From day one, I've felt very lucky to be a part of the Fest Series. For a while there was an awkward time where all the freeride guys tried to find their place in the slopestyle contest scene. Taking events into their own hands was a huge step in the progression of freeride. To me, the biggest thing the Fest Series does is give the riders a platform to freely express themselves on the bike while not having to fit into a certain criteria of riding. The pressure to push yourself comes from yourself. To me there's nothing more rewarding than accomplishing my own goals that I set out for myself. Sure the riding level pushes you to go bigger, but in the end, you are your own judge, jury and executioner.
Last year at Hokkfest in Norway my roommates Kyle J, R-Dog and I, had the talk and decided that we needed to be more than just riders in the series. We knew we needed to take it to our home soil, and contribute to the series that has us all more excited and inspired than ever before on our bikes.
Talking through the potential locations the name Arik Swan came up. We knew he was a badass local moto dude in the area. So KJ gave him an intimidating phone call and he was stoked on the idea of us getting something together before he even knew what the Fest Series was. He invited us out, showed us around his property and blew our minds. He took us back to a steep valley with an grown over moto track in it and asked, "What do you think about this zone?" It almost seemed too good to be true. A slightly downhill slope covered in large piles of freshly rained on dirt, winding its way down a valley, yeah right. Terry Cox at College Cyclery generously rented us a machine to re-arrange the dirt and get our course mapped out and piled. We had some keen friends that volunteered to help do lots of the shovel work, thanks to all of them, you know who you are. After getting the course together, it was just a game of logistics and coordination to make sure all the other pieces fell into place. Special thanks to the event sponsors that made lodging and shuttling the crew around possible. Thanks to Clif Bar, Five Ten, Deity Components, Kali Protectives, and Smith Optics for supporting real core biking. Without them I’m not sure how we would have pulled it off.
Now that it's been quiet for a few days in our house, it's great to think about the good times we had, and how we can make it better next year. In the meantime, I'll be doing my physical therapy and getting ready for Aggy's Reunion!
After watching the boys start to throw down on the course, it didn't take long for pro moto rider Tyler Bereman (second from left) to gear up and start sending it as well. Soon after property owner Arik Swan (Far right) followed his lead. It was pretty unreal to watch moto and mtb riders following each other into jumps. Seeing Andreu and Tyler both in the air off the same jump really puts into perspective how big these jumps actually are.
Photography by Toby Cowley.
Cruz Fest was made possible with the support of Clif Bar, Five Ten, Deity Components, Kali Protectives and Smith Optics. Thanks to them, the good times will keep rolling out.
For fresh Fest shirts - check out the