Crested Butte: Where Mountain Biking Began (So They Say)

146769260Single track, it’s a magical word for mountain bikers. A word meaning a trail approximately the width of the bicycle, usually smooth and flowing. It keeps the rider as close to nature on either side while providing exhilarating twists and turns. Crested Butte has some of the greatest single tack in the country. When you ride here, it wont take long to realize how perfectly the trails seem to wrap themselves around the mountains. It’s as if the trails and mountains were impossibly made at the exact same moment in time. In fact, most local riders believe that true single track mountain biking began here.

The rides here are both lengthy and legendary. Finishing trails like Doctor’s Park and 401 (boring name, amazing trail) will give you that heroic feeling like you just slayed a dragon and saved a princess. Doctor’s Park gives you almost an hour (depending how fast you bomb down it!) of pure single track downhill joy. It’s more than worth the pedal pumping double track climb. Other trails in this biking mecca are shorter, but they still manage to access the stunning mountain scenery. If you ride during the early summer the beauty in these mountains is nothing short of breathtaking. Imagine cruising on a flowing single track, looking out at a gorgeous valley surrounded by mountains with different colored wildflowers caressing your knees on both sides. It’s bliss for mountain bikers.
The trails are maintained by a very active local organization called the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association. They claim to be the oldest mountain bike club in the world! They are celebrating their 31st season right now. They maintain trails like 401, The Lower Loop, Cement Creek Trail, and Reno Flag Bear and many more with volunteer and non-profit loving care. The CBMBA takes donations, provides events, and offers cool prizes like bicycle giveaways for it’s members.  Check it out for trail conditions, too.
Crested Butte as a whole does an incredible job of preserving their pristine environment, so be sure that you do the same when you visit. You know,  stay on the trail, leave no trace, yield appropriately, plan ahead…etc.  Do CBMBA a favor and respect the trail and road closures. They know what they’re doing and do it with good sense. Remember, in the place where mountain biking began, they’ve been doing it longer than anyone.

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