Crested Buttians are big fans of biking thanks to the miles of trails right in their own backyard. On Saturday, June 29th, the 5th Annual Fat Tire 40 rolled into town during Bike Week, which took place from June 26-30. It’s the oldest mountain bike festival in the world!
Each year, the Fat Tire 40 takes place on some of the best trails in and around Crested Butte, including the prime singletrack on Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Race director Dave Ochs said, “We’re going back to the original reason to be here. And people are coming back around to race in these soul events.”
The event started at the base of Crested Butte Mountain, and bikers had the opportunity to ride up and around the trails of Crested Butte Mountain Resort before riding into the hills via the Upper Loop, Strand Hill, and Deer Creek. From there, riders returned back to the Crested Butte Mountain Resort trail system before finishing the race at the base of the mountain. The course is just under 40 miles long, hence the name, and hosted just two classes this year, open men and open women.
Ochs said, “It’s a tough race. If you don’t save anything for Deer Creek, you could end up in the pain cave. That’s when you don’t like Deer Creek.” The course incorporates plenty of climbing, so it’s not for novice bikers. There will, however, be aid stations along the course and at the end of the Strand Hill section should riders need a break. “Be respectful of the ground you’re on,” Ochs said. “Race hard, but do the right thing.”
As it has been for the past few years, the Fat Tire 40 was another amazing Crested Butte event, with prizes for overall winners as well as age class divisions. The winner was projected to finish the course in around 3.5 hours. Ochs says last year there were 20 riders who finished under the four-hour mark.
When asked about the race, Ochs said, “I’m crazy excited about it. Especially because of how good the trails are riding right now and the Lupine peaking.”
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