Currently in its 12th year, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, 2 teams of professional outdoor educators, have reached over 10 million people in 48 states with Leave No Trace education and training.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fat Tire Fun in Florida!

Ocala, FL.  This weekend we had a blast at the Fat Tire Mountain Bike Festival in Ocala, FL.  This weekend long festival, hosted by the Ocala Mountain Bike Association, is in its sixth year.  The festival provides an opportunity for riders from all over the southeast to get together and enjoy the beautiful trails near the Santos Trailhead.  With over 80 miles of trail of varying level, there is fun for all levels of riders. With almost 1,000 riders pedaling the trails, it is important to consider ways to minimize potential impacts to the land, and to take on pictures and leave only tracks!
   One of the highlights of the weekend was the Free Ride Demo at the Vortex Dirt Jump area of the park.  Here riders jumped, bounced, soared, and hit the dirt through an amazing free ride course.  In addition, there were numerous bicycle companies like Trek and Specialized, offering from demos of mountain bikes throughout the weekend.

After a day on the trails, 350 people camped out for the weekend.  The campground was swarming with bikes, trikes, and unicycles.  We even saw a Fat Tire Flyer (shown above) from our friends at New Belgium Brewery, based in Fort Collins, CO. 
Of course, no festival would be complete without a visit from the Big Guy himself.  Bigfoot was super excited to try out the fun park on a bicycle, weaving and bobbing his way around the dirt.  Above, Bigfoot meets Renee Blaney, former professional mountain biker and founder of the festival.  Bigfoot challenged the kids (and the "big kids") to slow down and ride through the middle of the muddy trail, instead of around it, as to not widen the trail and trample vegetation along side the trail unnecessarily.  
Finally, at the end of the festival, one lucky winner named Sunny, was jumping for joy as she went home with a brand new North Face Daypack.  Sunny became a member of Leave No Trace over the weekend and she couldn't help but be excited about all of the fun she had at the festival, and the good feeling she has from helping to support Leave No Trace programs.  Just look at her excitement!  Thank you to The North Face for their continued support of Leave No Trace, and a special thank you to our host Robert Arrieta, for a fun week full of outreach in Ocala, FL.
Respect the Resource...Kate and Tracy

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