The 2021 tour season has officially kicked off with a four hour ride with Rachel Varn. Rachel, living in Maryland, is the founder of Pedal Power Kids, an organization formed to get more kids on bikes! Saturday’s tour, a 17 mile ride on the Alien Run trail system, including the Outer Limits, was certainly memorable. The Alien Run trail system gets its name because supposedly on March 25, 1948 a UFO crashed on this piece of high desert ground near Aztec, NM. The official site of the crash is marked by a plaque. The trail is made up of 3 separate loops, each one slightly more difficult. This includes the Outer limits, a 9 mile section made up of challenging terrain with ups and downs, twists and turns. Alien Run is a great ride for early and late season tours.
We can all agree 2020 was like no other year. When the spread of COVID-19 created a global pandemic unseen in over 100 years, we all understood life as we’ve know it was going to change. After the initial two month lockdown and quarantine period in Colorado, tourism in our small mountain town of Durango saw quite a surge. People wanted to get away from the major cities like Denver, Dallas and Phoenix and experience the outdoors and fresh mountain air. While practicing all COVID protocols including masks, social distancing, and increased disinfecting, DMBT saw a substantial steady stream of clients. The season started off May 29 with Ray Bell from Austin and ended October 29 with Matt Kane. In between there were many individuals, couples, groups of friends, and families. A lot of families and kids! We were just so stoked that our trails were still open and we could share them with everyone.
A special thank you goes out to David and Allyson Howard, owners of Pedal the Peaks. They kept our clients outfitted on top of the line mountain bikes all summer and fall. We could not have done it without them!
We here at Durango Mountain Bike Tours are looking forward to 2021 and another banner year. Perhaps with some more riding options! Fingers crossed. We hope to see you here and are ready to show you “A True Colorado Experience.”
Had a blast showing Jason, Rachel, and their daughter Katie, from the suburbs of Houston, TX, around Durango on our Town & Trails Tour. This trip was also special as my wife Tracy was guiding with me, and she was awesome. In total we covered 15 miles, 1,300 feet elevation gain in 3 hours. I was so impressed with the family seeing that 2 of the 3 has never been Mountain biking. They were already talking about “the next time.” Thanks once again to our friends at Second Ave Sports for the killer bikes!
I was stoked to finally ride the Monarch Crest Trail. Listed as one of the top five rides in Colorado, this trail did not disappoint. I started in Poncha Springs, using High Valley Bike Shuttle to get me to the top of Monarch Pass. From there I rode Monarch Crest to Silver Creek finishing on Rainbow Trail. All told 38 miles, 2,600 feet elevation gained and close to 6,000 feet descended. An epic ride for sure!
It’s not often I skip the uphill ride and shuttle to the top. But sometimes it just has to be done. That was the case last weekend when my buddy Drew, aka @elementelectric, came to town. We shuttled Pass Trail-Engineer Mountain AND Haflin Creek Trail dame day. Only about 15 miles total of riding, but we dropped close to 5,000 vertical feet and rode two epic downhills.
Now that the dust has settled on this new year, I thought it a good time to take a look back on 2017, a monumental year for Durango Mountain Bike Tours. The biggest event for the company by far was the addition of Jim Mackay as a business partner, and the formation of DMBT LLC. Jim brings with him a wealth of knowledge in business development, marketing, web design, as well as a passion for biking and the outdoors. Revenue more then doubled in 2017 from 2016.
New permits were acquired, giving us access to guide at Phil’s World in Cortez, Alien Run In Aztec, and The Road Apple in Farmington. ’17 also saw me crack a Trek frame, get a new Santa Cruz, get that bike stolen, then get it back.
We had over 150 clients from 15 different states and 9 different countries. Tours started in March, and went all the way past Thanksgiving. New products were offered like the “No Brainer” and Southwest Single Track Adventures. Many partnerships and contacts were made through the industry with great folks like Gary and the gang at 2nd Ave Sports, Laurel and Bill from Wild Bunch Desert Guides, the Shuttlesmith from Santa Cruz, and Will from Trail Sports in Sedona, to name a few. Riding in amazing places like Moab, Sedona, Santa Cruz, Prescott, Grand Junction, Fruita, and Keystone among other places was a highlight as well.
2018 is looking to be even bigger and better. We’ve already had our first tour of the year (January 5th!), are forming some new incredible partnerships, looking to gain more permits and trail access, while building up our gang of amazing knowledgeable bike guides. Check out some of the happy faces and friends we made this past year.
Here we go 2018, Let’s Ride!
With the mild winter we’ve been having here in Durango and the southwest, the bikes are still out and shredding trails. Not only are we riding Phil’s and Alien, all the trails in town are still dry and in great shape. January 5th we already had our first tour of 2018 go out! Here’s a few pics from the last few weeks.
One of our favorite fall riding spots is Sand Canyon. It is part of Canyons of The Ancients National Monument, a 176,000 acres area protecting an archaeologically-significant landscape located about an hour west of Durango. It is a popular biking and hiking area with close access to many cliff dwellings. This trip was a few weeks ago with Jim Mackay and Walt Brown.
The story this fall in Durango and the Southwest has been the warm temps and dry weather. While not good for early season skiing and boarding, it’s been terrific for the mountain biking. Such was the case the day after Thanksgiving when Jim and I took Steve and his blended family of 4 boys out on a four hour tour around town. Since skiing was out, Steve, who owns land here and recently finished construction on a place, wanted to get out with the boys and explore Durango’s single track. We were more than happy to accommodate. Looking forward to riding with him again.
November 18, opening day at Purgatory. What do you do when winter has not hit quite yet? The answer is open up the mountain for skiing/riding and mountain biking. That was the scene Saturday. Lift 1 and 2 accessed a few trails to slide down on the snow, and lift 4 was devoted to bringing the bike up and riding down the flow trail. A unique experience for sure! It won’t be long until the bikes are in the shed and the boards are out mackin the powder.