By Dave Iltis
The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is a 3 day festival, held in Sedona, Arizona from March 2-4, 2018. Highlights include massive bike demo and expo, beer garden, tons of singletrack, and mtb culture in the red rocks. We caught up with Jason First of Over the Edge Sports and asked him about the event.
Cycling West: Tell us about the festival. What are some of the highlights? The Festival raises funds for trails. Can you tell us more?
The real highlight here is providing the most entertaining weekend of riding in Sedona. The event is about mountain bike culture and it’s for everyone, there is no race or competition, it’s all about a weekend of fun riding with your friends, geeking out over the latest bike products, and sipping some beers in between. We understand bringing in so many people can cause some wear and tear to the trails, and we’ve used this platform to be the largest fundraiser for the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund – which is a key local group in working with the Forest Service and maintaining the trails we have.
Cycling West: What are the ride offerings? Are they guided or self-guided?
The ride offerings are a mix of both guided and self-guided, something for everyone. Many of the exhibitors will be offering a group ride, with a representative or sponsored rider of the company being the guide. We have Hermosa Tour Company offering shuttle drop offs at trail heads all over town, which helps spread everyone out on different trails. We also have a few “demo” loops marked out with ribbons on trails right next to the Festival venue, and provide handout maps to self guide your own ride.
Cycling West: There will be skills clinics for women, and for all riders. Tell us about each.
We are stoked to have the Vida Women’s Series back again, last year was a big success with them; more than just riding skills, they’ve got yoga, happy hours, and women’s tech clinics going on. We’ve also got free skill clinics going on with pro racer Krista Rust and Trials legend Jeff Lenosky. It’s really an opportunity for everyone to learn something and become a better rider, beside just conquering some of the challenging red rock moves.
Cycling West: What activities are available for families?
Outside of all the bikes – families are free to walk through the event, check out the live music and beer garden on hand. There are also quite a few non-bike companies exhibiting products to check out. We’ll have several info tents and maps that can point you in the right direction for hiking or finding the best views.
Cycling West: What is the history and natural history of the area? (e.g when was it settled, and why? What sorts of desert plants and animals are there?) Can you tell us what sites riders will see?
Well, Sedona was created by the Vortex phenomenon of electromagnetic energy in the earth’s surface. This may or may not be real 😉 but I can assure you that the riding is real and riders can expect to see stunning red rock formations and landscapes right from town and from the Festival venue. Being at 4500’ elevation, we do get more plant life and water than many people expect. And the most odd animal we have is the Javelina, which you might catch a glimpse of in the evening hours out on the trails.
Cycling West: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I think we have a really fun weekend ahead for everyone, it’s a great opportunity to ride somewhere epic while winter is still in effect most places. We’re trying to have a relaxed environment while also having the latest and greatest from the industry. Expect to see product launches of new 2018 product from some very notable brands. It really is Sedona mountain biking served up on a silver spoon for a weekend, and open to all levels of riders.
March 2-4 — Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, Sedona, AZ, Held in the heart of Sedona next to trails, bike park, and downtown. Main Expo/Festival area at the beautiful Posse Grounds Park, Bike Demos, Shuttled Rides, a Beer Garden, great Bands, and endless singletrack., Sedona MTB Festival, 928-282-1106, [email protected], sedonamtbfestival.com