Colors in the Catskills 4 review
Once again, Mother Nature laughed at our, mere mortals, feeble efforts to plan outdoor activities according to our wishes. Of course Mother Nature had been giving us fair warning all spring and summer long with one of the wettest periods on record for the Northeast including Hurricane Irene that did more damage in the mountains of NY and VT than it did anywhere along the ocean coastlines!
I arrived on site Thursday morning just before it started raining. Thursday night it cleared and there were stars in the sky as I went to bed. Yes! Friday morning I awoke to the sound of rain, wondering where the other side of the valley had gone as I could no longer see it. It rained on and off for Friday and some intrepid riders did brave the elements. A fair number even set up their tents iin the camping area and settled in for the duration. Vendors set up and conducted business, albeit slow business, as the rain and riders came and went. Saturday started with rain in the morning, heavier than yesterday, varying in intensity throughout the day, but never really going away.
This did not halt the efforts of Ben and Max Stratton and their crew from the three MAX BMW shops from offering a full range of demo rides, with rides of about 40 minutes leaving on the hour from 9 am until 3 pm usually with 10 bikes and a lead and sweep rider to make sure everybody got there and back safely. For the adventureous there were off road rides of different skill levels offered at least three times during the day. These rides lasted approximately 90 minutes, some were longer! :dance
Local Catskill Mountains legend "Nick the Barber" also offered a truely challenging off road excursion all three days. Don't even mistake these rides for a training session. You had better bring your A game skills and a suitable machine to these big boy rides!
The sun did come out Sunday after 9 am and the bikes did start coming in. I noticed that the vast majority of bikes to arrive on Friday and Saturday were BMW motorcycles. This was not the case on Sunday as the lot was filled with more non BMW marques that BMW motorcycles all day long. The last MAX BMW demo ride to leave pulled out at 3 pm ( the first had left at 9 am), just as full as all the other demo rides had been on Saturday and Sunday on the full range of models BMW has to offer, not just the new 1600 GTL and GT models that would have been on the demo truck.
Yes, there were fewer vendors this year than last that actually showed up on site, but more had signed up for this year than last year. No doubt the weather played a large part in the reduced crowds and vendor count, but even those vendors who backed out have said they would like to be invited back for next year. And they will be, along with others. The vendors who did attend all had a good day, at least on Sunday, and thanked the riders who did come out in spite of the rain on Friday and Saturday. Most of the roads were in passable shape and the local waterfalls and streams were spectacular!
Not to be forgotten are the off road and dual sport rides led by TEAM MAX featuring some very talented leaders and brave participants. All made it back to base safely, although some came back wetter and muddier than others. No one came back cursing and all learned some real world off road riding lessons.
Hope to see you all next year. Plans are already underway for the 5th edition of Colors in the Catskills to make the event bigger and better than ever. Prayers and offerings will be made to the Weather Channel and Mother Nature between now and next October on a regular basis. :whistle
Thank you to the management and staff of Hunter Mountain, our fine vendors and the citizens of Greene County, NY who were so open and kind to us despite their own trials and hardships. A huge thank you to all who rode in under trying weather and road conditions to join us for any portion of the wekend. I greatly appreciate those of you who took the time to personally thank myself and Josh, the vendors and MAX BMW. It meant a great deal to us. A big "Thank You" goes out to Backroads magazine riders and publishers Brian Rathjen and Shira Kamil for their continued support since the inception of this event.
Find the Colors in the Catskills on Facebook to see what you missed. (Thanks Kyle and Caley.)
See you on the road.
Ride fast safely