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Racing the Colorado Trail, behind the scenes with truly epic adventure bikepacking

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Every year tons on mountain bikers take on segments of the Colorado Trail. We even featured a rider photo from the trail, just last week. But while most ride shorter sections of the whole, a small group of slightly loony hardcore mountain bikers take up the challenge of heading out on a self-supported adventure race along its entire length, from just outside of Denver all the way to Durango. The video above is just a quick teaser of a documentary that cyclist, photographer, and filmmaker Aaron Johnson put together.

Back in 2013 he rode the race and shot some great POV footage of the amazing scenery along the way, but then he wanted to tell the story behind this type of racing. So he came back, got behind the scenes, and put together a compelling look at off-road adventure racing. Check out the full half hour film and tons of great scenery after the jump…

The rules are pretty basic: No outside support. Stick to the Colorado Trail the entire way. And then be the first one into Durango for the finish. It’s essentially 550 miles of self-supported, ultra-endurance bikepacking on a mostly singletrack with over 70,000 feet of climbing (and a decent amount of hike-a-bike for many racers.) Sounds like a good way to spend a 4 or 5 day weekend(or more), right?

Johnson cuts together POV footage from himself and other riders, plus updates the racers recorded along the way explaining about their motivations, then post race interviews for a deep look at what racing the backcountry Colorado Trail really takes. Plus all that solitude and scenery.

While not so much telling a story as just showcasing the scenery, this was the footage Johnson shot racing back in 2013. It inspired him to come back and go deeper.

If you want to give it a try, check out ClimbingDreams.net/CTR for race info. Or just send some love & support to the Colorado Trail Foundation that keeps the entire trail rideable.


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Jon G.
Jon G.
6 years ago

ew, widening of the trail but stepping right on the tundra 🙁

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