If you’re an experienced mountain bike rider looking for a challenge this Memorial Day weekend, you might want to consider riding in Gunnison’s notorious Growler Bike Race, a 64-mile ride that is often considered one of the most difficult in the industry. You’re even asked to check a box stating you’re an experienced rider upon registration!
What makes the Growler so difficult? As opposed to the Leadville 100, which is predominately fire road and double track, the Growler offers loads of classic and challenging singletrack and a climb of 4,000 feet for each loop—broken up, of course. There is almost never ending pedaling during this isolated, backcountry race as you wind your way around the ever-undulating Hartman Rocks trail system, just a few miles from downtown Gunnison. If this sounds a little too intimidating, know that these techy runs are broken by fast, flowy trails.
In classic Colorado style, the race ends back downtown where a party with food, drinks, and awards awaits and where bikers can celebrate their accomplishments.
photo credit/ Dan Stevens
Half Growler – Saturday May 28th – 9am
A popular single lap option that runs 32-miles.
The Original (Full) Growler – Sunday May 29th – 7am
This is the race the started it all, the big kahuna! Two laps plus Sunday’s half featuring most of the trails at legendary Hartman Rocks.
Sunday Half – Sunday May 29th – 7am
Sunday’s Half is one lap within the Full Growler. It’s perfect for those who might not have gotten a spot in Saturday’s Half Growler, or for those who want to accompany a Full Growler racer, but don’t want to commit to the full 64 miles.
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Lindsay Diamond is a novelist and freelance writer living in the mountains of central Colorado. Visit writerlindsaydiamond.wordpress.com to learn more.