Summoning singletrack season

“I’m pretty grateful for whatever I can get”

For at least a month, hordes of Crested Butte locals have swarmed the Hartman Rocks recreation area to get their mountain bike on, while the trails in the north end of the valley are under snow. Slowly some of the local singletrack is starting to dry out, include the Lower Loop, Tony’s Trail to the Upper Loop, out to Whetstone Vista, and the Canal Trail to Strand Bonus off Brush Creek Rd. It’s been a wet spring, so be gentle—don’t walk around the muddy stretches or you’ll contribute to the creation of braided trails—turning singletrack into multi-track. Better yet, don’t ride these trails when muddy if you can help it. There’s plenty of dry riding in Gunnison, and as of May 15, more trails are open to the public following seasonal closures at Hartman’s.

 

Hartman Rocks update
All Hartman Rocks trails south of the Powerlines Road were closed to all vehicles and mountain bikes to protect sage grouse habitat until May 15. As of that date, riders have access to trails like Bambis, Outback, 9-0, Skull Pass, Aberdeen Loop, Back-In and Sawtooth.
Also at Hartman’s, the last Growler Training Series race is scheduled for May 20. According to Gunnison Trails, this classic mountain bike race/fun ride series is for all ages and abilities with men’s and women’s divisions in three categories: Short Course; Long Course Sport; and Long Course Expert. There also are races for kids. Registration opens on-site at 4:30 p.m. and the racing begins at 5:45 p.m. The cost is $15 per race (but little kids race for free). Proceeds benefit Gunnison Trails. Visit gunnisontrails.com for more.

Work days
The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association is gearing up for its first trail work day. According to CBMBA President John Chandler, “Wednesday, May 26, believe it or not, will be our first trail work day of the season—super excited. It will take place at or anytime after 4 p.m. in Crested Butte South. Exact details on meeting place and trail will follow shortly, but plan on coming out and buffing out some sweet Crested Butte South trail action. As always, a party, raffle, and good times will follow.” See cbmba.org for news and trail conditions as the season progresses.

Local knowledge: crankcollective.com
Local rider and entrepreneur John Chorlton is passionate about mountain biking, so much so that he launched one of the most innovative websites in the game: crankcollective.com. In recent weeks Chorlton has relaunched the site with a host of rider-friendly features, from product reviews to news to forums and mapping technology.
“I’m pumped on the relaunch for a lot of reasons,” Chorlton said. “When you work on something every day and know that it can be better, it always feels good to make that happen. The 3D feature on the maps pages are really great for getting a good lay of the land. The Google Earth technology is so amazing for map nerds. The new forums are sweet as well—they are a cool open source software solution that is a lot more powerful than the old ones.”

About Crank Collective founder John Chorlton
“I started riding back East in the mid-eighties but when I moved out here in ‘89 I was blown away that the first climb at Hartmans had my knees shaking and my vision blurry. By ‘91 I was crazy about everything mountain biking and living the life riding every day in Gunnison with a rabid pack of riders.
“As far as favorite trails go, I’m pretty grateful for whatever I can get. Balancing riding with raising my boys is tricky, so I love a quick loop up the Divine Trail to Upper Upper and then looping back onto Whetstone Vista for a little more climbing and fun descent through the trees.”

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