C-Team: The Colorado Trail (Film)

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Last year, a group of mountain bikers with limited bikepacking experience set out on the Colorado Trail, overcoming challenges far beyond what they ever imagined. Watch the full C-Team film by Kody Kohlman here, alongside photos by Evan Green and an interview with the crew…

Self-titled The C-Team, a group of friends set out to ride the Colorado Trail in celebration of Fat Tire beer’s 30th anniversary. The C-Team rode through Fat Tire’s home state, from Denver to Durango, with very little bikepacking experience amongst them. Watch the entire 13-minute film by Kody Kohlman (@kokody) below, followed by a great selection of photos from Evan Green (@thegreenevan) and a short Q&A with most of the group.

  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail

Forrest Shearer (@forrestshearer)

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

Zero to none. Prior to the trip I was doing a lot of road biking. I rode from Salt Lake to Vegas once, (Saints to Sinners). But as a professional snowboarder, cross training happens in the off-season and that’s prime time for new experiences (meaning plenty of sandbag opportunities). I’m a sucker for throwing myself into something regardless of prep time. Be it a 50k trail run in the Sierras straight after Burning Man or taking a stab at the Colorado Trail with no prior experience.

I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to solidify new friendships—shared passion for backcountry cycling and beer. When Fat Tire put this trip together, I immediately said yes. It made perfect sense at the time and knowing that a Fat Tire 30th anniversary project was in the works made total sense. Ya, you can’t reinvent the wheel. But you can recapture the spark within. The kind of ideas like the origin of Fat Tire Beer. These types of experiences nurture the spark to better the planet through meaningful conversations and actionable change. Yes, and insane singletrack trails and beer.

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

The idea that the CT exists! It’s been around for 30 years and I’m just finding out about it now. This gives me hope that whether you’re looking into your first bikepacking overnight missions in your back yard or traveling to the end of the earth, you can still find it; adventures are to be had.

What was your favorite section of the route?

The San Juans. Really enjoyed riding across the San Juan plateaus and the high points of the CT. But my favorite day that stood out was when our C-Team encountered a married couple in their 60s doing volunteer trail maintenance for The Colorado Trail Foundation. Trading stories for 10 minutes and hearing how they hadn’t ridden the trail in over 10 years yet they’ve came back every year since to help volunteer to dig and maintain the CT so peeps like us can experience it.

c-team Colorado trail

JOSH UHL

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

I have spent quite a bit of time bikepacking in the past few years. When I first started bikepacking back in 2017 it was the Colorado trail that taught me a lot of valuable lessons.

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

The difficulty of that trail is always a surprise. Having ridden the CT a couple times prior I thought I had the trail pretty well sorted in my mind. I was wrong, within the first couple days I was surprised at just how hard some of the segments have become.

What was your favorite section of the route?

On this trip we rode Searle and Kokomo pass in the dark. We had the funnest most rowdy decent off Kokomo pass. I remember chasing after Kody, who led the charge, with just a headlamp. We were all in a line ridding so well and so fast, hitting every little side bump and whip we could find, hollerin’ the whole way down. We were all giddy at the bottom.

  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail

EVAN GREEN (@thegreenevan)

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

Zero days.

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

The amount of saddle sores.

What was your favorite section of the route?

Segment 23, Cataract Ridge, was my favorite.

c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail

TIM EDDY (@timshreddy)

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

About five years ago my wife and I bikepacked across the country on her parent’s tandem bike to return it back to them. Washington to New Hampshire. We just winged it… packed our skateboards and camp gear. It was was basically a skatepark tour across the county via bicycle. It ruled! Then a couple of weeks before the CT my wife and I did the Tahoe Twirl from our house in Reno. That worked out the kinks with gear on a squishy bike and was one helluva time… Got me juiced for the CT!

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

How much fun the mountain biking actually was. Some insanity downhills!

What was your favorite section of the route?

Between Lake City and Silverton was my favorite section to look at…the last section down into Durango was my favorite to ride. So fun I got to shuttle it again the next day with MVP Taylor Boyd!

  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail
  • c-team Colorado trail

PETER HOGAN (@sheterdogan)

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

Very little! A couple one or two night long trips, but all of that experience happened in the months leading up to the trip.

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

I think the amount of walking. I expected it to be a lot more biking. I am a pretty experienced rider, and a good bit of the climbing was straight up—not possible on a loaded bike.

What was your favorite section of the route?

Favorite section was the descent into Breck. We had been in the rain and mostly wet and uncomfortable for the entire trip, and we had some hero dirt at sunset just before getting into town to have some burgers. Everyone was hooting and we ate so much food. The real reason we were all there was reinforced that night; we liked biking, food, and homies. Nothing else mattered but those three things that night. Every day was better than the one before and it really never felt hard, because it isn’t hard. Real life is hard, work and chores and upkeep of an image is hard. Biking is really really easy.

c-team Colorado Trail

KODY KOHLMAN (@kokody)

How much bikepacking experience did you have before the trip?

I had done only done a handful of trips on my bike leading up to the CT. Everything previously was one to three nights out and more gravel oriented with some single track sprinkled in, whereas the CT is very much not that.

What surprised you most about the Colorado Trail?

The biggest shock to me was just how these segments linked together. Living in Colorado, I visit a lot of these towns frequently. It’s an entirely different experience though being on a mountain bike and taking primarily single track from say Breckenridge to Leadville over the course of a day. Riding from Lake City into Silverton, I was just perplexed as to how we even got there from Lake City. It’s pretty shocking how this one-foot-wide trail links so much of the state together. Also, the quality of the riding was unreal. Obviously there’s a ton of hiking and pushing your bike, but a lot of the riding is really top notch mountain biking.

What was your favorite section of the route?

The landscape and terrain from Lake City to Silverton is absolutely bonkers. You’re above treeline pretty much the entirety of that day, which is a surreal experience with a mountain bike. Riding wise, Segment 26 was all time. The descent off Blackhawk Mountain is really fast, has a bunch of fun little jumps and flows super well. I think being that close to the finish too, everyone was just psyched realizing we were actually gonna be able to finish it. Really though, the way to trail connects and flows together can’t be overstated. The whole thing is phenomenal and if you’re even considering riding it, I can’t recommend it enough.

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