THE OTHER MARCH MADNESS
March is ‘desert season’ in the Western US. It’s too cold and snowy to ride in many parts of the country, but temps are creeping northward of 60º in the desert meccas of MTB. Legendary riding spots like Sedona, Moab, Fruita and Hurricane are on every rider’s mind.
Cyclists who live close by might plan a quick weekend trip, but many plan months in advance and travel thousands of miles to visit places they’ve only heard of in stories. Festival organizers plan elaborate events hoping to attract the attention of mountain bikers starved for dirt.
Orbea attends these gatherings and sets up our fleet of demo bikes every weekend alongside other brands, creating a traveling circus of every type of bicycle imaginable. Riders line up to ride the latest technology for a few hours, hoping to make the difficult task of selecting the best-possible MTB a little bit easier.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Days are long, usually beginning with free breakfast or a yoga session in the park organized by the festival. Long before the gates open, a line of riders will form outside. The hottest bikes are picked out early, so the best chance of riding the latest and greatest rigs is to be the first one in line at the manufacturer’s tent. In the Orbea area we became good at predicting which bikes would go first and would hang the Rallons (Large is almost always the first bike out!) and Occam AM bikes (Small is the festival favorite) on the racks in advance.
Last-minute coffees are finished and at 9am the excitement begins, with 20 riders instantly appearing in front of our work stands – Riders with great stories about home, about the trails they like, about the distances they traveled to be here in line today. We install pedals and adjust suspension, raise or lower saddles and bars, and try to gauge what the rider is hoping to experience. With a few turns of a multi-tool we send the bike out with a smile and a ‘have a great ride.’ Riders return hours later, usually dusty, sometimes bloody but almost always smiling.
Dinner and Social Hours usually start in the late afternoon with beer gardens and bike rodeos, bunnyhop competitions and lively games of Foot Down. The mechanics clean up and store the bikes while enjoying a beverage – everyone has a feeling of satisfaction and a glow from the day.
Of note: Orbea has the only demo driver on the circuit who is also a professional DJ =)
BUT REALLY – IT’S ABOUT THE RIDE
Whether it’s an all-day adventure on the bike of your dreams, or a quick lunch ride squeezed in by a busy mechanic, we’re all here to have a chance to pedal. The trails and terrain in these locations are famous for very good reason. They test even the best riders but are inaccessible to none – walk a rocky section or ride a seemingly-impossible line, the vibe is always great and everyone is having the time of their lives.
Please visit us at one of our many demo stops this year, a listing is available here: https://www.orbea.com/us-en/demo/events/ and we invite you to share your Orbea Demo experiences with us and others by using the hashtag #ORBEADEMO on Instagram or Twitter.