Just few short weeks ago, I sat down in the Mountain Bike the Tetons office in Driggs for the very first time. Beyond the computer, desktop clutter and full coffee cup, a pretty hefty responsibility and a wide open window of opportunity were set right in front of me. I couldn’t be more enthused.

Pretty much right off the bat, the amazing things happening with mountain biking in our region began to come into focus: from long-fostered community relationships, to fundamental on-the-ground trail projects to groundbreaking youth mountain bike programs. So much to be proud of and even more to look forward to.
A little background: I was born and raised in the land of Lynyrd Skynyrd, college football, and fried shrimp in Jacksonville, FL but moved west to Jackson, WY after finishing school in spring of 2004. While working in the front office of a hotel in Teton Village, I spent most every day that first summer on trails spanning Snow King to Black Canyon to Mail Cabin, punishing my sea-level lungs and getting properly initiated on a beater GT Avalanche hard-tail. Florida-style, I rode in jean shorts. I had fun. A lot of fun.
The snow fell that winter and I reflected on the new skills, new friends, my genuine appreciation for this place beyond the National Parks and the skiing and the fact that I really needed a new mountain bike. At some point I left Jackson for a few years on the road as a full-time bike guide, graduate school in Moscow, ID, a summer working for the USFS in Jackson and eventually touched down in Lander, Wyoming in 2011.
In the past 12 years, I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to ride mountain bikes all over North America and Europe and in many cases, had the privilege of sharing the love by guiding other riders on those very same trails. In between, I’d get excited to join efforts in Lander geared towards ambitious new trail projects, race planning and agency partnership initiatives. Amidst it all, whether in Lander or working abroad, a yearly return to Teton singletrack remained constant. Now, these trails and this community are home. I’m pinching myself.
The origins of Mountain Bike the Tetons stem far beyond its official inception in 2013. Our foundation spans the selfless work of you: both local and visiting riders, trail builders, business owners, agency personnel, volunteers and community members– some have come and gone, many of you are still an integral part of the fabric of our mountain bike community. These origins and their history, their color, their motivations, their personalities and their ebbs and flows have come out in full force as I’ve met with folks these first three weeks. Ultimately, the overwhelming message that I’ve gleaned from this first month with MBT has been one of the pride that you take in these trails and your legitimate commitment to continuous improvement of a mountain bike community and mountain bike resource which is unmatched anywhere on earth.
You might not have heard from us for a minute but we’ve been hard at work under the hood. As we approach our 5-year anniversary, exciting things are coming down the pike; some new, some you have come to expect. As our fantastic board and I take time this winter to plan, evolve and organize, we want to make sure you’re kept in the loop. The future is bright thanks to YOU and we’re stoked for 2018.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your thoughts, questions or comments at: executive.director@mountainbiketetons.org I want to hear from you! Stop by the office anytime Monday-Friday: 60 East Little Ave. in Driggs (on the second floor above Peaked Sports) and when the trails are dry, let’s just go ride bikes!

-Tony Ferlisi
Executive Director