Mountain Biking Mecca in South Dakota??? – Part 2

the-geekFrom the reasoning of the Dawg name to the best comic book authors, from the history of the Hot to a timeline of industrial music, Cory has the trivia, and the opinions to mouth off about it.

I arrived in Rapid City for the Festival, but I needed the big guns to really make Kona’s presence known in Rapid City. I conned Kona’s own rep/rider/one-man show Willy Warren to make the seven hour drive up from Colorado to help me with the festival’s bike demo. Willy rolled in to the hotel parking lot around 11:00pm with his Range Rover and trailer loaded to the gills with bikes, sleepy people, an elderly but anxious dog and beer. With setup for the demo starting at 8:00am, and Willy tired from a long drive, there was little to do but hit the hotel bar for some beer and sake.

8:00 came quickly, and but we were the first bike company to show up to set up our demo. Another company had parked their trailer in our spot the night before. Instead of waiting, we moved down a spot and set up camp. Setting up early was a wise move, as people were clamoring to ride our bikes even before the event officially started, and that momentum stayed throughout the day. Being the first to have bikes out and offering them later than everyone else kept everyone happy, and Willy’s picnic table-hopping shenanigans didn’t hurt.
The second day brought rain, but that didn’t slow people down from demoing bikes – at least not our bikes. The other guys closed up shop, but we stayed busy all day. What’s a bike demo without a little mud, anyway? Willy was able to sneak out for a ride at Storm Mountain while I held down the fort, and he took full advantage of his Coilair and the jumps built by the BHMBA. Tim Rangitsch, the owner of rockin’ Kona shop Acme Bicycles even hit some jumps on a borrowed Coilair, and we have a new convert to the Magic Link system. Much to Willy’s dismay, Tim never did pull that backflip he was talking about, though he did get some good air.
Make sure to head out to Rapid City next year over Memorial Day weekend for the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival, (http://www.bhfattirefestival.com/) and see what trails the BHMBA has built by then. Who knows what they have up their sleeve, but they have land, motivation and they somehow find the time to get up there and build! If you want to see what Fruita or Moab was like 20 years ago, get to Rapid City soon.
Thanks to all the guys at the BHMBA, and in Rapid City for their hospitality, Tim especially. Also, huge thanks to Willy and Scott for the fun, help and photos.


All photos courtesy of Scott Wilson