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If you read our previous blog post, you know we recently spent four days in Fruita and Grand Junction with BKXC and his loyal Patreon/YouTube followers- and it was a trip for the ages.  With 12 of the most fun guys around, we spent four days riding all of the best trails in the area and having a blast after the rides too!

In true YouTube fashion, Brian captured the entire trip in four separate videos- so tune in below to check out the day-by-day play-by-play.

Day One: RETURN TO 18 ROAD

RETURN TO 18 ROAD | Mountain Biking Fruita with Chasing Epic - YouTube

Day Two: I LOVE THESE TOUGH CLIMBS

I LOVE THESE TOUGH CLIMBS | Mountain Biking Fruita with Chasing Epic - YouTube

Day Three: WIDE OPEN AND WINDY ON THE RIBBON

WIDE OPEN AND WINDY ON THE RIBBON | Mountain Biking Grand Junction's Lunch Loops - YouTube

Day Four: FAREWELL TO FRUITA

FAREWELL TO FRUITA | Mountain Biking the Kokopelli's with Chasing Epic - YouTube

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Last weekend, we hosted a group of 12 rippers along with BKXC himself for four days of amazing riding in Fruita and Grand Junction, on the western slope of Colorado.  Each year we do two trips with Brian’s loyal fans, and this was the first of 2018.  For this trip, we put together an amazing itinerary of fun rides, technical challenges, and even capped it off with incredible views over the Colorado River while being chased by rain storms as we had the trails to ourselves.

Aside from the awesome videos that BKXC always puts together (coming soon), we were able to capture much of the rides in awesome photos, which are always nice to give our clients just after each trip.  Here’s a rundown of what we did in four days…. see you soon!

Day One: 18 Road w/ PBR, Joe’s Ridge and Zippity (16 miles)

Day Two: Kokopelli Loops w/ Horsethief, Steve’s, Lion’s Loop, Mack Ridge and Hawkeye (20+ miles)

Day Three: Lunch Loops w/ The Ribbon, Gunny Loop and Holy Cross (18 miles)

Day Four: Western Kokopelli w/ Hawkeye, Mack Ridge and Troy Built (11 miles)

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We recently spent four days in Moab, Utah with The Singletrack Sampler and 13 of his loyal followers, and it was a trip for the ages.  Not only did we ride some of the best trails Moab has to offer, but we created new friendships, told awesome jokes, and brought folks together from all over the world.

As Alexander (the Singeltrack Sampler himself) said, “there is something so amazingly magical about these trips with subscribers from the channel; I seriously can’t believe how lucky I am to get to do trips like this.  Thank you to everyone who joined us on this one!”

On to the photos!

Day One:  Chisholm to Navajo Rocks (15 miles)

Day Two: The Whole Enchilada from Kokopelli, with Jimmy Keen (28 miles)

Day Three: North Klondike (15 miles)

Day Four: Captain Ahab Huck-fest (9 miles)

Apologies… this ride is just too good to stop for pictures- why interrupt one of the most flowy, fun, technical trails in Moab?  We did stop at the top for a quick snack and a few “overlook” shots though!

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We get it- riding a new bike can be exciting, especially when you’re traveling to a place like Moab, Crested Butte, or Angel Fire.  That said, we also know it can be confusing when you have a bunch to choose from: which bike is right for your riding style, the terrain, and the type of riding you’ll be doing?

To make things easier on you, we’ve compiled a bunch of bike reviews for our 2018 demo fleet, which includes the Ibis Mojo 3 and Ripley LS, along with the Spot Mayhem and Rollik.  And as always, if you have any questions regarding our demo bikes and which one is right for you, reach out to us any time!

Ibis Mojo 3

Fanatik Bike: Ibis Mojo 3 Long Term Review

Bike Mag: Ibis Mojo 3 Review

And a video review from our buddy, BKXC:

2016 Ibis Mojo 3 SLX 27.5+ MTB Test Ride - YouTube

Ibis Ripley LS

Bike Mag: Ibis Ripley LS – GX Eagle

Mountain Bike Action: 2018 Ibis Ripley LS

And another video, from the Bike Magazine Bible of Bike Tests:

Ibis Ripley LS Review - 2018 Bible of Bike Tests - YouTube

Spot Mayhem

NSMB: Spot Mayhem 29 on the North Shore

Singeltracks: Spot Mayhem 29er Test Ride

Pinkbike: Spot Mayhem 29er Review

Spot Rollik

(these reviews are for the previous version of the Spot Rollik, not the current 607 model!)

Mountain Flyer Magazine: Tested, Spot Rollik

Pinkbike: Spot Rollik 557, First Look

Bike Mag: Review Spot Rollik 557

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When we talk about St. George, most folks immediately think of the two big draws which both happen to be in the Hurricane area, about 30 minutes north east of town:  Gooseberry Mesa and Little Creek Mesa.  Additionally, the JEM trail system is up there, as is Guacamole and Grafton Mesa, so it’s no wonder the area west of St. George often gets overlooked.

That said, the two main trail systems west of town are some of our favorites in the area, and provide a great mix of riding compared to the slickrock mesas of Hurricane.  In Santa Clara (just a few miles west of St. George, essentially a suburb) you’ll find two main rides that we love, described below with some pictures and video to show you the goods.

Barrel Roll – Sidewinder – Suicidal Tendencies

Don’t worry, the ride isn’t as bad as the name makes it sound.  The climbs are fairly mellow with some technical spots mixed in, but there’s nothing that will get your heart racing unless you’re really hammering.  The combination of trails are a stacked-loop system that get progressively more difficult as you climb up the anticlines, with Suicidal Tendencies and sections of Sidewinder being the most difficult.

The crux of the ride is the “valley” of Suicidal Tendencies, which can be seen in the video that BKXC put out called “The Scariest Switchback”:

THE SCARIEST SWITCHBACK | Chasing Epic in St. George, Utah - YouTube

With a few tight switchbacks, some large boulders to maneuver around, and some steeper rock rollers, it’s definitely the toughest section on the ride.  But it’s also the most fun, and remember- POV video does a great job of making cliff edges seem closer than they are in real life!

Once you complete the Suicidal Tendencies loop, you’ll head back down and then turn north (left) onto Sidewinder, which is a well-built trail that offers shorter climbs and tough descents.  It’s one of our favorite loops in the area because the views are incredible, and the riding is super fast and fun!

Overall, you’ll get a 14-15 mile ride with about 2,000 feet of climbing, which is unusual in the St. George area since most of the riding is very flat with only quick ups and downs.  If you really hammer, you can finish the ride in under two hours- but we like to take our time, enjoy the scenery, and finish the ride over the course of a beautiful afternoon.  There are enough spots to “session” if you want as well, which only improves your technical skills!  Oh, and don’t forget- there’s a sweet 1.5 mile downhill back to the bottom of the fire road at the end… hopefully your friends don’t mind driving the car down!

The Zen Trail

Sitting about five miles south of the Santa Clara loops, the Zen Trail is a true masterpiece: if you want to up your high-speed technical riding skills, this is the trail for you.  The trail itself is only a 6-mile loop, but you can easily combine it with the Barrel Trail for a 13-14 mile ride that takes about 2.5 hours.

Beginning with a fairly stiff climb on the north side of the Zen anticline, the trail definitely makes you put in the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Expect a 30-35 minute climb to the top, with one small downhill mixed in to give you a sense of what you’re going to get from the top.

Once you top out on the Zen Trail, you’ll get a few miles of very technical riding that will see what you’re made of:  steep rollers, chunky terrain, fast chunder, and tight switchbacks that keep your speed in check.   All the while, you’ll be riding above St. George with views into Snow Canyon State Park and Zion Nat’l Park, so make sure you keep your eyes on the trail!

There are a few spots that are tough to ride the first time you see them- so take a few minutes to find the line and session if you want to!  Once you near the bottom, look for a small cairn on the side of the trail where you’ll take a hard left, and traverse across the bottom rocky section for another mile or so of fun rocky singletrack and slickrock.  The Zen Trail keeps you on your toes the whole time!

A LITTLE BIT OF ZEN | Chasing Epic in St. George, Utah - YouTube

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We get questions both before and after clients book their trips about what they can expect, and the questions span the gamut of everything you can imagine: ride difficulty, technical ability, trip logistics, food choices, and everything under the sun.  We’ve tried to spell it all out on our website, but if you haven’t done an all-inclusive trip like ours, then the whole process is new and you don’t know what to expect.

So we’re going to make it easy on you: below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on what to expect once you book your trip with Chasing Epic.  From the initial email to the days leading up to your trip, we’re covering it all.  We’ll handle the dirty work, you just ride your bike (a lot) in preparation for your trip.  Oh, and remember to relax and have fun, because that’s what it’s all about.

Receive Confirmation Email

Within 24 hours of your booking, you’ll receive a personalized confirmation email with a TON of information.  Don’t let it overwhelm you- there’s likely plenty of time before your trip actually happens, so you’ve got plenty of time to digest the information we’ve provided.  Here are a few important pieces that you should take care of sooner than later:

  • Fill out the rider questionnaire.  Unless you’re a repeat customer, we don’t know anything about you… and in order to make sure all of our trips are customized and perfect, we want to know all about you.  Riding style, ability, favorite trails, height, weight, etc.  There are about 10-12 questions for you, and it’ll take about two minutes to fill out; nice and simple.
  • Write up a short bio.  This is something one of our clients recommended, and we love it.  In just a few sentences, tell the other riders on the trip about yourself.  Where you’re from, what you do for a living, and why you love mountain biking: it helps with introductions, and it’s a nice ice-breaker on the first day of each trip.  We’ll send these out with our itinerary prior to each trip.
  • Pick your demo bike.  Yep, as you already know demo bikes are included with each one of our trips, and you get to pick what you want.  It’s totally up to you; some folks want to ride something similar to what they have at home, some people want to try something entirely different.  We’re happy to make recommendations that fit the destination and your riding style, don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Sign our online waiver.  It’s short, painless, and our lawyers will appreciate it.
Book Your Travel

This one’s on you… but we can help.  We get questions all the time about which airport to fly into, how early to get there, and when to schedule the flight home:

  • We tried to make it easy by listing the best airport options on each destination page.  For example, on the Moab page you’ll see that the Salt Lake City Airport is about 3.5-4 hours away (best option), Denver is a 5+ hour drive (option 2) and Grand Junction is about an hour and a half.  In this case, Grand Junction is listed as the third option because it’s a tiny airport, and flights are tough to find.
  • We recommend that you don’t try flying in the morning of the trip, for two reasons.  First, there’s a really good chance that you’re coming from a low elevation and the trip is happening above 4,000 feet.  Altitude sickness is a real thing, and we’ve seen it affect several riders on the first day.  Second, flights get delayed, weather happens, and you don’t want to cut it close.  If it’s possible, we recommend flying in the day/night before, renting a hotel room, and relaxing the morning before the trip starts.
  • If/when you fly in the day before, you’ll obviously need lodging.  Depending on the location, we may be able to book an extra night in the same accommodation for you.  However, sometimes that’s not possible: in those cases, we’ll recommend a preferred local hotel that’s cheaper, comfortable, and centrally located.
  • With regards to leaving:  this one’s entirely up to you.  We’ll finish on the last day around 2:00pm, which means you can possibly get a late flight out of a nearby airport.  That said, we see about 2/3 of our riders stay an extra night (either at the destination or somewhere on the way to the airport) so they can explore a bit, eat a good dinner, and take their time.  Plus, who wants to go back to work right away.

Check Your Email

We want to make sure you’re not short on information, so as the trip gets closer expect a lot of communication from Chasing Epic:

  • One month out: We’re just touching base to make sure everyone has their flights and is all set with everything you need for the trip.  If you’re bringing your bike, we’ll remind you to tune it and get it ready.  We like to include a little stoke-inducing content as well, but you’ll have to wait for that.
  • 10 days out: You’ll get the full itinerary with initial meetup time and location, planned rides, trip leader information, room assignments, and a whole lot more.  Of course the itinerary is subject to change based on weather, conditions, etc., but we try to stick to this plan as much as possible.
  • A few days prior: One last email from us with any necessary updates due to weather or schedule changes.  If you have any burning questions, now’s the time to reply (to us or to all) and ask away.

Ride Your Bike

We get asked ALL the time about how to train and get ready for our trips… and in simple terms, we say “ride your bike.”  That’s really it- ride your bike, and ride it a bunch.  Different people have access to different trails, and with different lifestyles we know that time can be limited.  The 1-2 months leading up to the trip are most important, when we’d recommend riding at least 2-3 times a week and pushing yourself a little more than usual.  But again, remember to have fun.

  • For trips like Moab and St. George, the important thing is to have a solid base of fitness and work on your technical skills.  We recommend focusing on shorter, more difficult rides but building in the occasional long (~3 hours) ride to make sure the fitness is there too.  Moab is most likely the most difficult place you’ve ever ridden, and it’s going to be challenging- but we know that, and we don’t expect our riders to come out and cruise through the tech like it’s their backyard.  We’ll help you build up to where you’re feeling confident on just about anything we can throw at you.  And if you don’t feel comfortable, there’s always a way around.  Here’s a good video from our friend BKXC showing a big ride in St. George:

THE SCARIEST SWITCHBACK | Chasing Epic in St. George, Utah - YouTube

  • Getting ready for a trip to Crested Butte or Angel Fire looks very, very different.  These two areas aren’t very technical, but they’re going to push your aerobic limits with big climbs and high altitude.  In order to get ready for these trips, we recommend longer rides and interval work.  Try to do at least one ride a week that’s easier pace-wise, but where you’re on the bike for at least 3-4 hours.  Then for another ride that week, do some interval work on a challenging climb where you push yourself for short bursts, but take a break in-between.  Remember, we know about the altitude and it’s a very real thing, so we’ll make sure your transition is smooth and (hopefully) trouble-free.  Here’s a good clip from The Singletrack Sampler from a day in Crested Butte last fall:

YET ANOTHER REASON TO WEAR FLATS OVER CLIPS! // Crested Butte Guided trip Ep. 2 - YouTube

So that’s about it…. if there’s anything we missed, then feel free to shoot us a note and we’ll do our best to answer any other questions!  We’ll see you on the trails!

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If you follow Chasing Epic or if you’ve been on one of our trips during the last two seasons, you know that photography is important to us.  We love taking action shots of our clients, both to capture the emotion of the moment and to give our riders a lasting memory that they can take home with them long after the trip is finished.  For the last two years, our go-to camera setup has been the Canon 80D and the 18-135mm IS lens.  In terms of full-size “enthusiast” DSLRs, this setup is near the top when it comes to performance, quality, auto-focus speed, and value.

After lugging the Canon 80D around on huge, epic rides of 25+ miles, I was determined to find a mirrorless solution that would reduce the size and weight of my camera setup. I went back and forth quite a bit, and even purchased a few different mirrorless systems (Sony A6000, Olympus E-M10ii, Fuji X-T20) that I ended up selling pretty quickly. All of the systems seem to have their flaws, and all have their selling points.

Enter the Canon M5, Canon’s latest addition to their somewhat-lacking mirrorless lineup.  That said, the M5 is a HUGE step up from their previous releases, the M and the M3.  The M5 with an attached lens is smaller than the 80D by itself.  But how does the performance and value align?

I’m a Canon guy, which is the #1 reason I ended up with the M5… familiarity. Being able to quickly switch settings, focus modes, aperture and ISO are super important to me, and I love the Canon menu system.  As I mentioned above, I’ve used the Sony and Fuji systems and I just couldn’t get used to operating their cameras.  The second reason I bought the M5 was price.  Looking across the competitive landscape, the camera bodies are all quite similar in price: the Canon M5, the Sony A6300, the Fuji X-T20.  However, the huge gap comes when you look at the cost of lenses: similar Sony lenses would have cost me twice as much as the two-lens setup I currently have.  I personally decided on the do-it-all Canon EF-M 18-150mm and the ultra-wide angle 11-22, a perfect combination to cover just about all of the “popular” focal lengths.

In the interest of full disclosure- I didn’t get paid anything to do this review, and I certainly didn’t get anything free from Canon.  I wish.  Canon has zero interest in sending me free stuff; they sponsor some of the best photographers in the world and as of yet, I don’t come close to qualifying.  I bought this setup with my own money, after doing my own research.

A few random thoughts on the camera, after using it fairly extensively for about a month:

– It’s tiny. The camera plus the lens (I have both the 18-150 and the 11-22) is smaller than the 80D by itself. I can’t even tell it’s in my backpack, to be 100% honest. That was the main goal when I switched over, since I’ll be using this for 4-5 days of riding in a row and 20+ mile rides regularly.

– The IQ is as good as the 80D, from what I can tell. Check out the pictures displayed here for some examples.

– The AF system isn’t as good as the 80D, but it’s a compromise and it’s damn close. AI Servo locks on pretty easily and focuses quickly- in my unprofessional opinion, I’d say it’s 80% as good as the 80D, which is one of the best systems out there in an APS-C body.  A large majority of the time I use the “spot focus” method (where I pre-focus on an area and let the rider come through it), which makes the AI Servo performance somewhat irrelevant.

– The lenses are light as shit, and are a fraction of the cost of competitors. As mentioned, I have the 18-150 and the 11-22. I paid about $600 (refurbished) total for both. The comparable Sony lenses would be double that, at least. Same with Fuji, if not more expensive.  Considering this is my second camera setup, I didn’t want to break the bank and I’m sure you don’t either.

– I absolutely love the touch-screen AF point selector. It’s as seamless as using a small joystick, if not better since it works with bike gloves. The customizable buttons are nice as well- I’ve got one each set up for AF mode and burst rate. And then there are two easy-to-use dials to control Aperture and ISO.

– 9 FPS (in One-Shot) and 7 FPS (in AI Servo) is a nice added touch, which is plenty fast to capture the action of a rider hauling ass towards me or across a scene.  Thank god for digital memory cards!

So what don’t I like about the Canon M5 and/or the lenses?

  • There’s a tiny little button under the lens mount that toggles the touch-screen AF on and off.  I’m not sure why it’s there, but occasionally when grabbing the camera I end up turning the function off.  It’s not a total pain in the ass, but I wish I could deactivate the button.
  • I really like the zoom range of the 18-150mm, but the IQ isn’t quite up to par with the 18-135mm STM lens I used to have.  It’s close, but I can see subtle differences.
  • Battery life is significantly shorter than my 80D.  This is a function of two things- first, the size of the battery is significantly smaller and it’s lighter (which are both good things, BTW).  Second, more of the mirrorless camera uses electronics- like the electronic view finder, for instance- which means the battery is used more consistently.  My rough estimate is that I get around 300 shots from a full charge, about 50-60% of the 80D.  It’s still plenty for a full day or two of shooting, but just be sure to bring an extra battery or your charger when you travel.

So is it the “ultimate” MTB camera?  For my purposes, it sure is.  It’s light, it performs well, the available lenses fit my needs, and it’s affordable.  For our trips and “everyday” shooting, I can’t see myself going back to a full-size DLSR… I’m hooked on mirrorless!

And finally, here are a few more shots taken with the Canon M5:

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New for Chasing Epic in 2018, we’ll be offering a trip in Crested Butte that’s only for women.  We’ve hosted dozens of women on our “regular” trips over the last two years, and we heard your feedback loud and clear…. you wanted your own trip, and we delivered!  From August 9-12th in Crested Butte, CO we are offering our first women-only Chasing Epic trip!

The first question you’re probably asking yourself (in hopes that we answer), is: How is it different than a regular Chasing Epic trip?  To be 100% honest, from the surface this trip isn’t going to seem much different.  You’ll still get four days of riding, you’ll still get everything that’s included with our regular Chasing Epic trips (lodging, meals, bikes, guides, ride nutrition, etc), and you’ll still be beat after four days in Crested Butte.  But we’re adding subtle touches throughout the course of the trip that will cater to the women-only aspect of the group, and it’s going to be a blast:

A Few Things to Point Out
  • First off, each and every ride will have a bit of instruction built in.  There won’t be specific instructional “sessions” before and after each ride- instead, our guides will stop along the ride itself and teach small skills when the opportunity presents itself.  A few examples might include climbing steep switchbacks, descending waterbars, and cornering through tight aspen trees.
  • All women, all the time; this trip will be completely void of any sign of men, anywhere.  Our two awesome guides, Sydney and Janae, will be leading you on rides, hosting you for dinner, and making sure you all have a kick-ass time.
  • After Day Three’s ride, we’ll have an hour-long restorative yoga session, to keep your body moving, recharge your muscles, and make sure you’re ready to knock out the last day of riding on Sunday.
What Can you Expect?

The ride itinerary itself will look strikingly familiar to one of our normal trips- so make sure you’re ready to put in the miles in Crested Butte.  Expect 12-15 miles on the first day (Thursday), along with full days on Friday and Saturday.  Then on the last day, Sunday, you’ll likely be riding another 12+ miles before the trip ends and you have to head back to the real world.  So just like our “regular” Crested Butte trips, we recommend that all of our riders are in great shape and are experienced mountain bikers.  Beginners or lower-level riders will unfortunately not enjoy themselves much on this trip!

Want a more intimate breakdown of a sample itinerary?  Check out our Crested Butte page for a rundown of all four days.

Our Guides for the Trip

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to our two guides for the first annual Women Only trip, Janae and Sydney.  If you’ve been on a Crested Butte trip with us in the past, then you’ve seen these two women rip!  Not only do they rip on a mountain bike, but they’re two of the most fun people we’ve ever ridden with, which promises to make for an incredible four days!

Janae Pritchett: Janae is an exuberant teacher and coach, hyper-motivated athlete and the most fun person you can imagine leading you into the mountains.  Achievement is her middle name:  professional athlete, mountain guide, fitness coach, mother of two, Yale University degrees in Geology and Environmental Studies, and mathematics curriculum developer.  In the summers, Janae raced professionally in Xterra triathlons, downhill, cross country, and enduro races, finishing on the podium in almost every race.  In the winters, Janae mixed it up, winning events such as the Grand Traverse and being one of the only athletes to ever place top five in U.S. freeride alpine, telemark, and snowboard events.  Now retired from racing, she shares her passion for the outdoors and adventure through her guide service and mountain biking school in Crested Butte.  Want to do more in the mountains?  Janae is your lady!

Sydney Dickinson: Come explore the mountains with one of Colorado’s most versatile, inspiring, talented, and fun female guides.  As Crested Butte locals describe her, Sydney Dickinson is a “legend in the making.”  After earning her BS in Health and Exercise Science, Sydney moved to Crested Butte with her husband, Rob.  Since then, she has proved to be a formidable athlete, taking every sport she does by storm:  whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, telemark skiing, and alpine skiing.  She holds national titles for U.S. Freesking events and Telemark Extreme Championships and too many mountain bike and skiing podium finishes to count.  A talented coach and guide, Sydney provides exceptional, personalized feedback while taking her clients on the unforgettable adventures of a lifetime.  Most of all, she is stoked to share her passion for mountain biking.

If that all sounds like a blast (and of course, it should)…. then grab a few of your friends and book soon!  We’re limiting this trip to the first 12 riders to sign up, and spaces are filling up fast!  See you in August!   BOOK NOW

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With every Chasing Epic trip, we integrate mountain bike photography- group shots at lookouts, action shots, vast landscapes.  It’s something we love, and it adds an extra element of adventure and excitement to the Chasing Epic experience.  Not only does it let us capture the emotion of the moment, but it’s rewarding to provide a lasting memory to so many of our clients from a bucket list trip.

If you’ve been on one of our trips, you know what the “enduro pose” is: weight back, elbows out, and make sure you LOOK like you’re going fast for the camera!  The following images contain a few of those shots (and most likely, those guys ARE going fast), as well as some epic weather conditions and a few surprises thrown in for good measure.  Enjoy, and we’ll see you in 2018!

Our first trip of 2017 was hosting a private group of absolute rippers in Moab, and on Day Three we hit The Whole Enhilada.  At that point of the year, we were able to ride from Kokopelli down (while including Jimmy Keen too, making it a 28 mile day) and we had the place to ourselves mid-week.  The group of 12- including guides- was never spread out more than a couple minutes at any point.  This was a shot of two group members ripping UPS – look closely, the rider in the back was sporting his cutoff American flag jean shorts!

Some of our rides get pretty intense- and the Zen Trail in St. George is one that brings out the best in everyone; it’s one of the most technical descents in the St. George area.  Back in late April we hosted the BKXC crew for four days of mesa riding and high-desert fun, and captured this shot of Brian himself with a look if extreme concentration as he maneuvered the BMC TrailFox down the steep stuff.  Definitely NOT a staged enduro pose here!

At Chasing Epic, we occasionally have teens come along with their parents on our trips… and most of the time, we find that it’s the kids who drag the parents along for the epic adventure!  Back in July, Russell joined us from New Hampshire and promptly showed the Crested Butte crew how to rip!   In mid-July the wildflowers were peak, and the trail coming down from Teocalli Ridge was absolutely perfect.

Summer in Crested Butte throws some pretty crazy weather at you, and this past July was no different.  On the third day of our trip, we planned out a HUGE ride for those looking to push themselves, and the weather made it that more epic.  After topping out on Star Pass at over 12,000 feet, we were chased by thunderstorms and hail over Block and Tackle, and down Cement Creek all the way back to the van.  What a ride!

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean we can’t stop for pictures!  At the bottom of the Block and Tackle trail is one of the best setups for summer and fall aspen shots we’ve seen- so it’s only natural to capture a few images.  Our guide, Ben, showed the rest of the crew the way down, and even though the trail looks sloppy, it managed to be just about perfect despite the rain.

Nope, those aren’t potato chips… those are golden aspen leaves falling on the trail in Crested Butte.  Fall trips to CB are our favorite, and we’ll gladly spend our entire September and October chasing the colors.  It’s truly magical.  Mike threaded the needle on the Gunsight Connector to show just how tight the spaces can get in-between the aspens.

In late September, we hosted The Singletrack Sampler (that’s Alexander in the back, following our guide Sydney) with a group of his fans for a 4-day trip in Crested Butte.  Thanks to some pretty crappy weather, we spent one of the days down in Gunnison on the Hartman Rocks trail network, which is always an amazingly fun change of pace and scenery from the high-alpine environment of Crested Butte.  We spent all day ripping the high-desert singletrack, chasing each other down and knocking out 20+ miles of killer riding.

Same trip (as above), different day… on our last day, we knocked out 15 miles of some of the most fun, beautiful trail you’ll ever imagine.  Connecting Lupine, Gunsight and the Lower Loops always makes for an amazing last (or first) day, and this trip was no different.  We started off riding through the fog- see below- and ended basking in the warm sun while riding through the streets of Crested Butte.

It’s pretty normal for fog to set up on fall mornings in Crested Butte, as town sits in a valley surrounded by 12,000 foot peaks.  Our last day was no different, but we knew it would make for an amazing ride.  That’s 12,000-foot tall Mt. Crested Butte looming in the background, as he rips down Upper Lupine heading into the aspens.

Little Creek Mesa in St. George is a virtual playground of rock features and rollers.  We hosted a private group in early November for four days of fun, and managed to find all the good stuff… as much as they could handle!  This is one of our favorite spots; a great run-out and a pretty sick view (from the top) of Zion National Park, just barely peaking through in the background.

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