Colorado Backcountry Biker expands in Fruita |

Colorado Backcountry Biker expands in Fruita

Caitlin Row
Grand Junction Free Press
Solomon Garcia rides Rustler’s Loop in Fruita.
Vanessa Ford |

Hut trips aren’t just for Colorado’s skiers and snowboarders these days. Mountain bikers can experience the backcountry, too, with help from Fruita’s Colorado Backcountry Biker.

“We use the singletrack trails near and around the Divide Forks Campground on the north end of the Uncompahgre Plateau,” said Tony Uriguen, the shop’s general manager. “These are not heavily used trails, and that’s the way we like it.”


Mountain-bike trips may run either three or four nights, and as many as eight people can participate. Huts are hosted on private land, and if groups go out for four nights, they spend their last evening at Gateway Canyons Resort.

Colorado Backcountry Biker either rents equipment or riders provide their own. GPS coordinates and maps with written directions are additionally given to groups before they set out.

Colorado Backcountry Biker’s staff acts as support; they don’t actually guide mountain bikers. Rather, they transport all necessary food and gear between huts and transport cyclists to the start and from the end of the trip.

“We’re growing trips, and more people are coming out for the experience,” Uriguen said.

To learn more, interested riders can stop in at Colorado Backcountry Biker, which is located at 150 South Park Square in Fruita’s historic Park Hotel.


Colorado Backcountry Biker also operates as a standalone bike shop, where anyone can come for rentals, tune-ups, gear and mountain-bike accessories. Women-specific tunes and gear are available, along with Devinci Cycles out of Canada.

“We have a larger women’s contingent hanging out at the shop,” Uriguen said. “We also have two new employees — Keith Benedetto, a master mechanic, and Vanessa Ford. Both have spent their lives in the cycling community.”

According to Ford, helping people who are new to the sport of mountain biking makes her job fulfilling.

“I love to see their excitement when they are gearing up for that first ride and then to see the gleam of enlightenment and accomplishment in their eyes afterward,” she said. “That’s my favorite.”

Visit for trip information and pricing or call 970-858-3917.

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