Fall in the Mountains

Nearly two months have flown by since I departed the east coast bound for Montana so it must be time for an update.  Crusher killed the drive from New Hampshire back to Montana.  A huge thanks to GoWesty for helping get Crusher even more road worthy! A few other essentials for a drive of this magnitude was my Zoot compression socks and REM caps (natural sleep remedy) so that I was able to get good sleep on the road.  I was lucky enough to have Bri join me for the drive and a few days in Missoula before she had to get back to school.  It was great to be back in the center of the universe (Missoula, Montana) for a few days before I departed for a few weeks in Colorado.

 

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Crusher cruising the USA!

The Cycling House had two mountain bikes on the calendar in Crested Butte, Colorado.  I have done a ton of traveling but Crested Butte ranks amongst the top for mountain towns.  The small town in nestled off the beaten path and is touted as, “the last great colorado ski town.”  The town sits at 9,000 feet and Mount Crested Butte (ski area) extends to just over 12,000 feet.  The area is surrounded by beautiful mountains extending to nearly 14,000 feet and it has been deemed the Colorado capital of wildflowers.  The town has just under 1,500 residents and is 30 minutes North of Gunnison which is home to Western Colorado College.  The area surrounding Crested Butte offers some of the best high alpine mountain biking in the country.  The area has many miles of beautiful single-track trails with breathtaking views.

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Crested Butte, Colorado

We hosted two one week mountain bike camps and had an excellent home base on Mount Crested Butte with amazing views!  In just over two weeks of cycling we rode the majority of the premiere trails in Gunnison county.   After a summer spent almost entirely on a road bike it was nice to be in the mountains ripping trail on the old mountain bike.  The campers all made major improvements and by the end of the week everyone was riding the trails with confidence.  I highly recommend Crested Butte as travel destination for anyone interested in epic high mountain single-track adventures.  After just over two weeks of camps it was time for our next adventure in Colorado.

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Chef Drew drove Owen, myself and another friend South of Crested Butte to Lake City, Colorado.  We had planned a two day bike tour to Durango, Colorado for a friends wedding.  The two days of mountain bike touring were amazing!  We topped out on Cinnamon Pass at just over 12,500 feet and had some amazing desolate dirt roads.  Our first day went from Lake City to Silverton covering 40 miles and 4,500 feet of climbing.  The second day went from Silverton to Durango covering 50 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing.  We had a few good days in Durango and I got in a few good rides and runs.  Unfortunately on the wedding day I strained my back pretty bad and was a little laid up.  The wedding was a beautiful fall wedding and I found a temporary remedy for my back but that is a whole other story:)  Congrats to two great friends; Andy & Allison Schultz!  After a great 3 weeks in Colorado it was time to head back to the center of the universe for our first ever Missoula, Montana mountain bike camp.

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Lake City to Silverton

The inaugural Sam Schultz Montana mountain bike camp was a huge success.  We were able to share our favorite Missoula rides with our campers. We lucked out with weather and had 4 amazing blue bird days.  A highlight of the camp was riding Snowbowl Overlook to Stuart Peak.  At the wilderness boundary to Stuart Peak we ditched our bikes and hiked to the top of the snow covered peak.  The camp ended with some Moscow Mules in TCH branded copper cups (Thanks guys) and everyone departed tired, content and with smiles on their faces.  

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Whitefish Legacy Run

Unfortunately our 3 weeks of mountain bike camps came to an end but it gave me some free time for adventure before I head down to Tucson for our November camps.  We still have a few spots in our El Tour camp so click on the link if you are looking for a November vacation.  After nearly two months without racing I toed the line at The Whitefish Legacy 20k.  I was all ready to go for the Grizzly Ultramarathon 50k but my back was not quite ready for the strains a 50k would place on it so I settled for 30k less.  I ran the Whitefish Legacy 20k last year and absolutely loved the trail race and the cause that it goes towards. The Whitefish Legacy Partners has already built nearly 40 miles of beautiful single-track just West of downtown Whitefish.  The non-profit has plans for many more miles of single-track trails and is quickly becoming a destination for mountain biking.  I had a great race and my back held up and I was able to get the win.  Up next is Rolling Thunder cyclocross race, The Mount Sentinel Hill Climb, Half Marathon trail running nationals in Moab, Utah and the 50k trail national championships in Henderson, Nevada.  I hope everyone is enjoying fall!

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