August 12, 2016

CO: Crested Butte - 401

Crested Butte was a mandatory ride stop on our way home. I had hoped to spend a day+ riding in the area, but we were put a little behind schedule due to storms a few nights earlier. Then I wasn't able to align our schedule with Neil's so I decided to just make it a quick stop hitting the signature trail of the area. The legendary Trail 401.

I was going to have K drop me off up at Schofield Pass, but we heard some reports of the road requiring 4x4 capabilities. Instead, she'd drive up until the road went sour and I'd ride the rest.

The morning got underway with Eszter's first foodie recommendation: Mini donuts!! Mmmm. I could've eaten 3x's more, but showed some self control.
Cool vibe in the this ski town turned mountain bike haven.
K snapped this pic as I rode away.
The views from the dirt road were quite good!!
Schofield Pass came a mile sooner than I thought. I really need to keep a stash of AES & Beerduro stickers on hand!!
A few hikers came off the trail telling me how good it was. Then a few more riders showed up, all of us 401 noobs. I knew the downhill didn't start right at the pass, but wasn't quite expecting another mile+ of climbing!! I was thoroughly warmed up by the time I reached the apex.
Up, up, up, at least it was all rideable.
Things began to open up over the final 1/2 mile of climbing.
Narrow singletrack is just plain awesome.
Ran into a half dozen or so folks near the saddle.
It's about time to use gravity to my advantage.
Awestruck in every direction.
The next series of pics are exactly why the masses flock to 401. It looks fake. Trust me, it's as real as it gets. Put it on your list, then go ride it.
Voodoo approved.
That's the dirt road I pedaled up down in the valley.
The one techy sketch section.

Practically taken straight from a magazine.
The last bit of meadow wonderland.
I met another rider on the trail, a 401 first-timer, who also happened to be from Phoenix. We rode together for a few miles before I got too far ahead. Perhaps Randy and I will hit some local trails soon.

The trail dipped back into the trees as it carved down the slope.
Into the aspen zone.
As I came to the trail crossing near where I started the ride, I passed by a family full of little shredders. The kids looked to range anywhere from 7-12 years of age and had just come down the same trail, pretty impressive stuff. One of the kids asked his Dad if they could go back and do another lap on Four-oh-Fun!! 401 sure lived up to that description but I wasn't done with it quite yet.

The trail turned into a jeep road for a short bit as the climbing resumed. At first I wasn't too thrilled about it, but it soon returned to singletrack and I forgot all about it.
Yeah, pretty stoked to be here.
Let the goodness continue.

Just like that it was over, a short jeep connector led me over to where K was waiting.
Mt. Crested Butte.
I wanted to have one of those cool flyovers generated for this ride, but I needed another mile or so. I had K meet me a bit farther down the dirt road before we headed back into town. Amazingly, this ride was also a bit longer than I thought at just under 3 hours.
Major bike bling.
Downtown was busy, but not jam packed.
Lunch was calling and we made foodie stop #2 at Teocali Tamale's for burritos. So good!! Then we topped it off with #3 on the CB Eats Tour over at Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream. Eszter always delivers on the food recon. Always.

While my ride time in Crested Butte was fairly short compared to what's available to ride, one thing is certain. I'll be back for a healthy dose of alpine riding soon!! flyover


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