Adventures with Greg Durso: Shredding Bolton [Video]
It’s really exciting and amazing when my job, which I love, provides me the opportunity to also help the sport of adaptive mountain biking – my current favorite activity. Since moving to Vermont last year, I have tried to immerse myself in the mountain bike scene and have been exploring trails all over the state. With all this quarantining and social distancing my Reactive Adaptations Hammerhead off-road handcycle and Vermont woods make for the best prescription. Checking out new trail networks each week and seeing “what goes” for me has been so much fun. However, there are times when I hit obstacles: bridges are too narrow, trails are not wide enough, or I run into some serious off camber stuff which in turn will sometimes send me “turtling” (when you roll over on the bike and you are still attached… think of a turtle on their back).
At first, I thought that this is just the way it goes and I’ll adapt and find another way. But what is so great about the community here in Vermont and across the country, is that there are people and organizations ready to listen to the needs of the adaptive sports community and make changes so the trails or wherever you get active are more accessible. By being a part of the KBF, and partnering with others like Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports and local mountain bike organizations that run the trail networks, I’ve had the chance to advise and help tweak some trails. Over the past year, I’ve met many people and now I love when organizations such as Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW), Waterbury Area Trail Alliance (WATA), or Bolton Valley reach out to see how we can make the trails accessible for all adaptive mountain bikes. It’s been unbelievable to do, as I say, “consulting” work with them.
One project I am really proud of is at Bolton Valley, a local family run ski resort that is known for their underground “rowdy” bike scene. Everyone who knows me knows I love a challenge. Being able to go to Bolton, climb forever, and then ride down some really interesting, tough, and techy trails has been great (love the reactions I get when I say I ride there). But as always there are a few trails or spots that just don’t work. Long story short, after talking with the trail crew, we were able to collaborate and get some work done to make the trails more accessible. They widened some bridges and a few trail spots, they made a section or two not so off camber, and they moved a giant boulder (think Indiana Jones) just a smidge – all while, and I think most importantly, not losing Bolton’s “rowdy” identity in the process. I could go on and on forever about mountain biking and these projects, but just check out the video and see for yourself. Thank you, Bolton Valley. And thanks to all the area trails and trail crews for being willing to listen. I can’t wait to do more of this work in the future.