Crested Butte may get all the hype, but Hartman Rocks has just as high quality of riding. Hartmans is truly one of the great mountain biking venues in the West, on par with the Butte, Gooseberry, Moab, and Sedona. The crowd in Gunny has dedicated itself to improving and expanding trails there for the past three decades and coming up is the once-a-year chance to not only get the goods, but help keep the trail-building momentum going.

The weekend of Friday, May 24, the Growler gets going with packet pick-up 3-9 p.m. and the Great Growler Food Drive. Saturday morning, kids race and the Half-Growler goes off at 9 a.m. Mass start, 350 riders. Register now; this thing sells out!

The full Growler covers 64 miles and 6420 feet in elevation gain–ouch. Yes, do NOT dive into the Growler if you’re unfit or relatively new to mountain biking! Zero shame in opting for the Half Growler (32 miles, 3210 feet) the day prior.

Every penny from the Growler goes towards trail maintenance and development in and around Gunnison. The Growler is the primary fundraiser for Gunnison Trails, a Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to maintaining and expanding the singletrack experience in the Gunnison area, so feel good about throwing down cash for the event. There are middle- and high-school races, Collegiate and Clydesdale divisions, and an epic after-party.

You should do this race. Me? I’m trying to remember how to rock climb, folks! I’ve ridden my bike once this year! Maybe 2020. Let me know how the party is, though…