Why is Outerbike the Best Bike Demo in the Universe?

Our partners over at Outerbike use the tagline “the best bike demo event in the universe.” We think they are spot on and here’s why: Outerbike is the only mountain bike demo event that is explicitly designed to allow you to test as many bikes as possible on some of the best trails in the country. Mt. Crested Butte’s Outerbike, gearing up for its third year August 16-18, 2019, is a great example.

The Venue

Outerbike in Mt. Crested Butte is a phenomenal venue for testing bikes. You can stay in lodging so close to the venue that it would literally take you longer to get on your bike, ride over, and dismount than to stroll over when it’s time. There are breakfast options to enjoy in the morning before gearing up for a day on the trails and bars to hit up for apres plus a free shuttle down to the town of Crested Butte if you want a night out on Elk Avenue. Flying in and wondering if you need a rental car? You don’t. Just set up an airport shuttle and get dropped off at your lodging and then enjoy ease of access to everything on foot or via free public transportation.

solo mountain biker riding a bermed downhill trail in a forest of aspens
(more…)

3 Favorite Rides in the Taylor Park Trail Area

A Crested Butte resident, Brittany Walker Konsella is an explorer and adventurer at heart.  She became the second woman to ski all of Colorado’s fourteen-thousand foot peaks in 2011 so it was only natural for her to be drawn into the TrailQuest Challenge.  In 2017, Brittany co-authored Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes: Colorado with her husband, Frank Konsella. Brittany continues to build her life around exploring and experiencing the outdoors through hiking, mountain biking, and skiing and she writes about those experiences on 14erskiers.com.

 
Taylor Park is known by most as being used heavily by motorized bikes and ATV’s, but the same trails that are enjoyed by motorized users can also be enjoyed by those who wish to pedal. And, in fact, the motorized use in this area gives the trails a unique character that many riders will like. (more…)

Ride Report: Signal Peak

Having never ridden Signal Peak before, I figured I would give it a go with a friend who hadn’t ridden it since his time at Western State University. We decided to begin from where he started the last time he rode the area (about 15 years ago) and parked at the campus.

overlooking western colorado university from signal peak (more…)

5 Best Rides With Kids in the Gunnison Valley

Balance, confidence, fresh air, and joy are just a few reasons why it’s great to see more and more kids on bikes. While many Gunnison Valley kids are raised taught to walk and ride Striders at the same time, it may not be so easy for kids living outside the area to get a handle on mountain biking in the valley. So parents, this one’s for you. If you’re coming with your family to enjoy the fantastic riding in the Valley then check out our five favorite trails for riding with kids regardless of age. (more…)

3 Favorite Mountain Bike Rides in the Fossil Ridge Trail Area

A Crested Butte resident, Brittany Walker Konsella is an explorer and adventurer at heart.  She became the second woman to ski all of Colorado’s fourteen-thousand foot peaks in 2011 so it was only natural for her to be drawn into the TrailQuest Challenge.  In 2017, Brittany co-authored Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes: Colorado with her husband, Frank Konsella. Brittany continues to build her life around exploring and experiencing the outdoors through hiking, mountain biking, and skiing and she writes about those experiences on 14erskiers.com.

 
Usually the words “Fossil Ridge” summon an image of alpine lakes and mountains located within a Wilderness boundary. Although the Fossil Ridge Wilderness is indeed located within this particular region of TrailQuest, ample opportunities for riding exist outside of the Wilderness boundaries within the Fossil Ridge Recreation Management Area. This region is home to many of my “new” favorite rides – ones that are now on my list to repeat every year. (more…)

Hartman Rocks Early Season Ride Report

In 2018, I rode my mountain bike 14 times during the month of April totaling about 160 miles, a great deal of them at Hartman Rocks. This year was an entirely different story. We had a decent snow year at the ski area followed by an extremely snowy spring here in the Gunnison Valley. That has been good for the rivers and reservoirs and bodes well for lots of wildflowers and few wildfires here this summer. But, when Hartman Rocks opened up for the season on April 25, locals were ready to hit the trails in droves.

solo mountain biker on a desert trail at Hartman Rocks near Gunnison, CO
(more…)

2019 TrailQuest Season Just Kicked Off!

Hartman Rocks is Open!

After a long wait and lots of patience, Hartman Rocks is officially ready to ride. That means the 2019 TrailQuest season has started too! New to TrailQuest? Check out what the Queen has to say about this incredible challenge.
(more…)

Best Gunnison Valley Trails if You’re Visiting From Sea Level

The high elevation of Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley is a blessing, and a curse. We have relatively cool summers, beautiful mountain vistas, and Colorado’s best wildflowers. We also have a lot of vertical relief, making for epic mountain bike descents. But, that elevation also makes it challenging to visit from sea level and ride at your best. There’s no getting around the fact that our air is less dense and that adds an extra degree of challenge to our rides.

If you are coming up from low elevation and want to make the most of your trip, we recommend spending at least your first day riding in one of these trail networks to ease into our high altitude and still make the most of your vacation.
(more…)

Announcing a New Venue for Borealis Fat Bike Worlds

Chasing the win at Borealis Fat Bike World Championships presented by Upslope Brewing just got even sweeter! After waiting for the right amount of snow to fall, and some major grooming efforts, we’re excited to announce that Saturday’s Championship Race will take place on the new trail system at The Club at Crested Butte. There’s plenty to be excited about with this new upgrade, but here are our three reasons why this course is even better than before.
(more…)

3 Favorite Mountain Bike Rides in the Gunnison Trail Area

A Crested Butte resident, Brittany Walker Konsella is an explorer and adventurer at heart.  She became the second woman to ski all of Colorado’s fourteen-thousand foot peaks in 2011 so it was only natural for her to be drawn into the TrailQuest Challenge.  In 2017, Brittany co-authored Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes: Colorado with her husband, Frank Konsella. Brittany continues to build her life around exploring and experiencing the outdoors through hiking, mountain biking, and skiing and she writes about those experiences on 14erskiers.com.

As the seasons change and the riding becomes less and less appealing in Crested Butte due to rain and snow, we begin to focus on mountain biking in the desert. When Coloradans think about “desert riding”, Fruita or Moab are two of the main areas that first come to mind. But, Gunnison has its own share of desert riding which can easily rival these aforementioned destinations.

In terms of TrailQuest, the Gunnison region is geographically one of the smallest of the contest. The northern boundary lies a couple of miles south of Almont, the southern and western boundaries stretch enough to just squeeze in all of the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, and the eastern boundary meets the edge of the Fossil Ridge Recreation area. Essentially, the two main places for riding in the Gunnison region are Hartman Rocks and Signal Peak.

Though both Signal Peak and Hartman Rocks are managed by the BLM, both offer different high desert experiences. Located just northeast of Western Colorado University, Signal Peak refers to a mass of foothills that lead their way up to the Sawatch Range. This diverse area has some sparse pine and aspen, surrounded by a lot of sage. The soil tends to be very loose and gravely and sometimes contains larger loose rock. The terrain at Hartman Rocks, on the other hand, is a bit more similar to what people envision when they talk about “desert riding” – lots of sandy soil with fun granite features to ride over from time to time. Hartman’s is also covered in sage, with occasional aspen in the mix.

The riding in both areas is top notch. I especially like to ride in these areas during the shoulder seasons. But, they also make great alternatives in the summer on cooler days or when it might be raining elsewhere. (more…)