Have you ever been to Emporia Kansas? You know, the place where the world-famous Flint Hills roll on forever, the gravel is just a bit chunkier, and the towns people greet riders with open arms. Well, if you dropped yourself onto Main Street in Trinidad Colorado, you’d think you were in the same place except for 13,000-foot peaks in view to the west. Trinidad played host to the first edition of The Rad Dirt Fest, which is owned and produced by LifeTime Fitness, the same folks who put on Unbound in Emporia Kansas. This town of 8,080 people sits just inside the southern border of Colorado at an elevation of 6,010 feet. It has all the look and feels of a town that time has forgotten. Brick streets, classic retail stores with big front windows and friendly locals who enjoyed visitors coming to their town. In other words, a perfect place to put on a gravel race. The county in which Trinidad sits in is called Las Animas County. It is the largest county in Colorado and has 1600 miles of dirt & gravel roads. Talk about a slice of heaven that has yet to be discovered by the masses.
Something more than a logo—More of an experience
Moots was proud to be the official bike sponsor of the event and as we thought about the event and what type of impact we could have with the riders and locals in Trinidad we started looking at doing a first-ever pop-up shop. If you recall we made a “scouting” trip to Trinidad in July to get the lay of the land and that’s when the concept of a Moots Clubhouse started taking shape. The beautiful store fronts just screamed for a clean display center around bikes.
As the event grew closer things started taking shape for the Moots Clubhouse and a business owner was open to renting the front end of his shop to us for 5 days. Huge bonus: It was right at the start/finish line!
Extreme Make Over—Moots style
You’ve probably seen shows on TV that take a run down, dirty, dis-organized space and make it into something clean, tidy, and in the end something to be proud of. The Moots Clubhouse went through much of the same transformation on Wednesday before the event. Our goal was to create an inviting space that riders could gather, swap stories, get ride information and see our amazing bikes.
We had 8 total bikes in the space, 4 different models and several of our latest finishes on display.
During the event we held daily activities that used the Moots Clubhouse as home base. We partnered with Panaracer and Tailwind Nutrition to provide daily prize giveaways to those that visited the Clubhouse and registered into the contest. The giveaway packs were stunning and those stopped in were stoked to be part of the good times. Each person that registered for the daily prizes were also entered into the Grand Prize package of a Moots stem & seat post. We drew that winner on Monday morning here at the Moots office.
Our Moots Clubhouse Trinidad winners are:
Friday: Michale Thomas : Denver, CO.
Saturday: Kathleen Callahan : Aspen, CO.
Sunday: John LeFevre : Lafayette, CO.
Grand Prize Winner: Chris Conley : Highlands Ranch, CO.
Hearty pre-ride souls. The soils around Trinidad take the moisture well.
On Friday we hosted a pre-ride at 3:30 and despite the steady drizzle or rain, 20+ hearty souls joined us for an easy spin. Once back at the Clubhouse we had Axe and the Oak Distillery on hand for cocktail hour. They are a Colorado based company out of Colorado Springs, and they use nothing but ingredients from Colorado. They set up at our bar and poured samples of classic Old Fashions and Whiskey Lemonades. They warmed the soul on a damp day and when beer is the usual for bike events, having cocktails made it much more special. Huge thanks to Axe and the Oak Distillery!
4 am wake up call. This seems the norm for most gravel races as the distances are long and starts are early. We opened the Clubhouse at 4:45 am to greet day-of packet pick up for those that could not make it Friday. It was fun to watch the first riders off the line in this first year event. The morning was perfect with clearing skies and drying roads from the overnight rain. The first hours of the event provided much of the mud, but as the day went the roads dried and turned fast.
Post race mud splatter and beer in hand.
At the finish we hosted riders for cold drinks, pizza, and high-fives. The resounding response to the course was 100% positive. This to us is the uniqueness of gravel. It’s very regional with much different surfaces and course types across the country. Also, what better way to see a new place than on the back of a bicycle?!
Was the course great? Yes, yes it was. Loads of variety from eastern plains rollers to high alpine forests.
Moots didn’t stop at the bike race day, we pushed on into the run event the next day, where almost 200 runners tackled the 50 & 25km routes. After the runners hit the course, we held our last event out of the Clubhouse with a hangover ride at 9am. A smooth, chill-pace over 20 miles to talk and relive the week in Trinidad. On the ride were riders from Colorado, New Mexico, Steamboat, Denver as well as the 165 mile 3rd place winner. Such a great group before we did our last giveaway and packed down the Moots Clubhouse Trinidad for the last time.
Moots lead a hangover ride the day after the race. Thrilled to have a nice social ride.
Moots Clubhouse coming to a location near you?
As a company that has been to almost every event under the sun, we walked (or drove as it may be) away from this one with a new perspective on what makes us all love events. To us it comes down to the experience one has while at the event: What was fun? What was unique? What was a highlight? Was there some type of item or encounter that you’ll tell your riding buds about when you return home? For us the Clubhouse was an experiment, something we received loads of compliments on and something we may just bring to a location or event near you in the coming months and years. Stay tuned and thanks for stopping in at the MOOTS CLUBHOUSE TRINIDAD.
Sundays’ price pack winner: John LeFevre : Lafayette, CO.
Saturdays’ prize pack winner: Kathleen Callahan : Aspen, CO.
You can check out the entire photo gallery of the event here: