Fruita Fat Tire Fest

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I had never been west of Breckenridge.  (Vegas doesn’t count since I flew from Atlanta.)  Jarrod had been planning our route and our campsite plans for a few weeks.  We had a friend who was sharing a ride with us so he could save some money and go demo some bikes.  I reserved a 10’x20′ space, which is twice our normal setup size, so we rented a Uhaul to carry our event stuff, our camping stuff, and our bikes.  We were heading towards an uncertain future.  I tried to remain optimistic, but I was terrified things wouldn’t work out, and we wouldn’t be able to pay our bills for May.

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We drove out on Wednesday to make sure we grabbed a good campsite.  It was snowing at the Vail Pass rest area.

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It was super windy, cold, and dark when we got there.  The trip from the main road to the site was harrowing while pulling a fully loaded Uhaul trailer.  I was certain that it was going to tip over, and everything would be destroyed.

The wind and dark made setting up the tents a little more interesting.  Right around the time we finished and went to bed, it started raining.  It rained intermittently throughout the night with a force so hard that I woke me up more than once.  Was this how it was going to be all weekend?

Thursday was set-up day, so we had a leisurely morning at camp and arrived at the event right a little later than the start of load-in.  We were able to park the trailer behind our spot so we had a secure location to lock everything up and didn’t have to pull the trailer down that bumpy and rutted road again.

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It took me over 5 hours to set-up the 10’x20′ space.  That was unexpected, and it was almost dark when I finished.

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The fierce wind concerned me since it’s not uncommon for an event tent to be launched by the wind even when weighted.  After we went to the VIP dinner (which was awesome), I made Jarrod drive us past the tent so that I could make sure it was still there.  It was.

The wind was brutal all weekend.  The weather was all over the place: rain, full sun, overcast.  The event was designated as a place to demo mountain bikes, so the mornings were pretty slow.  I didn’t know what to expect; it didn’t look like there was a large crowd.

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I didn’t have much traffic coming into the booth, but people were buying.  Jarrod was out on the trails most of the weekend, so he didn’t know how sales were.  He just wanted to make enough to get us back to Denver.

Cycling events are so much less stressful than craft events.  It’s a completely different audience than I was used to and a lot less rules.  We were making our meals behind our tent.  I decided when I could close.  I got to talk about bikes all day.

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Our sales were incredible and completely unexpected.  I dropped the idea of going back to work and started contacting more events.  Since we are going to be traveling so much, we decided to buy our own trailer.  It would pay for itself in rental fees by the end of the summer.

We ended up with a van.