Sedona MTB Festival – Sedona, AZ – March 4th – 6th 2016

Last weekend we brought the whole family to Sedona for the Sedona MTB Festival. It was our first time attending and I am already counting down the days till next year. This event should be a priority for all fun-loving cyclists in Arizona.

I have to say that I am not a skilled mountain biker. Most of my mountain bike experience amounts to a couple of demos, clinics and pedaling around Papago Park; but as long as you come with a good attitude, ready to fall and a love for bikes and beer, you are going to have a great time.

Day 1 – Friday March 4th

We stopped by Rage Cycles in Scottsdale to pick up the Surly Pugsley, one of the shop’s rental bikes. The Pugsley is a bouncy, indestructible good time. Picking lines and obstacles are a non-issue with the Pugs. All you have to do is pedal through and hold on. It’s a blast!!

Nate getting the Pugsley ready for its trip to Sedona.

Nate getting the Pugsley ready for its trip to Sedona.

With the Pugs safely strapped to my car we continued on to Sedona!

Once in town our first stop was at the Red Agave Resort to check in and unpack. The Red Agave would be our home for the weekend. This place is incredible!!!

The Red Agave rents suites and chalets. We stayed in a chalet that would easily sleep five adults, or in our case: two adults and two kids. The first thing you notice when pulling in: breathtaking views. Being in such close and unobstructed proximity to these beautiful rock formations is therapeutic. IMG_9455w

This was the view from our chalet. The entrance to Slim Shady Trail was literally a couple of steps from our front door.

This was the view from our chalet. The entrance to Slim Shady Trail was literally a couple of steps from our front door.

After a quick Pugsley ride on this beautiful red dirt, I sat outside drinking a Papago Brewing Orange Blossom and, in all honesty, I had no desire to leave and go to the festival. I could have sat there for endless hours. This place is heaven!

But we came to Sedona for a reason, and that was the MTB Festival. So we packed back in the car for a few short miles to Posse Ground Park where the event was taking place.

Bikes everywhere!

Bikes everywhere!

The Intergalactic Surly Bike guys were there!

The Intergalactic Surly Bike guys were there!

A very impressive bike valet! Shamus think we could do the next TBAG bike valet in Sedona???

A very impressive bike valet! – Shamus, think we could do the next TBAG bike valet in Sedona???

Salsa demo!

Salsa demo!

Happy dude.

Happy dude.

Biking dude.

Biking dude.

Intense demo! Holy shit so many demos!

Intense demo! Holy shit so many demos!

Live music was scheduled for every day of the festival!! Am I dreaming? I believe these guys were 'The Naughty Bits'.

Live music was scheduled for every day of the festival!! I believe these guys were ‘The Naughty Bits’.

And then there was beer. A beer garden I may add. Lots of great craft beer and plenty of local brew-talent.

And then there was beer. Lots of great craft beer and plenty of local brew-talent in this beer garden.

That Brewery Strawberry Blonde was my liquid courage for the whole weekend.

THAT Brewery Strawberry Blonde was my liquid courage for the weekend.

So Friday ended up being mostly beer, not much riding. But I already had my eye on what I was going to demo on Saturday…

On the way back to the Red Agave we stopped for groceries. Our chalet had a full working kitchen and we intended to use it.

TIP: Finding a grocery store in Sedona is not easy. I can’t ever find one on Google Maps, except Whole Foods. For cheap groceries close by check out Weber’s IGA Food & Drug on 100 Verde Valley School Road. Not a lot of organic options, but good for vacation.

Frozen pizza for the kids and bruschetta for us. The kitchen at Red Agave has an oven, baking sheets, basic knives etc.

Frozen pizza and garlic bread… fancy! The kitchen at Red Agave has an oven, baking sheets, basic knives etc.

The Red Agave has a fire-pit within steps and view of the chalets. Ed and I sat by the fire drinking beer and getting to know the other guests, most of which were also there for the festival.

I bonded with two reefer chiefers from Denver.

I bonded with two reefer chiefers from Denver.

Day 2 – Saturday March 5th

Wake up to this magnificent view of Bell Rock!

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Waffles for breakfast. I brought my waffle maker from home, but other than that everything we needed for a great breakfast was available in our chalet.

Waffles for breakfast! I brought my waffle maker from home, but other than that, everything we needed for a great breakfast was available in our chalet (measuring cups, mixing bowls, spatulas etc)

Ready to explore!

Ready for solo exploration of Slim Shady Trail…

... while I had my own Coffee Outside. (Motivo coffee beans from Rage Cycles and I brought my French press from home.)

… while I had my own Coffee Outside. (Motivo coffee beans from Rage Cycles and I brought my French press from home.)

Ed and I took turns going to the festival in the morning while the kids enjoyed the resort.

During my turn at the festival, I did a Trek Remedy demo. The line for the Trek demo was not too long which is why I chose that one. I was not expecting much, but the Trek Remedy exceeded my expectations. So much fun! Adobe Jack Trail to Jordan down Power Line Plunge which seemed to be a 90 degree dropping trail but still a blast.

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Back at Red Agave after a fun morning trying my best to destroy a very expensive bike.

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Heated pool with a view.

And then back to the Sedona MTB Festival.

Ed bringing me more That Brewery Strawberry Blonde! I love him!

More of THAT Brewery Strawberry Blonde!

Sitting on the grass, people watching, listening to music and drinking.

Sitting on the grass, people watching, listening to music and drinking.

The girls got their hands on some Commencal Bikes demos and now they want new bikes. I’ve never seen a 16″ with hand brakes before!

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Before heading back to the hotel, a visit to the Black Cow Cafe for our favorite ice cream in Sedona. Pro tip: Try to score that bench for more of those amazing Sedona views.

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Day 3: Sunday March 6th

Last day in Sedona 🙁

Getting ready to head out and pack everything up.

It was nice getting ready for the day with our neighbors. Seems everyone in this resort was here for the same thing.

These guys got an early start.

These guys got an early start.

 

The girls checking the trail for the last time on this trip. No one wants to go home :(

The girls checking out the trail for the last time. No one wants to go home 🙁

Back at the festival: This time around I decided to suck it up at one of the longer lines to demo a Santa Cruz. Down adobe jack again up to Jordan Trail to Javelina and then Crusty.  This route was the most fun I had all weekend.  Some solid and challenging climbs with a steady roller coaster like decent down Javelina.  The Santa Cruz 5010 is the shit!

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Music, beer, lots of fun bikes and incredible trails: the Sedona MTB Festival is definitely a must! I know I will be coming back next year and I know we will want to stay at the Red Agave.

Special thanks to Tracy of Red Agave Resort, Michael Raney of Sedona MTB Festival and Peter Perreault of Rage Cycles.

And a thank you to the traveling Surly crew for checking on the Pugsley and the stickers!

And a thank you to the traveling Surly crew for checking on the Pugsley and for the stickers. 🙂