Crested Butte is know as the “Birthplace of Mountain Biking” with amazing stories of locals racing to Aspen on custom made townies. Over the years the bike were tweaked further to eventually create the Mountain Bike. Read the following story for a very interesting historical account of the most famous race in Crested Butte. Come on out and ride your bike on Colorado’s best mountain bike trails. Bring your large lungs as you will need them in our beautiful valley. Interested in a dream mountain home? Call me to receive some listings with all your needs in mind.
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Crested Butte Fetes its role in Mountain Biking Lore
R. Scott Rappold
Aspen, CO Colorado
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Glo Cunningham’s first attempt to ride Pearl Pass did not begin well.
“I had a three-speed and two of my three speeds broke on my way up the hill out of town,” the 61-year-old cyclist from Crested Butte recalled. “Fortunately, the one that worked was the low gear.”
The year was 1980 and these were not the sleek, lightweight bicycles of today, but 35-pound monstrosities, Schwinns meant for leisurely trips on gentle pavement. Pearl Pass was the opposite, an old, 40-mile mule train route between Crested Butte and Aspen, which tops out at 12,700 feet, holds snow through August and runs through some of the roughest terrain in Colorado.
More parties on wheels than the organized rides of today, these early trips have become legendary, as Crested Butte cyclists “pushed, dragged and carried” their “klunkers” into mountain biking history.
Late last month, cyclists celebrated the 30th anniversary of Fat Tire Bike Week, the nation’s oldest mountain bike festival. Its roots are traced to these rides over Pearl Pass, and it is an iconic event for Colorado’s iconic mountain-biking town.