The following blog post was submitted to us by one of our clients (from a summer trip to Crested Butte) and appears in his words, as it was submitted. Terry is a 50-something mountain biker from Cincinnati with five years of riding experience, and his trip with Chasing Epic was the first he’s experienced. He asked if we would publish this blog so that others in a similar situation might find some helpful information when choosing their next adventure, ideally with Chasing Epic! Terry adds that he has five bikes, two trainers and despite that, he has managed to keep his one wife.
Desire, modest skill and a little bit of dough isn’t always enough to ensure a great experience. You need to find someone who already has the logistics dialed in, and your fun factor will go up significantly. I chose Chasing Epic, a Colorado-based mountain bike adventure company because it really came down to just a few critical elements- the things you can control and the others you leave in the hands of the adventure travel company.
You can control where you want to go, how long you want to be there and whether or not you are taking your bike.
I started with where to go, it was the mountains for me. Colorado seemed the most logical and after reading several Chasing Epic blog posts I settled on Crested Butte. My wife, who does not ride, joined me on the trip; Crested Butte has a lot to offer off the trail, which was nice for her while we were out riding the epics.
Duration of the trip was important. The combination of time available and level of fitness made four days the right number, although I was pretty tired by the fourth day…but a good kind of tired. We rode hard for four days, and covered a lot of miles at an elevation I wasn’t necessarily used to- but Chasing Epic did a great job helping me acclimatize by slowly building up to the bigger rides.
I love my bike, but buying a carrier ($400-$500) and trusting the airlines with my bike was not something I wanted to risk. I’ve seen what they have done to my golf clubs and I like my bike a lot more than I like my clubs! Some companies, like Chasing Epic, include the bike as part of the package, others charge a rental fee. Know what you are paying for and getting, including things like concierge service (cleaning). I am used to cleaning my own bike after every ride, but it is a vacation after all; the post ride “cleaning service” is nice after several hours on the trails. The Ibis bikes they have available are incredible, and it was just more icing on the cake of an otherwise awesome trip.
The things you put in the hands of others, most notably the trail guide, can make or break your trip.
Our guide in Crested Butte, Ben, was outstanding. I couldn’t have had a better experience. Ben was able to quickly assess my skill level and put together a great experience accordingly. He provided guidance and instruction with opportunities that were at the top end of my skill level and selected trails that allowed me to have the maximum amount of fun.
A nice little extra, Steve (the owner of Chasing Epic) is a professional photographer. Not only did I have a great time, but I have a killer screen saver image on my computer that is a constant reminder of a truly EPIC experience.