What is an Epic Ride?
The term “epic” gets tossed around in mountain bike-speak often; heck, we like the word so much we used it in the name of our company. Most folks use the term interchangeably with “awesome”, to describe anything that was really cool and fun to experience. We want to take that one step further, as it helps us define one of the main missions of our company.
To us, “epic” defines a ride that you’ll remember for the rest of your life; rides that you’ll tell stories about for years to come. For one of many reasons: the pain you endured, the landscape you rode through, the distance you covered, the challenges you overcame, or the combination of all the above. Our goal at Chasing Epic is to provide you with the riding experience of a lifetime, and we try to build at least one EPIC ride into each one of our 4-day trips. Don’t get us wrong, the other rides will be freakin’ awesome too. But we want one day to truly challenge our clients, and to give them something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. Or at least until their next trip!
Given our trip locations, we typically put together epic rides that combine scenery, distance, and extreme amounts of fun. The suffering is up to you- we’ll push you to your limits, but at no time will our itineraries put you in any kind of danger. We expect our riders to be in great shape, and we plan our itineraries accordingly. When we’re all suffering together on a long climb, we like to remember that it’s ALWAYS worth it. Trust us, we won’t make you climb if the descent isn’t worth the pain.
We’re proud of the fact that our itineraries are completely customized- no two trips will ever be the same. Because of that, you can expect some pretty creative ride combinations when you join us- especially if you’re on a private trip where it’s just you and your riding crew. To give you an idea of “epic” rides we’ve put together in the past, take a look below- here are a few of our favorites from Crested Butte, Moab, and Fruita.
Crested Butte: Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman’s… and Doctor Park!
Crested Butte is a Mecca of epic rides. With over 750 miles of trails available in the valley alone, it’s always fun to put together rides that link up popular trails and keep you out all day long. This past fall, we did just that. Ask anyone familiar with Crested Butte to put together a bucket list of rides, and two of the top on anyone’s list will include Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman’s and Doctor Park. As they stand alone, RFBD is an 18-mile loop with some of the best singletrack anywhere around. Doctor Park is a 20 mile loop that includes a 6-mile descent that will blow your mind. Combining the two? That’s something not many people have ever done.
In order to accomplish this, we reserved a shuttle to knock off the intense 5-mile climb up to Reno Ridge, a rough dirt road that usually destroys legs and lungs before you get to the first downhill. No worries though, we have you covered! After the initial shuttle, we combined the two rides into a 24 mile epic that included over 15 MILES of descending. And we’re not talking about just any descents- these are true high-alpine singletrack rides that will keep you smiling for half an hour at a time. We linked a couple of lesser-known trails to finish with the Doctor Park descent, which is one of the best in the world when you throw in the fall aspens. We didn’t have a shortage of stories to tell that night over beers.
Moab: The Whole Enchilada
The Whole Enchilada is the very definition of epic. We can’t take credit for any creativity here- this ride is one of the most popular in the world, and it deserves all accolades it receives. TWE is a 34+ mile ride that starts at an elevation of 10,000 feet high in the La Sals above Moab, and descends almost 8,000 feet (yes, you read that right) back into town. Don’t worry though, the ride starts with a shuttle up to Burro Pass so you don’t have to worry about climbing that much! But remember, there is most certainly still climbing involved.
The Whole Enchilada gives you several different riding experiences, all wrapped up into a single day. You’ll get high-alpine riding off of Burro Pass. You get open meadow singletrack around the Hazard County TH. You get unbelievable views into Castle Valley when you’re riding UPS and LPS. And don’t forget the Porcupine Rim section (pictured above), which offers some very technical and exposed riding. Join us in Moab and see for yourself- we’re willing to bet you won’t stop talking about it for weeks. One thing to remember about TWE- it can be open from various points throughout the year because of snow coverage and trail conditions. That said, remember- riding from just about any point on the trail above Kokopelli is well worth the effort and will still result in an incredible experience!
Fruita: Loma Loops and the Kokopelli Trail
When most mountain bikers ride the Kokopelli area, it’s typically a 2-3 hour combination of Mary’s, Horsethief, and maybe Rustler. That’s a nice 15 mile ride that is awesome in its own right, but to us it’s not acceptable. Fruita deserves so much more, and there’s much more to see. First off, Horsethief Bench is one of the classic must-ride trails, so that’s always included in any one of our itineraries. That said, however, there’s so much more to see in the area!
Most of the “crowds” (it’s a relative term in Fruita, where the sheer number of trail miles spreads out crowds quite well) stay close to the Loma trail head, which means they ride the loops above. A few folks explore Steve’s Loop, and very few of them make it out to Lion’s, Mack Ridge, or Troy Built. Do you know what we do on a Chasing Epic ride? We combine the best of those trails into one amazing 25-30 mile day… with a stop for lunch, of course. As long as the temps aren’t creeping over 80 degrees, we spend all day exploring the Kokopelli loops and find the fun stuff that few others venture to find. The riding here is high-desert singletrack, which means stretches of super fast, rolling terrain punctuated by some technical features to keep you awake and on your toes.
If reading the above ride descriptions has you a little nervous about your trip, don’t get too worked up. Sure, our rides are long and can be hard… that’s what makes for an incredible experience. That said, we also ride at a manageable pace, and we’re able to split up into groups that make sense according to ability and stamina. We’ll make sure you’re covered with plenty of ride nutrition, sandwiches, and water to get you through the day. Before your Chasing Epic trip, just be sure to put in some solid miles and get yourself in riding shape, and we’ll take care of the rest.