The leaves were on the ground and there was a chill in the air as Highland Mountain Bike Park wrapped up its 2016 season last weekend. Despite the looming change of season, the trails were in perfect condition and a large crowd of riders came out to celebrate the mountain's S'Ender Weekender and Clif Bar Ride with the Pros bash.

November weather can be fickle in the northeast, but sun and above normal temperatures had the party trains, including this one led by Lindsey Marie, leaving the station at regular intervals all day on Saturday and Sunday.

It goes without saying that Highland's dirt jumps, some of the most beautifully sculpted and maintained anywhere, were also in prime condition.

A highlight of the weekend was the Ride with a Pro event presented by CLIF Bar. CLIF athlete Eric Porter was on hand Saturday for a day of kids rides, party laps and giveaways from his partners Diamondback Bikes and POC Sports. Porter was born in Louisville and now lives in Utah with his wife and son. He has appeared on the covers of Decline Magazine and Bike Magazine in back-to-back months and was featured along with fellow Team CLIF Bar riders Kirt Voreis and Jeff Lenosky on Fuel TV's Built to Shred. Recently he has been producing quality edits at a wide variety of locations, from Alabama to Alaska.

Porter led many kids party trains through Central Park.

Laps on Cats Paw are always a crowd pleaser.

Highland Mountain was doing some fundraising of its own on Saturday, raising money for the Wings for Life charity, a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. One of the mountain's fundraisers was a Not So Super D Ride down the new Freedom Trail, with costumes and clunkers encouraged.

Dirt Jump laps in the afternoon

The mountain's biggest Wings for Life fundraiser was the wacky Pixie Bike Race that saw competitors negotiating an obstacle track on tiny bikes. Miguel Almeida spent much of the afternoon trying to dial in the Pixie bike course and his efforts were rewarded with a win and a Highland season pass for 2017.

CLIF Bar and Diamond Back teamed up to raffle of a couple bikes. 100% of the earnings went to popular enduro racer Ryan St. Lawrence who suffered a spinal cord injury at Highland early this summer. Twelve-year-old Aidan Lewey, who lives just down the road from Highland, won the Diamondback Sync'r 24 raffle.

Show some support for Ryan here - https://www.gofundme.com/2jnf55gm

Trent Sanders took home the adult version of the Diamonback Sync'r Pro.

2016 is in the books and we're already looking forward to next season! Have a great winter.

Words and Photos by: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur 
Video by: Lucent Productions 
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