By Ariel Kent
The start of lift-served mountain biking is a monumental event in Killington, even more so than usual this year because bike trails opened Memorial Day weekend, almost two months ahead of schedule!
Mountain biking in itself is much more than just a sport—it’s a community. The mountain bike community, especially the Vermont mountain bike community, is like one giant family, so opening days for summer at resorts is like a giant family reunion for cyclists.
You have to try mountain biking a few times to understand this metaphor, but it’s almost like a skiing addiction. Once you’ve tried it you want more, and that insatiable thirst for the thrill of the sport grows steadily over time. For me, it means that after two months of riding and earning my turns, I can finally take a break and just enjoy the thrill of gravity.
I can officially claim first chair rights to start off this bike season, and I only had to arrive 30 minutes before the lifts opened. As I sat on the ground in front of the lift, bike in tow, I was pretty much vibrating in anticipation, excitement and enjoyment. I enjoy skiing, but man, do I love to mountain bike. As I sat waiting, I started to see familiar faces. The first was the legendary female ski bum,Merisa Sherman. As she walked over, the first words out of my mouth were, “Did you ski today?” I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that she said yes, or that it was day 198 for her, but then again she is an animal.
More familiar faces started to appear and the minutes ticked away until the clock struck 10 a.m. Merisa and I boarded the first chair and away we went. I only had two hours to ride before heading to the bike swap to work, and Merisa only had one, so we parted ways. More familiar faces appeared, more smiles, high fives and hugs because we are all a big happy family.