Sponsor of 2014

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame is very thankful for the continued support of Mountain Bike history provided by Kona!

MBHOF Hours

Winter: 12:00PM - 6:00PM
Summer: 10:00AM - 8:00PM
  * Closed Apr, May, Oct and Nov

Museum admission: $4.00

For more info, call the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum at (970) 349-1880.

Pearl Pass Tour Info

September 13th and 14th 2014!

Plan to COME ! Oldest MTB Event in the World !

The 38th Annual Pearl Pass Tour to Aspen will be on the weekend of September 13th and 14th, 2014. If you would like to join the 38th Annual Tour please plan to be in Crested Butte on the morning of the 13th. We meet at the CB Mountain Heritage Museum at 8:30 am and the Tour leaves at 9:00 am sharp. The tour is free of charge. We do provide a gear shuttle to Aspen and back to Crested Butte for $10.00. You are on your own for lodging in Aspen. Check out www.hotels.com . We ride to Aspen in one day over Pearl Pass, which is an expert ride. It is a 38 mile ride. Needless to say, make sure you are in top shape if you plan to ride this tour. Some folks arrange to have friends or loved ones pick them up in Aspen. There is limited room in the gear van for some folks to get a ride back on Sunday. That cost is $20.00 per person. Space will be limited reserve a spot! Email us for more info or to reserve a spot on the return shuttle, mbikehof@crestedbutte.net. Weather permitting, this tour will be cancelled if there is too much snow or rain!

The oldest mountain bike event in the world is repeated year after year on a September weekend. The first tour happened in 1976 when a group of Crested Butte rowdies pedaled and pushed their one-speed klunkers over the 12,705 ft. pass and on into Aspen. They didn't know what they were creating.

Lodging for Pearl Pass!

Crested Butte lodging & information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 800-545-4505. Aspen info www.hotels.com

The line-up!

30th Annual Pearl Pass Tour

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame hosted the 30th Annual Pearl Pass Tour to Aspen on September 16th & 17th 2006. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and the trek over the 12,700 foot Pearl Pass had to be aborted. We came up with some fun alternate plans. Check out the photos here.

The 25th Annual Pearl Pass Tour: Riding Into Mountain Bike History

By Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D. ( now deceased )

"It's not about the ride, it's about the history," states Don Cook, Mountain Bike Hall of Director and co-organizer of the Pearl Pass Tour, as we all gather in Aspen after our seven hour epic mountain ride. I had just completed the classic and historic 39-mile Pearl Pass off-road ride from Crested Butte to Aspen over Pearl Pass at 12,705 feet. And this year marked the 25th anniversary of the Pearl Pass ride. The longest running organized mountain bike ride in the world.

History has it that in 1872 miners from Crested Butte put in a make shift road from Crested Butte over Pearl Pass to the mining town of
Ashcroft, and eventually down to Aspen. No one ever thought of riding a heavy clunker bicycle along this very rocky and high altitude route for any reason. Not until the summer of 1976, that is, when a band of boisterous motorcyclists from Aspen topped Pearl Pass and then descended upon Crested Butte. Trailing a cloud of dust, the bunch parked their bikes in front of the Grubstake Bar and proceeded to raise a whole lot of commotion about their seemingly unsurpassable accomplishment.

This was a cultural invasion from a town many of the locals thought of as full of Hollywood glitter. So some local men and women got on their "town bikes" the classic Schwinn Excelsior, with Longhorn-style handlebars and of course the trademark "ballooner" tires and the next weekend headed up to Pearl Pass with the idea of riding their town bikes down into Aspen.

About 14 locals began riding, pushing, dragging, and hauling their bikes toward Pearl Pass. The two-day event was highlighted by a raucous campout in Cumberland Basin and, according to participant Bob Starr quoted in the Crested Butte Pilot, "everyone got drunk and passed out on the pass." The next day with bike brakes smoking and adrenaline pumping, the group careened down from the pass and piled their clunkers in a pile outside Aspen's Hotel Jerome and had a party. The epic tour was complete and they had claimed bragging rights.

Word spread quickly over the years and some of the biggest names in mountain bike history began to make pilgrimage to Crested Butte to partake in the now yearly event, held each September to honor those who went before them. The early pioneers of the sport like Joe Breeze, Charles Kelly and Gary Fisher came to test their new inventions on the Pearl Pass tour and enjoy the epic ride and of course the accompanying party.

Nowadays it is a self-supported tour completed in one day. Riders can throw a bag of clothes and gear for Aspen into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame van, which will be there when participants arrive that afternoon in Aspen. There is no charge to go on the tour, but you pay the price hiking in the scree and get a feel for what many mountain bike legends call one of the toughest one-day off-road rides. Cook pointed out that the cost of entry, "was nothing but attitude."

The thought of taking part in a little bit of history lead myself and riding partner Ron Wisner to line up with the other "locals" and begin the Silver Anniversary Pearl Pass tour. While some tours have taken part in snowstorms, the weather this weekend was best in memory. Not a cloud in sight and a clear bright blue Rocky Mountain sky.

Tour co-organizer, Kay Peterson led about 20 of us out of town through lush mountain meadows and high mountain forests on what would be a true celebration of fall. This was truly aerobic watching of the changing of the colors of the Aspen trees. For the next several hours and 20 miles we would experience everything from single-track riding, to blistering hike-a-bikes, to seven icy stream crossings on the 4,000-foot climb to 12,705-foot Pearl Pass.
At the Pass crossing we all gathered to have lunch and then the stories began to be told about tours gone past. Of how on the first ride Richard Ullery who was hampered by a broken leg and not wanting to miss out on the revenge ride, made history by being the first person to summit Pearl Pass in a padded bathtub mounted in the back of a pickup truck. Of how on several rides kegs of beer where brought along to ensure dehydration was not a factor in the riders ability to make it to Aspen. What a difference a few years makes. Since, I was riding my 27-speed Moots titanium mountain bike all I had was my CamelBak full of water and several sports bars and carbohydrate gels along for the ride.

This was followed by a fast 5,000-foot and often harrowing 19-mile descent down old mining roads that would often lead to sections being ridden over tightly packed rocks the size of bowling balls. At one point I thought that some sadistic miner had taken truckloads of them and dumped them on the road, just to make the tour a little more challenging.

I would later tell Ron, that I now know what a can of paint goes through at the hardware store as it is mixed for a specific color. For during the last three miles of the steep descent above the historic mining town of Ashcroft, I felt like my handlebars had been connected to one of these high speed, super vibrating mixers as we rode through the thousands of rocks spread across the road.

The highlight of the ride came for me as we were about to enter Ashcroft. We were passing through a narrow passage on a jeep road surrounded with hundreds of tall, golden and majestic Aspen trees. The road had it share of potholes, occasionally full of water from the overflow from the stream that ran close to the road. The smell of the changing leaves was in the air, and I felt like a little kid again riding my bike through the puddles of water on the dirt road. However this time it was not only puddles of water that I was riding through, I was also splashing though the shallow pools of late afternoon sunlight blazing through the trees onto the road.

Finally, into Aspen and everyone regathered at the Jerome Hotel bar to drink the ceremonial beer, signifying a successful completion of another Pearl Pass Tour. There was also a faint sound in the air as if we where hearing the boasting of those who had gather a quarter of a century earlier to claim true bragging rights of who ruled the mountains surrounding Pearl.

Plan to COME !

The 36th Annual Pearl Pass Tour to Aspen will be on the weekend of September 8th and 9th, 2012. If you would like to join the 36th Annual Tour please plan to be in Crested Butte on the morning of the 8th. We meet at the CB Mountain Heritage Museum at 8:30 am and the Tour leaves at 9:00 am sharp. The tour is free of charge. We do provide a gear shuttle to Aspen and back to Crested Butte for $10.00. You are on your own for lodging in Aspen. Check out www.hotels.com or call the Mountain Chalet at 888-925-7797.

We ride to Aspen in one day over Pearl Pass, which is an expert 38 mile ride. Needless to say, make sure you are in top shape if you plan to ride this tour. Some folks arrange to have friends or loved ones pick them up in Aspen. There is limited room in the gear van for some folks to get a ride back on Sunday. That cost is $20.00 per person. Space will be limited reserve a spot! Email us for more info or to reserve a spot on the return shuttle, mbikehof@crestedbutte.net. Weather permitting, this tour will be cancelled if there is too much snow or rain!

37th Annual Pearl Pass Tour --September 7th and 8th, 2013

Plan to COME ! Oldest MTB Event in the World !

The 36th Annual Pearl Pass Tour to Aspen will be on the weekend of September 7th and 8th, 2013. If you would like to join the 37th Annual Tour please plan to be in Crested Butte on the morning of the 7th. We meet at the CB Mountain Heritage Museum at 8:30 am and the Tour leaves at 9:00 am sharp. The tour is free of charge. We do provide a gear shuttle to Aspen and back to Crested Butte for $10.00. You are on your own for lodging in Aspen. Check out www.hotels.com . We ride to Aspen in one day over Pearl Pass, which is an expert ride. It is a 38 mile ride. Needless to say, make sure you are in top shape if you plan to ride this tour. Some folks arrange to have friends or loved ones pick them up in Aspen. There is limited room in the gear van for some folks to get a ride back on Sunday. That cost is $20.00 per person. Space will be limited reserve a spot! Email us for more info or to reserve a spot on the return shuttle, mbikehof@crestedbutte.net. Weather permitting, this tour will be cancelled if there is too much snow or rain!