Ear to the ground

“Colorado? Why would anyone go there to ride? There’s no singletrack in Colorado.”

– A Wisconsin mountain biker who clearly needs to go back and do her homework

A visit from the Tribe

Hundreds of Yetis are riding into the region this weekend. Yeti Cycles has chosen Durango – the bicycle company’s birthplace – to host the ninth annual Yeti Tribe Gathering. The Aug. 13-15 event will mark Yeti’s 25th anniversary, and Yeti luminaries from both past and present will be in attendance.

The Tribe Gathering has become an annual pilgrimage for the Yeti faithful. “The Tribe is a bunch of Yeti freaks crazy about our brand and crazy about our bikes,” explained Chris Conroy, manager of Yeti. “The weekends revolve around epic riding, great food and plenty of beer.”

Yeti Cycles was founded by John Parker in Durango in 1985. Named after a defunct sleeping bag company (and former Parker employer), Yeti rapidly gained a reputation for progressive designs and strong team racers. Riders who have donned the turquoise jersey – John Tomac, Juli Furtado, Myles Rockwell, Missy Giove, Marla Streb and Jimmy Deaton among others – reads like a virtual who’s who of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Though Parker sold Yeti in 1995 and the company now calls Golden home, the brand never fully severed its Durango roots. Yeti’s birthplace was a perfect place to mark the company’s 25th anniversary, according to Conroy.

Two-hundred and fifty fanatics will roll into Durango this weekend to take in epic rides, cold beer and “planned stupidity.” Rumor has it that the Tribe will be camped somewhere in the vicinity of Horse Gulch this weekend. Though crashers are not welcome, anyone secretly hoping for a Yeti sighting can surely find it on Durango’s high-alpine singletrack.

Resurrecting the Worlds

On the subject of bikes and anniversaries, Purgatory and DEVO are celebrating two decades of mountain biking this Saturday. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the inaugural World Mountain Bike Championships, a cross-country race takes off Sat., Aug. 14, at Purg on the original 1990 Worlds XC course.

The race is the third and final in the new DEVO Durango Coca-Cola Triple Crown series and is open to beginner, sport, and pro/expert ability categories and junior, senior and master age categories. Registration is just $30, includes a free lunch and can be completed online at www.active.com.  Proceeds will benefit Durango DEVO, Trails 2000, Durango Wheel Club, Fort Lewis Cycling and Bicycle Lemonade.