I recently had the super exciting opportunity to take a week long excursion to the southwest for a media blitz with DF5 rider Eric Porter, Diamondback's Demo Extraordinaire James Weigand, and Verde PR’s own Kristin Carpenter-Ogden.
Our South By SouthWest Media Blitz trip started in SLC on Tuesday and we quickly made our way to Moab Utah for our first ride. An early morning rip down Amasa Back to Jackson, enjoying some of Moab’s finest. We then hit the road and made our way to Durango, CO where we hooked up with Verde PR’s Kristin Carpenter-Ogden and Bicycling’s Matt Philips. A nice afternoon ride around Horse Gulch testing the Sortie Black 29 added to an already awesome day of riding.
Day 3 found us back on the road again to Santa Fe, NM to hook up for an early afternoon ride with 5 Editors from Outside Magazine. Outside Editor Aaron Gulley served as our tour guide as we rode the Dale Ball trail network. After a couple hours of pedaling, most of the crew had to split off to meet a publishing deadline. It was then that Aaron and his wife Jenn shuttled us up to the Winsor Trail which dropped us in from 10,200 ft. This was one of the best rides I have ever experienced. The weather and company was spectacular, the scenery was awesome, and the little SW joint that we rode down to for dinner was all time.
After a night of drinks and some great food, we woke up early to head over to White Mesa for another epic ride. Again, Aaron and Jenn led the way and served up another dose of epic NM singletrack. With dusty bikes and grins ear to ear, the overall consensus from the Outside Mag crew was great. They enjoyed the bikes, particularly the Sortie 29 Black, the Podium 7, and the Mason FS. You can get a taste of Outside Editor, Aaron Gulley's thoughts on the bikes here.
After a few days of awesome riding and hanging with some really great people, we packed our gear and headed West for Sedona, AZ. Porter, James and I landed in Flagstaff for the evening and got a great dinner and some much needed rest.
Bright and early on Sunday morning, we were out the door and off down to Sedona. Driving down the 89A from Flagstaff was a spectacular experience. The hills, spires and scenery were from out of this world. It was quickly apparent why this place is so special. It was there that we hooked up with the Pinkbike Crew. Tech Editors Mike Levy and Industry Legend, Richard Cunningham were there with photographer Ian Hylands and NW locals Mike and Wayne who were there to assist in the two week long bike reviews that PB was putting together. We quickly got to it and headed out to the “Hangover” trail for an epic ride. In the coming days we hit Highline and a few other local gems. The riding was unreal and the sun provided a god dose of Vitamin D, a nice change from the typically lacking NW. Levy seemed quite pleased with the Mason FS so we decided to leave it with him for the remaining two weeks while down there. We’re hoping for a more in-depth review come late winter. You can catch the Pinkbike Crew’s trip updates here.
After a few days with the Pinkbike crew and what’s now been a week on the road, it was time to say adios and head back up North towards our families, jobs and homes. The great part is that all of these elements come together in a wonderful dance to provide us with what is undoubtedly, one of the greatest jobs in the world – to ride and promote the greatest bikes on this here earth!