Posted by Miles Arbour
The 2019 Gunny Loopy Loop! Oh man what a ride! Here’s the details for those curious: The Shortie version is 192 miles with 28,000 feet of vertical. The Biggie is 312 miles with 45,000 feet. Both Loops started in Gunnison, Colorado at 4AM on Saturday the 31st of August, and both loops came right back to sweet little Gunny.
The Loops share the first 75 miles to the town of Crested Butte, the first resupply. From there the loops diverge. The Biggie goes further north to 401 and the town of Gothic, and the Shortie cuts straight out of town back to the Upper Upper. There they rejoin to traverse away from Crested Butte on Brush Creek, to Cement Creek, then Spring Creek over to Taylor Park and the second resupply at the Taylor Trading Post. The Loops leave Taylor together then split again, with the Biggie heading east towards the Continental Divide, and the Shortie going south. The Biggie does a bunch of amazing alpine riding before coming back to join the Shortie for the last 30 miles of Fossil Ridge to Signal Mesa and then to Gunnison.
The Loopy Loops are not for the faint of heart. These routes take the rough and rowdy whenever possible. There is some pavement sprinkled in, and a little bit of mellow gravel road to get you between the amazing, ass-kicking trail riding. Honestly, these might be harder mile for mile than any other route I’ve ridden. That’s right, maybe harder than the Arizona Trail 300 and the Colorado Trail. I’m not boasting or bragging, but this is a legitimate enduro style of bikepacking, loaded with singletrack , trail riding. The routes were designed to access the trails that I love and they are littered with rocks, climbs, roots, stream crossings, and more climbs.
This year I rode the Biggie Loop. It was amazing. Maybe I was feeling good, although that’s not likely… I have a 5-month-old and sleep is a forgotten luxury. Either way, I had a lot of fun going from one crazy awesome trail to another, with just a bit of recovery, or maybe just another monster climb in between. Great resupply options kept me fueled, lots of surface water kept me hydrated, and the wonder of what lay ahead kept me moving. It was the trails that made it so good. If you haven’t ridden around these parts, it really is special. This past weekend I was reminded how lucky I am to have so much trail at my disposal for riding and adventuring. I am proud of the experience these Loops can offer, and hope more folks can make it out next year to join in the fun!
For 2019, the Gunny Loopy Loop saw four finishers of the Shortie Loop. Tom Runcie at 2 days, 4 hours, 57 minutes. Todd Schweitzer at 2 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes. Kristen and Joe Tonsager at 2 days, 13 hours, 24 minutes. Jefe Branham and Justin Dubois were the only two to finish the Biggie Loop at 2 days, 20 hours, 30 minutes and 3 days, 12 hours, respectively. Watch for the 2020 event announcement in our calendar.