Mountain Mayhem: 18 Hours of Fruita |

Mountain Mayhem: 18 Hours of Fruita

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem

Approximately 130 miles west of Aspen, Fruita is a mountain bike mecca. The first weekend in May, it extends its embrace to the mountain bike community, playing host to the Fruita Fat Tire Festival and the 18 Hours of Fruita mountain bike race.

Starting at midnight, the endurance race takes place on a 7-mile single-track course that circumnavigates Highline Lake, threading through Highline State Park, making for a fast, non-technical ride till 6 p.m.

Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley represented once again this year with male and female riders registered in many a category, which ranged from solo to six-person groupings. At least one set of local competitors clinched first place with Nathan Nelson, Rachel Beck, Cory McLernon and Jared Ettlinger swiftly winning for four-person co-ed.

“It’s all about the team,” Ettlinger said of the secret to success.

Mixed in with the blood, sweat and tears each year is a healthy dose of good humor as noted in the creativity of the team names. Some of the standouts included the Fabulous Fossils, Mega-Sore-Ass, Pasture Bedtime, Going in Circles and Wishing We Had Six.

Check results at and be sure to save the date for next year.

To reach May with invites and insights, email

Aspen Times Weekly

This week in Aspen history

“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.

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