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When I first heard of Adventure Fest, I was skeptical. Long bike rides, partially supported but not led. No planned clinics, not a lot of structure of any nature to speak of. There was a strong feeling of “if you build it, they will come.” It was a leap of faith in cyclists’ willingness to get together for a shared experience of a fairly individualized sport, and was certainly putting a lot of optimism in the sky, in a region that only has sun for 45% of its daylight hours. When I was asked to be an ambassador for Thick Bikes, where I work, I cautiously said yes. When Swift Industries, a sponsor of the event, invited my bike shop to share tent space and come up with a way to represent what we envision as the best of freedom on two wheels, we jumped at the idea and knew it was going to sweeten the festival; if nothing else, it’s more fun to show up to a party with a pal. I know the folks at Bicycle Times, the publication behind Adventure Fest. Their sister publication, Dirt Rag, puts on a similar event, Dirt Fest, at a nearby campground....

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