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Going the Distance

Cue up the band Cake and their song ‘Going the Distance’…

Start with an inspiring slideshow from a three-time former world mountain bike champion, sprinkle in some newly constructed singletrack, top it will views of the San Juans, and you’ve got a heck of a TCC visit to Ridgway, Colorado.

As a classic Colorado Western Slope town, Ridgway isn’t necessarily known for its mountain biking. Set at the foot of a strikingly beautiful mountain range with outdoor-minded population, this has always been a curious thing for us. After spending a weekend working with Ridgway Area Trails (RAT), we’re pleased to announce that everyone should take the time to stop in. They’ve got Thai and Costa Rican food, a coffee shop and brewery, and one cool trails community.

The RATs are all about ‘going the distance’. Committed to doing the right thing, they’re working patiently to develop relationships, build trails, and have fun. Things are slowly starting to gel and we hope our visit gives them a boost to the next level. Together with leaders from the regional trails group COPMOBA, we spent the weekend discussing economic development and sustainable trails.

Currently, one of RAT's main goals is developing the ride-to-your-ride opportunities. With an existing connection on the Uncompahgre Bikeway, the singletrack riding from town is good now and stands to be nothing short of stellar. On Saturday we helped local volunteers get started on a new trail at Weaver Memorial Park. It wasn’t easy construction, but it was well worth the effort. Once complete, the lower trail will offer spectacular views from just above the river.

No matter what we did during the weekend, we always seemed to have a lot of fun. As one of the key ingredients to building great trail communities, RAT is already wise beyond their years. Our visit was nicely wrapped inside the inaugural, and certain to be legendary, RAT-fest. Festivities included bike demos, live music and auction, kid’s clinic, and group rides. This is just the kind of fun that RAT can use to bring new people into the fold, build relationships, and create future leaders.

They're going the distance.

BIG Thanks to Bill Harris from COPMOBA and the RATs for putting together a great TCC weekend. Thanks to Rodney and Gay for being awesome hosts. Thanks to everyone who attended our Better Living Through Trails presentation and the Trailbuilding School. Thanks to the hard working volunteers who came out Saturday afternoon to lend a hand at Weaver Park. We wish all of you the very best!

Photos from the weekend can be found here.

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