More than 1,200 mountain bikers gathered in the northeast kingdom of Vermont for NEMBAfest at Kingdom Trails. New England Mountain Bike Association, the Kingdom Trails Association and Burke Mountain Ski Resort partnered to produce the festival, and it surpassed everyone’s expectations for a first-ever festival.
The three-day event was held at the base lodge of Burke Mountain Ski Resort, and featured camping, a large industry expo with 50 bike industry vendors, lift serve mountain biking at the Burke Mountain Bike Park, scores of group rides, live music, and food and beer from 21 different Vermont farms and companies. The event was also a near-zero waste event, with composting and recycling being managed by the Vermont company, Highfields Center for Composting.
When the event was announced last fall after the last NEMBAfest in southern NH, the bike industry immediately jumped on board. In fact, the expo area sold out and had a wait list six weeks before the event.
Attendees not only had a great time checking out the latest bikes but they also appreciated hanging out with Gary Fisher, who spent time hanging out at the Wheelworks booth and gave a short talk moderated by the mountain bike journalist, Captain Dondo. Gary not only went on some rides, but showed up in unlikely places. “I can’t believe it,” said one camper. “There we were partying up around the bonfire, and I turn around and there was Gary Fisher – oh my god — I can’t believe that I was partying with Gary Fisher!”
After the event Gary tweeted “Kingdom Trails is a top 5 worldwide, MTB experience.” This is deeply meaningful to all the people who have worked tirelessly to make the Kingdom Trails a premier riding location. Kingdom Trails Association’s director, Tim Tierney, is grateful to the entire community of Burke and Lyndonville, Vermont, and especially to the 55 landowners that allow public mountain bike access to their lands.
Giant Pro trials rider, Jeff Lenosky, also captivated the audience with two of his acrobatic shows.
Next year’s NEMBAfest will take place June 21-23, 2013, and should prove to be even larger. Watch this space for more news!