As Mountain Moxie attempted to wrap up the 2013 biking season, it became apparent that there was no true end. Even at the late November end-of-the-season Moxie potluck, conversation oscillated between antidotes of recent rides to upcoming weekend riding plans.
Whether it was the exceptionally dry spring, summer (except for June) and fall that had trails open from late March to hunting season, or it was the single track fever stemming from Vermont’s burgeoning and addictive trail networks (thank you trail clubs and trail builders!), Moxies simply refuse to hang up their bikes.
And once the snow falls, the growing winter biking scene will be another reason to keep riding. Trail networks pledge to groom for snow bike traffic and a second year of Frozen Onion races by Onion River Sports will soon be on the calendar.
It’s still a good time to reflect on the Moxie experience by its 19 team members, who made an impression on Vermont’s race scene and mountain biking community in 2013.
Racing in Raspberry
There were no shortage of opportunities to race this year because of Vermont’s dedicated and talented race directors and their reputation for providing local food, flowy trails and good competition. Both the Catamount Outdoor Center and Onion River Sports (at Millstone) held weekday training races, that brought out racers of all ages and abilities. Classic events like the Millstone Grind by Bicycle Express and the Vermont 50 brought many Moxies to the race line. The Root 66 series (Jill and Chris have endurance with 14 races to run!) had Moxies racing against women from around New England. The 12 Hours of Millstone was a hang-out fest. The Catamount Pro XTC’s first year had Olympian Lea Davidson racing on her hometown course (she frequently returned from World Cup racing to join a Little Bellas session or race against the locals on Wednesdays). Moxies traveled to Bear Creek, PA, to compete in the USA Cycling Championships and challenged themselves on the enduro race scene at the Burke Mountain Bike Park, Highland Mountain and the Shaw Outdoor Center (Green Mountain Enduro hosted by Onion River Sports). We can’t forget about Singlespeed and Cyclocross events, too!
Although the mission of Moxie is about more than performance (click here to read the Moxie mission statement), team members raced in well over 70 events this year with an impressive 37 podium finishes (1st, 2nd & 3rd). Additionally, Moxies participated in many charity events (like ORS’ Onion River Century raising funds for the Kellogg Hubbard Library and ORS’ Charity Miles raising funds for the Vermont Food Bank) and community rides (like the Gravel Grinder, Tour de Valley, Leaf Blower, NEMBAfest and VMBAfest). They led ladies fix it nights at Onion River Sports and a women’s night at SkiRack (with Little Bellas). Additionally, Moxies volunteered for local trail clubs and other efforts that invest in Vermont’s vibrant mountain bike community, economy and culture.
Moxie’s sphere of influence spread beyond the Green Mountain State, too, with three Moxie’s moving and making a difference in Colorado and North Carolina.
One of the highlights of the year was the Moxie Sparks program. A partnership between Mountain Moxie, Little Bellas, the Stride Foundation and the Catamount Outdoor Center supported girls from Williston Elementary School in experiencing mountain biking and racing in a supportive environment. The girls participated in the Little Bellas program on Sunday and rode (and sometimes raced!) with Moxie mentors on Wednesdays. Says Vanessa Emery:
“One of my favorite parts of being on the Moxie team is our partnership with the Little Bellas. I feel grateful to ride with younger girls who remind me each Sunday of the many gifts of mountain biking- strength, camaraderie, gracefulness, and love of the outdoors to name a few. I don’t think I ever would have acknowledged and reflected on these gifts without experiencing them through the community of the Little Bellas and the Moxie Sparks. Now when I race I think of these girls who need strong, sassy role models to try things that are hard, and it pushes me a little further…”
The Sparks program was funded by the generosity of the following businesses: Onion River Sports/Muscles Not Motors, SkiRack, Vermont Edible Landscapes, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and PAR Springer-Miller Systems.
A few additional business sponsors made a difference in the Moxie racing experience this year. Bicycle Express in Northfield provided a Kona bike sponsorship to team members. ORS and SkiRack supported members with Specialized bikes and Juli Furtado (yes, that Juli) sponsored Moxie with Santa Cruz’s 2014 Julianna line. The Confluence Fitness Center in Berlin supported indoor cycling and Crossfit classes so Moxies could come out strong in the spring. And, Johannes Otter provided an awesome massage for racers at the 12 Hours of Millstone!
Looking ahead to 2014
Although Moxie members are still scheming the next trail ride, we want to send a huge thank you to everyone who supported Moxie in 2013, including business sponsors and organizational partners, girls and mentors of Sparks and Little Bellas, trail clubs (local and VMBA, Vermont Mountain Bike Association), talented trail builders and race directors, community bike shops and, of course, our families and fellow riders (men, women and kids) who shared our joy, deep in the woods.
Interested in joining Moxie in 2014? Check back on January 15th for membership information. We’d love to ride with you!
Interested in sponsoring Moxie in 2014? Contact Kelly Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.