Crowd Sourced Dirt Farming on Doctor’s Park
Words and Images by Chris Miller
(September 16, 2012) ALMONT, Colo. — On a bright and sunny morning a pack of riders gathered at the North Bank Campground at the base of the famous Doctor Park trail just north of Almont, Colo. to sign up for the Spin the Doctor Enduro. Keeping in line with the low-key free event, riders were issued paper-plate race numbers before loading their bikes into several shuttle trucks to be taken to the top of the trail. Spin the Doctor was one of the many non-permitted and free timed enduros that have popped up in riding communities across the mountain west. They have the feel of an urban Alley Cat race, but in the mountains.
Enduro races are generally quite a bit longer than a downhill race and courses generally favor All Mountain bikes over lightweight cross-country rigs. A local trail building crew called Flow Farm Dirt Productions hosted the free race. Active in the Gunnison Valley mountain bike community, Flow Farm built the new bike park behind Western State Colorado University’s campus, which features progressive jumps, berms, pumptracks and cross country trails. They have future initiatives to progress the riding and trails in the Gunnison valley.
While many locals showed up to test their skills on their backyard trail, Fred Maxwell from Salida took the victory ahead of local rider Colin Pickett by a little more than a second on the 17 minute course. The top four riders were within 5 seconds of each other on the mostly downhill course with a few stinger climbs thrown in for good measure. Allison Fushs, of Big Al’s Bike Shop in Crested Butte, was the only woman to show and finished with a strong time of 24:28. Afterwards, riders gathered at the trailhead for beers and BBQ, as they waited for Justin Varaljay of Flow Farm to return from the top with his laptop so results could be tabulated.
Afterward, Varaljay was excited about the future of the event. “As far as events go, we are definitely going to have Spin the Doctor next year---whether we go the totally free non-permitted route again is yet to be decided. I think we'll try to get it permitted so that we can grow it a bit. We'll always stick to the core of the event, concentrating on the kind of riding and racing we love, bringing people together in a laid back atmosphere, affordability, and yeah, fun! We'd also love to take the framework for Spin the Doctor to some of the other awesome trails in the valley, possibly running a multi-stage race.”
As bikes, riders, and trails progress, these types of events are sure to gain momentum in the future.
Spin the Doctor is presented by Flow Farm Dirt Productions. Full Results Here.