The 2016 Eastern Grind Mountain Bike Race
Turtle Fur was thrilled to be on-site as a proud sponsor of the 2016 Eastern Grind Mountain Biking Event held annually in May. Formerly known as The Millstone Grind, this year's races were held at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vermont. Prior to this year, the event took place at the Millstone Trails (thus the name change)! Name change aside, the race remains a Kenda Cup East series event. The Kenda Cup is a premier cross-country mountain bike racing series comrpised of 6 events (2 EFTA sanctioned and 4 USAC sanctioned races).
The change of scenery was just fine with the bikers and spectators, all of whom ended up bravely facing a bit of unexpected wind and rain throughout the day.
Course: The course itself was a challenging and fun 5.2 miles, of which around 80% is of twisty & rocky single track. Keeping things interesting were the varying features of the terrain and unexpected elements of short, fast ramps and grunts in wooded stretches. The organizers of the event even posted a guide to help the riders know in advance about the things they should watch out for, including the steep hills & declines punctuating the trails. Our favorite portion of the course? It was definitely the Turtle Fur Ridge! A tricky, rocky, steep "ridge" for riders to navigate with balance and care. A challenging portion of the race, it was the last of multiple course landmarks before participants entered into the final climb to the finish line. After the race had finished, we were excited to hear about those riders who simply sailed through the ridge without hesitation -- and of course, we wanted to know what happened when others were challenged by the gnarled roots and steep trail! Categories: The categories & contests were sectioned off to be ultra-inclusive: the perfect blend of beginners,experts marathoners and pros. The race courses' miles ranged from 5.5 for "first timers" through 27.5 for the marathons! Additional category divisions included: Singlespeed, Fat Bike, Women's , Men's and Youth. Those who came in first, second or third place were awarded trophies & medals as well as some awesome prizes from the race sponsors, including Turtle Fur! We made sure everyone who placed received a Comfort Shell™ Totally Tubular™ or one of our awesome Comfort Shell™ Brain Shrouds™.
Prizes: Turtle Fur's own dedicated mountain bikers picked out the great products for the contestants from their own riding experiences. We saw the prize items as a way of thanking everyone for coming out and providing a means to stay comfortable and protected from the elements by using their neck gaiters & helmet liners as they continued to pursue their love of mountain biking and riding trails - through any & all adverse conditions (especially crummy Spring weather)! Sponsors: Along with Turtle Fur, other sponsors of this year's event included Bicycle Express, The Kenda Cup East Series (which the Eastern Grind folds into), UnTapped Maple Products, Darn Tough Socks, Nutty Stephs, ESI Grips, Saris, Voler and the ever delicious Vermont Peanut Butter!