Rocky Mountain Bikes and a Summer Full of Firsts at Bolton Valley

Mountain Biking at Bolton Valley

Have you ever been a part of something cool at just the right time…? 

These days, we’re faced with an existence full of firsts.  And not a lot of them are really very positive.  A  global pandemic continues to shake our lives down to the most basic tenets; housing, employment, schooling, finances… it’s a tough day and age, there’s no denying it. 

But as our world shifts in front of our eyes, some things tend to stand out.  The parts of our lives that we gravitate toward become especially poignant.  The little things that we pursue for nothing but pure enjoyment are even more important. 

Tonight we had a visit from Rocky Mountain Bicycles regional reps and demo team.  Bolton Valley is just starting to get a serious makeover.  It’s had a couple decades of committed attention to its downhill Mountain bike trails but has mostly just quietly existed amid a throng of major growth in mountain biking in the area.  The Kingdom Trails, obviously had set the bar for what Vermont Mountain biking can become.  The Fellowship of the Wheel, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, the Rochester Area Trails Association, and many more have all grown out of a genuine passion for the sport and the unique access to it that can only be experienced in Vermont. 

As all this has all transpired, Bolton Valley has quietly plodded along with its couple handfuls of SICK downhill trails maintained by silent volunteers below the radar of google and Facebook.  These trails have never been for the people looking online to discover trail networks.  They’re for literally the 23 people that have managed to keep them cleared and alive. 

And now… in the face of Covid, they’re getting recognized for just how unique and fun they are.  And we’re all here – now – to see it happen.  And it’s a very special vibe. 

Bolton hasn’t opened for business during the summer for years.  The most recent few owners viewed summer as a giant sieve that drained money from ski area operations budgets.  But that has changed. 

Enter Gravity Logic and a major renewal of attention and investment in mountain biking at Bolton.  It’s contagious and exciting. 

Three years ago this summer, my family and a local group of friends and investors bought Bolton Valley – again.   My grandparents and my Dad developed the resort originally in the early ‘60’s and sold it in ’96, narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.  It changed hands a few times over the course of the next couple decades.  We weren’t involved with operations at all, but we love it here and wanted to be here.  The opportunity arose to reinvest and take on management again, and with the support of so many people around us, we dove back in.   

And now here we are – in the Covid Summer – trying to make a go of it by building on its strengths, not the least of which is the mountain biking.  And it’s actually driving itself.  And the reason for that, is the point of this really long-winded back story;  people love it here – I love it here – my family loves it here.  And it’s really fun.  And it’s not oversaturated – people want to share it –new faces are exciting.  

Tonight was a moment where it became very clear that this is all very special.  

Here we are, sitting on our bikes on the lawn behind the lodge – my sister (the president of the company), Jake the mt bike director, Pizza Brian, the manager of our flatbread pizza place, Mack the terrain park supervisor, Nick the Director of Guest Experience, the Rocky Mountain reps, and a handful of old friends.  Everyone’s all wide-eyed, looking around like, “yeah.  Totally.”  And we’re making little adjustments to the bikes, chatting about what line we took or crash we had or some crazy thing that happened on that last run. And it kind of hit me; this is really great. I mean, it’s the kind of vibe like, ‘this is amazing and we’re a part of this as it’s becoming a thing.’ A real thing. And it’s so fun. And we all love it.  And we totally want to share it.  

And that’s exactly what we’re doing.  We’re at a point in time here on the mountain, where the anticipation and excitement has caught on and people are psyched to connect about it, and talk about it and share it with anyone that will have a part in it. 

Major new MTB trail infrastructure is beginning.  The OG super burly DH trails will stay true to their school, and soon will be supplemented with gorgeous flowy jump trails and beginner runs.  And it’s a genuine MTB love fest up here.  It’s exciting and fun – you should come see it and be a part of it.