Kevin Godar was a software salesman living in St. Louis in 2003 when he realized that you only get one shot at this thing called life so he quit his job, moved to Colorado and began to build the footing for an adventure mountain biking company. It took two and a half years to find the right spot for a base camp and to accumulate the experience needed to start Colorado Backcountry Biker. The first bikers hit the trail in June of 2006 and the adventures have continued ever since. In 2013, Kevin decided that a bike shop would be the perfect supplement to the already growing adventure biking company and CBB the bike shop opened its doors in downtown Fruita.
How do the hut tours you offer at Colorado Backcountry Biker give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?
Our trips are self-guided adventures into the Uncompahgre National Forest so we hope our bikers get a feeling similar to the original settlers, cowboys and Native Americans as they set out into the wilderness. Not really knowing what waits beyond the next bend but fully aware that they are responsible for dealing with whatever it might be. Since the Uncompahgre is an open range for cattle herds our bikers often meet working cowboys and cowgirls on horse back doing there daily chores.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
They have stayed pretty consistent other than offering some alternative routes for those looking for easier trails and those looking for harder ones.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Our trip concludes at Gateway Canyons, a five star resort with a rack rate of $600 per room. Our deluxe trips include a night at the resort and it is a great opportunity to cap off an adventure in style.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
Families taking adventure biking trips.
What sets Colorado Backcountry Biker apart from other, similar, organizations?
We move our guest’s bags from hut to hut so they don’t have to lug the extra gear on their bikes. This allows them to enjoy the riding as much as the scenery. We also provide fresh food and cold beverages in each hut unlike other hut to hut mountain biking outfitters who only have canned food and warm beer.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Read up on the area before you arrive. Take your time on the trails so you don’t miss anything. You can always ride fast somewhere else. Soak this trip in.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
We started a bike shop and used it as the hub for our adventure biking business. It allows us to talk to more potential customers and provide vital services (rental bikes, gear, repairs etc.) to our existing trip customers.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Hard working risk taker.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
Our trips are not easy and they are not for everyone. About four years ago I had a group of four arrive to start the trip. They were life long friends from upstate New York who had followed careers to other places but always planned an annual trip. They chose Colorado Backcountry Biker this particular year. However, one of the middle aged men was very BIG. About 6’7” and 360 pounds. He brought a custom made fully rigid bike. I gulped when I thought of him on the trails and was worried that he could survive the trip. The group was much more confident than I and we set them on their way. The bikers are on there own after we drop them off or at least until the next day when we show up at the hut to move their bags. When I arrived at the hut the group was still there and big fella was dressed in jeans. Not bike gear. He told me he had a great time on day one but it about killed him and wondered if I could bring him to the next hut. No wanting to have an unhappy or dead customer I agreed. He walked into the hut to grab his gear and I noticed one of his friends followed him in. The next thing I saw was him coming out dressed to ride! His friend convinced him that he could do it. The same scenario played out for the next three days as the big fella made his way through the woods towards the finish line. He said it was the hardest thing he ever did but he was so proud of himself you could see it. I received an email from him about a year later telling me that the experience had changed his life and he had lost 60 pounds and was going to get in even better shape. There are lots of funny details I left out but it was a heck of a trip!
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