Go to Arizona, they said. It’s nice there, it’ll be warm, they said… We don’t know who “they” are but boy were they wrong. As many of you know the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival has a history of extremely nice, or extremely dicey weather in early March. Unfortunately, this was one of those dicey years. Fret not, it wasn’t without fun.
The day formerly known as Day 1:
This year’s “Snowdona Ski Festival” was truly one of a kind. In unpredictable March fashion, Sedona got NUKED by a freak snowstorm the Wednesday before the festival. All said and done it snowed somewhere between 9-14” depending on who you ask. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this resulted in Day 1 being officially canceled, while the festival crew worked tirelessly to clear as much snow as possible via plows, shovels and fire (Yes, they used fire to dry the pump track. We like your style Seonda).
Did the REEB crew wait for road closures to lift and subsequently show up on setup day only to find the venue completely covered in snow and receive news of cancellation? Yes, unfortunately. Did a *little* snow deter us from having a good time? No, no it didn’t. Did we then proceed to drink beers and eat snacks off the hood of an old Lincoln town car in the parking lot while discussing our next steps? Yes, yes we did. Did we then go to a local tattoo shop and get cactus/REEB related tattoos? Yes, that also happened (Seven tattoos were had in total).
The point is, Mother Nature rules and we don’t have any control over it, so why not take it in stride? Fortunately, Sedona is ridiculously beautiful covered in snow, and most festival goers made the best of a shitty situation by using Day 1 to explore other attractions in and around the area. Some proceeded to harass the festival staff and complain about absolutely everything, but we forgot about those people and so should you. We also heard a rumor that many people went to Flagstaff to ride their bikes at Snowbowl… but that has neither been confirmed nor denied.
Day 1, formerly known as Day 2 (Saturday March 4th):
Day 1, formerly known as Day 2 of the festival officially kicked off on Saturday March 4th. Great news! Except… the Forest Service did not clear the trails for riding. Mega Bummer again. Honestly, no true trail steward would ride the trails in that condition anyway (Mountain Biker Rule 1: RESPECT the Trails) and no bike brands would send their brand new steeds out to get caked in sloppy red peanut butter straight out of the gate. It was a solid call.
However, that did not mean the REEB crew didn’t mingle. Oh, we mingled. We mingled HARD. Since exactly zero people were demoing bikes or riding Trail, Day 1(2) of the festival saw an absolutely packed venue. It was perhaps the largest crowd we’ve seen gathered on any one day in Sedona, EVER. The energy was electric and the Oskar Blues “happy fuel” definitely helped lighten the mood.
Instead of sending bikes into the wild, we seized the opportunity to chat it up with everyone. Literally anyone who loves bomb-ass-bikes came by to chat while ogling the brand new STEEZL and existing SST lineup. We even had one HOOPTIE on deck. Honestly, the bass boat sparkle paint sparked joy in the hearts of the downtrodden, receiving a lot of “oooo’s and ahhh’s” from passersby. The anticipation of *maybe*, *possibly* getting to demo a REEB on Day 3 was also palpable. Many visitors came by to learn about the STEEZL, some to pet the booth dog buckaroo and snag a bevvie, and several came by just to catch a glimpse of Jeff Lenosky in a baboon onesie (it was cold, don’t judge!).
All in all, it was fantastic to connect with so many people on Day 1(2) and though the trails were a bucket of yuck, the sun was shining and the beer was flowing; it was a great day to talk bikes, and talk bikes we did.
Day 2, formerly known as day 3 (Sunday March 5th):
FINALLY, we were allowed to ride bikes… kinda. The Forest Service declared a handful of trails clear for riding, which allowed Jeff Lenosky’s group ride to happen. The group ride left at 10AM with 25 people and though the trails weren’t as dry as we’d hoped, we managed to session some fun sections of trail and get stoked on the capability of the STEEZL.
Day 2 (3) was packed with demo reservations, which allowed us to send out every single demo we had. Huzzah! Most people returned their bikes exclaiming “take my money” because… well you know why, our bikes don’t disappoint.
So, was the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival perfect? Not exactly. It would have been cool to ride bikes every day and not just a little bit on one day, on a few trails. However, we can’t control the circumstances and despite the trials and tribulations, it was perfect in the moment. Most important; we were generally stoked to talk to each and every one of you. Thank you for being there, thank you for taking it in stride and thank you for continuing to support REEB. You are the people who “go with the flow,” the exact people REEB makes bikes for.