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Preseason Skiing...and then Mountain Biking

Here at Skirack there’s not much that gets us more stoked than skis and winter – I guess you could say it comes with the name. We’ve been selling skis for 5 decades! In recent years, another growing outdoor sport has begun to capture our attention too. If you frequent the shop over summer, you’ve probably noticed our ever growing collection of mountain bikes on the second floor.

Mountain biking is the largest growing summer sport in the northeast and naturally Skirack employees are leading the charge. From events, trail building, group rides, and races - to say we’ve fully embraced Vermont bike culture would be an understatement.

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Downhill Skiing Backcountry By Charlie Kahn

Sam and friends run along the Waterfront in Burlington, VT. Can you spot him? Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Many of us come to Vermont so we can do fun things outside, and some of us just have to be outside to get to work or maintain our health. Whatever the motivation, we Vermonters generally lead busy outdoor lives year round: work, play, drive, walk, run, workout, hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, go go go.

With so many active people sharing outdoor space, accidents can occur. Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors has stories of tragic incidents and near misses. We all must take care to avoid accidents when outside, and one important way to reduce risk is to make yourself visible so others can avoid you.

Being seen while you recreate, commute or work, can be as common sense as not wearing all black for your walk back to your car at dusk, but industry groups have established standards for high visibility equipment (Check out ANSI/ISEA 107-2010). Many sporting goods companies like Brooks, Louis Garneau, and Nathan have combined their own research with observance of industry standards to produce high-visibility garments and accessories specifically for outdoor recreation.

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Molly rounding a berm at NEMBAfest on the Kingdom Trails this past June. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

I am a skier by nature and for me, so many of the skills from ski racing transfer over to mountain biking. The thrill, the adrenaline, the adventure are what I live for! Growing up ski racing in Vermont has honed in my sense of adventure and need for speed. It has shaped me as an athlete and a person. I never realized how many facets of my life were so heavily influenced by ski racing. The ability to push myself out of my comfort zone, beyond my limits, nerves raging is a part of the exhilaration I crave.

I have always loved biking. I started riding when I was at least 2 years old. Adventure is ingrained in my core. There’s a huge difference between cruising around, road biking casually, to riding a century ride. To me, none of these even comes close to the thrill of whizzing through the woods with nature all around. The Green Mountains are just that, full of amazing greenery, wildflowers, streams and rivers. Mountain biking serves as a way to exert yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible, gaining momentum on berms, boosting off of jumps and flying through the trees, bike underfoot.

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Marisa (back, pink) mountain bikes at Perry Hill in Waterbury, VT. Photo credit: Zach Walbridge.

The debate surrounding women’s specific bicycle frames has been ongoing for several years. Women’s specific bikes have been around since the early 2000s, but some of the major brands have started phasing out the practice of designing bikes specifically for men or women.

Specialized in particular is aiming to gender-neutralize their bikes. New for 2019 / 2020, we are seeing several women’s models being dropped and replaced by the more neutral frame design. Specifically, the Specialized Ruze (a 27.5 plus tire hardtail mountain bike) and the Specialized Ruby (an endurance road bike) will no longer be manufactured. This follows the gender-neutralization of the Specialized Diverge, Stumpjumper, Tarmac, and Sirrus in the past couple years. So why, after fighting so hard for women’s bikes, are these manufacturers deciding to do away with women’s specific frames?

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Skirack's THULE Specialist, Doug Stewart shows off the new Apex XT hitch hanging bike mount.

Click here to browse the full Thule selection.

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Riders slog through muddy roads during the Rasputista Gravel Bicycle Race in Vermont. Photo Credit: Nolan Myers.

Not only did you need to be “Broke, Rad, Athletic and Determined,” but you also needed a snorkel because man, Rasputista was WET! When Rasputista said on their website “It’s not about the racing. It’s about challenging the human spirit,” they weren’t kidding!

Looking back on it, April 27th would have been a great day for a meteorologist because no matter what weather they predicted, the odds were ever in their favor. There was a little bit of rain, some sleet, a glimpse of sunshine and oh some SNOW! Yes, that’s right there was some white stuff coming down from the sky and yes, I was very confused. But, hey, it's Vermont and weird stuff happens all the time.

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A huge THANK YOU to those who participated in our 32nd Annual Bike Swap this past weekend! We love putting on this community event year after year and love watching our selection grow.

Thanks to your participation, we had an amazing selection of cycling equipment and we were able to donate over 75 unsold items to our friends at ReSOURCE VT ! www.ReSourceVT.org

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Comments | Posted in News Events Bicycling Videos By Roger Costales

Have you been out for a ride recently? As you may notice, roads are not always clear. So what do you do when you come across gravel and debris in the road while biking? We're here to help with these tips!

For hands-on bike skills training in Vermont, check out Local Motion's Everyday Biking workshops at www.localmotion.org/everyday_bicycling_project

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Comments | Posted in Bicycling Expert Tips Videos By Lucas Bayus and Ross Saxton

Sharing the road with buses while you are biking can be intimidating - what do you do when they stop in front of you or you are in front of them? Here's our recommendation on how to interact with buses while on a bike!

For hands-on bike skills training in Vermont, check out Local Motion's Everyday Biking workshops at www.localmotion.org/everyday_bicycling_project

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Comments | Posted in Bicycling Expert Tips Videos By Lucas Bayus and Ross Saxton

Rasputista Gravel Bicycle Race: Making a Joke Into a Reality. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

What is Rasputista?

Broke, Rad, Athletic, and Determined. Sure, the first letters of all those words spell out my first name, but that’s all you need to be a part of one of Vermont’s gnarliest gravel road races. As a college kid for only 25 dollars I somehow made a joke into a reality and will find myself on the starting line of the 2019 Rasputista Spring Classic! The race is set for Saturday, April 27 in Burke, Vermont.

So…what exactly is Rasputista? Rasputista is a 45-mile road race and for all the mathematically inclined people out there that’s 211,200 feet of pure dirt roads. All of which can be found in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. On their website they advertise it as, “It’s not about the racing. It’s about challenging the human spirit.” 

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