Kenda Fest Fun

We are live at the KendaFest presented by Dirt Rag and we are having a great time. This 13-year-old festival has long been an East Coast summer ritual, but it has grown into a huge, all-inclusive smorgasbord of everything good about the bicycle tribe that draws members from all over.

The entire office staff, plus our two freelance web dudes and various VIP guests, is here in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts to participate in (and document) the fun—we take our “presenting” status seriously. Here’s a little sample of what we’ve done and seen so far…

Of course we’re here to work too… but with picture-perfect weather and great conversation, it doesn’t really seem like work. Here’s our Web Manager Jeff Lockwood holding down the booth.

There’s a ton of group rides that happen at the KendaFest, but this is truly a family-friendly event, with all kinds of entertaining things for kids (and adults that are still young at heart) to do. Here’s a young badass unicyclist trying his hand at the Kenda Tire Toss. I think he actually had an advantage, as he could use both hands to throw the tire.

On Saturday I had the privilege of riding with none other than Ruthie Matthes, ’91 world XC champ, ’00 Olympian, and current Moots ambassador, on the Women’s Ride. We explored the trail system built just for the Fest all around the campsite by the hardworking folks of NEMBA (one of our ride leaders, who had also participated in the trail building, said, “I just love manual labor.”) Their hard work paid off—the trails have held up remarkably well, considering the venue received a full twelve inches of rain in the week leading up to the Fest.

We met an interesting fellow, Henry Meudt of Boca Raton, Florida, with an interesting bike: a replica of a Pedersen, a bike made between 1897 and 1917 in Dursley, England. Mr. Meudt says that the hammock-style seat is as comfortable as it looks. The version he brought along to the Fest was made in the ’80s by Dutch fans of the original; he actually owns an original (left at home) that he bought for $100 back in the ’70s, having no idea what a rare machine it was—this is the type of antique that gets sold at Sotheby’s for tens of thousands.

We’ve held Tech Seminars on various aspects of maintenance and tuning, helping folks get the most out of their rides.

At the end of Friday and Saturday evenings, our friend “Bourbon” Lee Hollenbeck gave very detailed and knowledgeable seminars on bourbon (and rye) tasting. Remarkably the participants retained their composure enough to ask good questions and learn something while sipping. Afterward, we held screenings of Billy Savage’s excellent movie Klunkerz, with opening remarks by one of the film’s stars (and good friend of the Rag) Charlie Kelly. Everyone was blown away by the quality of this documentary on the early days of fat-tire riding in Marin County, which was Billy’s first filmmaking effort. Really, it must be seen to be believed. (Even the groms paid attention.)

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Check out our Gallery for more photos of the goings-on, and tune in to this same bat time, same bat channel in the next few days for more on-the-scene reports of the great times here at KendaFest.

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