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Sedona Mountain Bike Festival - Day One

Mar 5, 2018
by redrockrider  
The 2018 Sedona Mountain Bike Festival in Arizona kicked off under beautiful bluebird skies and perfect temperatures. Now in its third year, the event is showing no signs of slowing down as this is by far the largest year yet. With more bike vendors and expanded venue space, this year's festival is growing with the demand. Participants had a full day to take out any bike from a long laundry list of brands and models. Not only that, all participants had shuttles at their disposal to bring them out to their favorite trail.

The music kicked off with The Stratmores, followed by Dead Country Gentlemen that rocked a packed crowd as everyone enjoyed beers from four different breweries. With two more days ahead, it is sure to be a fun-filled weekend!

The vendors arrived early to set up and prepare for the busy day ahead.
The vendors arrived early to set up and prepare for the busy day ahead.

A little flow and stretch to start the day with yoga put on by Vida MTB Clinic.
A little flow and stretch to start the day with yoga put on by Vida MTB Clinic.

Load em up
Load em up!

Ride With A Ranger is one of the many group rides available as part of the festival. This ride is lead by local Forest Rangers from around the Sedona area.
Ride With A Ranger is one of the many group rides available as part of the festival. This ride is lead by local Forest Rangers from around the Sedona area.

It is no wonder there were lines today it was perfect riding weather in the desert
It is no wonder there were lines today, it was perfect riding weather in the desert!

The shuttle vans were running full all day long. Along with access to all the demo bikes you also get access to free shuttles as part of the festival.
The shuttle vans were running full all day long. Along with access to all the demo bikes, you also get access to free shuttles as part of the festival.

Day one had a great turn out of participants with tomorrow anticipated to be even busier.
Day one had a great turn out of participants with tomorrow anticipated to be even busier.

Don t want to ride to your favorite trail in Sedona Good chance one of the shuttles will get your to the trailhead.
Don't want to ride to your favorite trail in Sedona? Good chance one of the shuttles will get your to the trailhead.

In only it s third year the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival continues to grow with more bike brands more events and more vendors.
In only it's third year, the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival continues to grow with more bike brands, more events and more vendors.

Dead Country Gentlemen from San Fransisco California closed off day one of the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival with an energetic show in front of a perfect backdrop.
Dead Country Gentlemen from San Fransisco, California closed off day one of the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival with an energetic show in front of a perfect backdrop.

Did we mention the free shuttle rides
Did we mention the free shuttle rides?

Brand new to the sport or a long time participant there is fun for everyone.
Brand new to the sport or a long time participant, there is fun for everyone.

A fun day playing bikes with your friends will surely leave a smile on your face.
A fun day playing bikes with your friends will surely leave a smile on your face.

Bikes on bikes The bike valet was working hard all day keeping a safe eye on festival participants bikes while the tested the long list of demos available.
Bikes on bikes! The bike valet was working hard all day keeping a safe eye on festival participants bikes while the tested the long list of demos available.

To learn more about the festival visit their website here or follow them on Facebook.


44 Comments

  • + 46
 It's the one weekend to NOT go to Sedona to shred.
  • + 27
 Whatever, we all know you went to shred your fatbike fantasy all over Bell rock pathway.
  • + 25
 Getting to ride almost any bike you want, going on group rides, drinking beer, eating pizza and chatting bikes with loads of people... Yeah it was terrible. The trails were also pretty quiet once you left the main site as well since there are so many options.
  • + 19
 If you really know the trails in Sedona, it super easy to avoid the traffic from the festival. The immediate trails around the festival (Secret Trails) and maybe Brewer are really the only ones that are super busy. Even where the shuttles go to really isn't that bad unless you start with the group. The sheer amount of trails disperse the traffic really well - and there are always those systems that you go to where you see almost no one.
  • - 1
 My thoughts exactly...last thing I want is for the trails to be even more crowded.
  • + 8
 Those commenting/agreeing with this haven't been to Sedona, it handles massive numbers like no other trail system. Sooo much variety and terrain!
  • + 1
 @bigtim: "almost any bike you want"....hmmm, not sure how you managed that... tough to get on the popular brands, so many people, so little bikes... generally it's more of a "ride what you can" sort of deal. The social aspect of it all is great though, but it's definitely not the weekend to shred sedona.. hang out and see cool stuff, ride a bit, drink beer? Oh yes. but shred? no. Especially when the longer trails, like hiline, aren't conducive to the "have the bike back in an hour and a half"
  • + 1
 @bigtim: Heh, those all sound like things I can do any time I want, without all the people I don't want to deal with.
  • + 2
 @jcav5: if people stuck to that 1.5 hour rule a lot more people would have gotten rides but i saw plenty of demos on major epic rides. No way they made it back in 1.5.
  • + 2
 @skelldify: if you don't want to deal w/ people the festivals are not for you. glad you stayed home.
  • + 4
 @sinatorj: I'd give your comment 100 likes if I could!
  • + 1
 @CALEBTNORMAN: I live 45 minutes away. I can assure you, place is busy on any given weekend. Traffic backs up past Midgley Bridge at 10 am, add a festival full of people all lined up to finger bang the latest and greatest 29ers and you have a S$%T show.
  • + 1
 @sinatorj: Talking about trails here, not traffic lol. That road coming from Flagstaff is by no means fast traffic or no traffic, won't disagree there.
  • + 18
 This was one of the best weeks of my life. There were so many cool pros and YouTube people to meet (Phil, Lenosky, Ryan Leech, Eric Porter, Hans Rey, Leigh Donovan, BKXC, Dusty Betty, Syd and Macky.) The vendors were amazing, the trails were in perfect conditions, and the overall vibe was so chill and fun. I ride sedona several times a year, but the MTB fest will be a regular event for me.
  • + 16
 Shuttling Sedona seems a little odd.... I guess it was a logistical move in order to evenly distribute the plus bikes.
  • + 2
 I tip my hat to you sir.
  • + 1
 Easy travel to the various TH parking lots from the venue.
  • + 1
 Actually it was nice. They get you to Hiline, Hangover, Hogs, etc with little trouble and you don't have to drive your truck out of the parking area and lose your spot. I didn't ride plus bikes either: V4 Nomad, Following MB, Rallon..
  • + 11
 A bit crowded (was there all 3 days). Didn't get to try any of the bikes on my A-list--the number of people jockeying for bikes was intense. A lot of people snuck in from back entrances before the gate opened, and when the gate opened, the line broke down--people at the back of the line rushed the gate, and people off to the side of the line rushed the gate. The first couple hundred people in the gate were running. If you got to a popular brand's tent at 9:02:00 you were hosed (Yeti, SC, Pivot, Transition, Evil, for example). Even the trails that are normally quiet had tons of riders--like Old Post, Skywalker, Scorpion, for example. Lots of obvious trail damage and new lines formed over the 3 days. There were over 150 Strava times on Highline on Saturday.
  • + 0
 Do you have a better system for demoing bikes? I never bothered trying as I would rather ride than stand around figuring out how to spend money but if people want to do that, they are going to wait around or look like black friday shoppers when the gates open. If people stick to the 2 hour limit, might be better. Was there all 3 days myself for the past 3 editions and never felt the trails were overcrowded. I was on hiline saturday but not a strava user so make that 151. also only saw a few groups here and there and was not in a conga line of 150 people at once so does it matter if there were 150 or 1500? Saw no major trail damage that you speak of. Also went there for 4 days at thanksgiving and saw only slightly less people on the trails. I go to bike festivals to enjoy the sport w/ others, make new friends, etc.
  • + 1
 @marxbix: At 4 pm, you could reserve an Ibis for the next morning. I rolled up to their tent at 3:40pm on Saturday, was the second person in line, and got to reserve a Ripley for the next morning. Doing it that way added work for their crew, but was a HUGE benefit for me and other fortunate souls. It sounds like you are more into the festival vibe than I am; glad you enjoyed it. For me the demos had been the main draw.
  • + 2
 @phile99: did the same. hopefully more companies start doing this to avoid the black friday rush
  • + 9
 Best time to ride Sedona is after Thanksgiving until the day before the Sedona MTB festival.

There used to be a sneaky tree on the hi-line climb that would catch your bars if you weren't ready for it. The week after the first MTB festival the slope down from that tree looked like a god damn slip n' slide from how many people that went tumbling down the mountain. Smile
  • + 5
 Was that line to demo a bike? I would never have the patience to stand in a line like that when I could be out riding. I read where people were getting in line up to 90 minutes before the event started as well. I guess we got lucky at the Fruita Festivals we went to. We showed up 10 minutes early, waited in a line of 5-7 people and took out whatever bike you wanted.

I will say that festivals are worth attending just for the vibe and looking thru vendor row. There’s some cool stuff they give out. One year if you demo’d an Osprey pack, they let you keep the bladder for free. Score!!
  • + 4
 That line was to pick up the event package. It could also easily been the Evil or Yeti line to demo as they were that long Saturday and Sunday morning.
  • + 3
 Took my son to the festival and we had a great time. We were able to demo out a few different brands that we were interested in possibly buying. Trails were not that bad as some people were complaing about. We were able to go around and talk to a lot of good people and pick there brains and big thanks to Bryson from DVO for answering all of my questions!!
  • + 2
 WOW. You can always count on the pinkbike comment trolls to find something negative to say. If you attended this event and could not find enjoyment then I feel sorry for you. If you troll the internet looking for pictures of people standing in line to ride a bike they are interested in instead of just going out and riding your own bike alone or with the few friends that might be able to put up with your negativity then I feel even sorrier for you. Hands down one of the best bike events I've been to in my life 3 years running.

If you don't like being around tons of cool bike crazed people, riding great trails, meeting new people, seeing old friends, riding/seeing new products, getting great schwag, eating amazing food, soaking in the beauty of that area, then stay home and even more important SHUT UP!!!
  • + 1
 LOL, classic stuff.
  • + 1
 feel better?
  • + 1
 This was the 4th year. The first year was held in Sedona at Tlaquepaque. The festival was super low key that year, small, had a bad ass band playing ska and 90's music in a standing room only beer garden. The festival is always fun, but it's kind of not ideal for demoing bikes. Last year I wanted to get to ride an Evil.. not a chance in hell could I get to the stand quick enough; I ended up going back to Sedona a week later and renting one from Over the Edge bikes. I'd recommend the festival for the social aspect but I think that they are growing faster than they can keep up. They ran out of festival t shirts within 30 minutes of opening on Saturday morning, the swag bag had only a pint glass in it... stuff like that
  • + 5
 Bike valet...the ultimate way to demo bikes
  • + 1
 Definitely good times! Had a few good party trains down some of the trails with some shredders. Was definitely worth the trip. Made new friends who are hopefully going to show me some of their spots here locally.
  • + 1
 Raise your RIGHT arm and stretch to the LEFT!
  • + 2
 I spy a rogue nose hair
  • + 1
 The valet needs a bike rack...
  • + 0
 Check the spelling on San Francisco
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