Sometimes we fall into the pattern of assuming that our trails are just there for our own enjoyment. When in fact, planning, building and maintaining them is an enormous undertaking that relies almost entirely on human power.
The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (pronounced “Simba” for all you uninitiated folks out there) has shown us just how much impact the organizations responsible for this work can have not only on the trails, but on the communities in which they operate. If you’ve ever been mountain biking, hiking or trail running in Crested Butte, you have these guys to thank (or maybe make a small donation to…).
We couldn’t be more pumped to be partnering with CBMBA. It was important to support them both financially and with free PACT products for their staff and the hundreds of people they engage with in the Gunnison Valley’s open spaces.
If you’re passionate about the outdoors, you need to know about CBMBA. Here’s some highlights…
They’re the oldest mountain bike club in the world
If you’re not familiar with the story of how mountain biking came to be, you’re in for a treat. Crested Butte makes a strong case for being the birthplace of the sport, and the creation of CBMBA wasn’t far behind in 1983. For the full story, check out Born From Junk, a 15-minute documentary that “traces the outlaw roots of mountain biking to its raw beginnings in Crested Butte.”
They remind us to empathize
In one of our first conversations with CBMBA Exec Director, Dave Ochs said something like: “People don’t poop on the surface of the ground and leave it because they’re malicious or don’t care. They do it because they’re naive and unprepared.” This is particularly enlightening coming from someone whose responsibility it is to deal with this problem. Dave’s wisdom has become the basis for one of our core beliefs: if you give people better tools, they’ll happily use them for their own benefit and the environment’s.
They do things differently
CBMBA is a central figure in what is emerging as a more collaborative approach to outdoor recreation. The organization has worked to build long standing relationships with land managers, conservation groups, private landowners and government organizations– a key to making mountain biking a central part of the valley’s identity. They see the bigger picture and make the effort to consider the diverse perspectives of people connected to the land. America should take some notes…
They ask for more work
Back in 2017 the US Forest Service was struggling to keep up with the popularity of the area and the impacts of overuse. So, CBMBA created the Crested Butte Conservation Corps (CBCC) and expanded their responsibilities to include the maintenance of all public lands. They clean up trash (yes, including poop), clear downed trees by the hundreds, decommission and clean-up campsites, repair roads, install drainages, rehab private land damaged by recreation…and even educate visitors by the thousands. We could go on, but you get it. All this with 7 full-time staff and more volunteers than anyone cares to count.
Have you ever been mountain biking in Crested Butte!?
CBMBA maintains 450 miles of arguably the greatest singletrack trails in the world. From the endless descents of Doctors to the grueling climbs up Teocalli or the iconic vistas of 401. The valley has something for everyone.
If you want more on what makes the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Alliance so special, leave our website and go to Patagonia’s (ha!). Leilani Bruntz, a local guide, wrote an incredible article a while back, called The Writing on the Wall about the organization. Well worth the 10 minute read.
Much more to come with this partnership. In the meantime, check out our growing collection of PACT Products, and learn about how we're using mycelium from fungi to set a new standard in clean, environmentally-friendly bathroom practice with our award-winning PACT Outdoors Bathroom Kit, a great compliment to your mountain biking accessories.