail users and leaving no trace while doing so.
It can work!