Sedona MTB Festival - the TASCO Vortex

Sedona MTB Festival - the TASCO Vortex

Words & Photos by TASCO Tribe member Gabe Keating

"Best weekend riding bikes ever" is something that you hear or read a lot for the few weeks following the Sedona MTB festival. The energy and comradery of the MTB community is focused like a beam of stoke fixed right on Sedona for three solid and unforgettable days. Its powerful!  The friendships made there are priceless and the experiences are timeless. I could go on and on about the town's support for out-door recreation and the way they have designed the buildings and signage to blend in as much as possible. I could go on even longer about the trails and the people who build and maintain them.  When I'm there... I kind of do :)  The event organizers put together one heck of a mountain bike party with shuttles to and from trail heads.  Amazing bands, food and great beer. Its like a theme park for mountain bikers... seriously.  Obviously the ideal location for marketing new products and showing off the latest and greatest, especially to the folks who are ready to pull the trigger on a new bike but want to make sure they're picking the right rig that suits their needs and wants.  You are literally at an expo where all of your questions can be answered and your decisions can come from a well rounded experience on the bike.  Show up to the "old Sedona bar" on Friday or Saturday after the festival and continue the celebration into the night with some of the industries biggest names all raising a glass to the bike and the life that goes along with it. This year I tagged along with Nate Miller of TASCO MTB and here are some of the photos and things I experienced on my trip. - Gabe.


Nate Miller

Nate created the TASCO MTB brand. TASCO is a homegrown, family run business with a solid gold core. There is a bio on him and the story of the brand on the TASCO website.


Roots in California and family in Arizona, these hats were made to celebrate the weekend spent in Sedona.


David Erb @derban_poison

we stopped into the Shade Tree bike shop in North Phoenix. This is David, replacing a spoke and trueing up Nate's rear wheel.


Picked up Phil Kmets at the Phoenix airport. We were staying in Phoenix for the night and were being hosted by Jeff Hawkins, a TASCO rep for Arizona. (left to right) Nate, Jeff, Phil and Thomas.


Jeff Hawkins @_jhawk

This was our first ride of the weekend. We had a plan to meet up with some friends to ride the hiline trail later in the afternoon but we were all eager to put our tires down on Sedona's glorious dirt, so the first thing we did when we arrived was just that. And glorious it was. Adobe jack trail head is about a half mile away from the hotel and a mile from the festival.  Sedona, you are too good to your guests.


Phil Kmets aka "skills with phil" @philkmets

Phil didn't waist a single moment on this trip.


Phil Kmets


Nate Miller @surfn8

shred the red!


second ride of our first day.

we headed out of the Bell Rock parking lot and high tailed it to Hiline.


we caught up with these guys. @themoreweexplore

if you go to @dustybettymtb on Instagram you'll see a photo of this same group shot but from another angle and camera. See if you can spot me in the background.


 Blaise Janssen @blaisejanssen


 Ron Janssen @rjanssen3513


Tess @dustybettymtb


trail boss Jeff Lenosky @jefflenosky

this was on a group ride put on by Brian Kennedy @BKXC.  Here, is Jeff "bunny hopping" over the upper section of the seven sacred pools. Phil was the first in this train of pros to hit it and you can see that photo on the @TASCO_mtb Instagram account and the video clip on Phils @philkmets account


Lunch time at Dough Broughs!  Thats actualy my pizza right there. I love these guys. @doughbroughspizza



Bad Sea Coffee Roasters

Bad Sea coffee roasters were at the TASCO booth all weekend giving out samples of their coffee. I gotta say the cold brew was amazing. It had a bit of a froth on it that literally made it seem like a decadent dessert


Billy from BadSea coffee.

BadSea coffee guys ride their bikes ALOT!!  Check them out and read what they are up to. Its impressive. @Badseacoffee



Michael brings good vibes and good beer. @dragonaftermarket





I spotted a @quickanddirtymtb hat at the festival

quick and dirty is a grass roots mountain bike race series in Southern California put on by Victor Sheldon @slasher200


My Dudes!

Sam McNees @sam_mcnees towing in Blaise Janssen to a lengthy triple that Sam spotted at the Sedona bike park. the actual feature is a step-up but some people see things a little differently by looking beyond what the see. like, " beyond that landing is another landing".


Sam Mcnees

savage beast.


Blaise Janssen

I had a blast photographing Blaise and Sam on the flow lines. Stoke levels were all time!


TASCO's new Sessions Ride Tee's were a hit with everyone.


Smiles were a common sight at the TASCO booth all weekend


 See what I mean?


 Thumbs up!

Phil Kmets spent a fair amount of time doing this during his visit to Sedona. chatting with people who have gotten to know and appreciate him through his Youtube channel "Skills with Phil".



Selfies with Phil


Kevin Lentz @lentzismore

When you haven't ridden with someone before, and you don't know what to expect - but then you take a look at there calf muscles and you suddenly realize what you've gotten yourself into. Kevin is a monster! I watched him drop the hammer at the end of our ride and while I was getting dropped I nearly cramped up haha.


Laura May @lauramay111

Laura is tough as nails. I saw her get up from a crash that would crush most people and then keep riding another 15 miles with a smile.


Nick Buck

I caught another photo of Nick from this ride that you can see on his Instagram account @nbuck9 . Nick is a free rider at heart with the endurance of an xc racer. Makes following him very difficult.


Tess and Steve.

Stoked to meet these two this weekend. @themoreweexplore


Ska brewing!




I wish I had introdused myself to this guy. He's the M.C over at the stage.


left to right. Phil Kmets, Eric Porter, and Simon Bosman

..with winds gusting up to at least 20 to 25 miles per hour and literally mist or what appeared to be snow flurrying in all directions I was sure these guys were going to call it off. To see some other shots that I got from this ride go check out their Instagram feeds. Phil @philkmets Eric @portermtb and Simon @simonsaysmtb


Jeremy McGhee

I enjoyed meeting Jeremy and stoked that we got to shoot some photos. Dudes such a charger!  Go check out his Instagram and find out for your self what he's all about. @jpmcghee


Sam Mcnees, ..on a good one!

these flow trails are proper. JUST LOOK AT THAT BERM!!!


Blaise Janssen

I'm curious to know how many miles Blaise put in during the trip.  Every time I saw him he was just coming back from a ride or just about to go on one. Then after a long day on the trails go shred the bike park.


Phil suggested we host a little impromptu round of Footdown. Pretty sure this will happen again next year but even bigger.  So much fun watching it all go down!




Eric Porter and Phil Kmets riding the new Diamondback carbon release


Jeff Lenosky

Going in for a high five from the trail boss. Check out Jeff's YouTube channel and also go revisit the "New World Disorder" films. 



This was the tail end of the tasco after party. Dough broughs pizza kept putting pizzas on that table and ska brewing supplied the drinks. Bad sea was on hand with hot coffee and good music. rad little fire and good conversations. i would have snapped a photo during the hiedt of the get togrther but i was to busy down in the mix enjoying it all. -cheers.




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