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Explore with Dave Wiens & Gunnison Trails

My mom tells me a story of when I was three and I rode 5 blocks to a park on my own. She and my dad had no idea where I went. I was on my tricycle.

Dave Wiens and his PanasonicDave Wiens grew up in Southeast Denver and he says he fell in love with bikes on his trike. Bikes provided him a way to explore, a way to gain freedom. And to this day, the mountain bike hall of famer continues to explore his backyard in Gunnison, CO through the work he does with Gunnison Trails.

Dave remembers the day his dad took off his training wheels (funny how most kids won’t even know what these are like anymore with the ‘strider’ style bike) and from that day forward, he was free to explore.

Whether he is training, coaching, racing (with a few huge wins under his belt), or grabbing milk in town, he is “covering ground and being outside”–which he most enjoys.

“The more we can keep people out of their cars, the better off we are.”

As he is raising kids into their own pursuits, he is beginning to realize he may have more miles behind him than in front of him. This is partly motivating his works within Gunnison Trails–a local trail advocate and trail building organization which he founded in 2006.

His vision for Gunnison Trails is to “build assets for health, body and mind.” As we discussed the future of Gunnison Trails, and for our kids (we share parenthood) in his Gunnison backyard, the realization that people need to connect with the land and remain active was very clear. Our kids may not know what training wheels are and they certainly won’t know what an iPod ‘was’ nonetheless the auto reverse Discman–unless they Google it. Technology is racing faster than any bike and the connectivity, along with distractions, can create unhealthy behavior. Will the statement from Einstein come true?

“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

Not with guys like Dave pushing the envelope and creating assets for communities to grow and maintain health.

I asked Dave what Gunnison Trails was doing that we could not learn on his website (please visit, this site is awesome and its a must on the cyber tour). He went right into his excitement for putting trails on the ground. His organization has built capacity for getting trails ‘shovel ready’ this year. And while Gunnison lags behind Moab, Grand Junction, Salida, and others, in building new trails, Dave feels it is prime time for some new ribbons to be laid around Gunnison.

He spoke of pending developments in the Signal Peak area–which includes a visionary trail connecting Gunnison and Crested Butte. There is also a dream of building access on the North West corner of town spanning the Gunnison River and into a huge arena of BLM wild lands. Of course, Hartman’s anchors the area in the South and new trails are being planned for this playground. Dave mentioned that even if the Sage Grouse is classified as an endangered species (still pending and another story in itself) there will be trails built. “Managed recreation is best. Recreation will happen either way, a fence won’t stop it.” There is a lot he has to be excited about when working with our local land agencies and much of today’s successes are because of his, and many other volunteers, time and energy.

Dave's Race TownieOne important thing to note with Dave’s vision is that trailheads must be accessible from town. He really does want to keep people out of cars and if the trailhead is just eight blocks away, he has done his job. The ability for a town to have trails out of their ‘back door’ is truly an amazing asset.

When he chases to meetings and cruises with his kids to local games and events, he powers a 1980’s Panasonic that he pulled from his mom years ago. This is Dave introducing the Panasonic in the video–crank your volume as his voice is a bit in the distance (my bad).

Take special note of the Ergon grips, pedals and saddle–and the fact that he does consider this a Race Townie :-).

Check out Dave’s Ergon Style Here.

I believe this bike is fast whether it’s Dave Wiens on it (who can make just about any bike go fast) or someone else.

If you ask Dave, “What else do you want us to know?” he will promote joining up with local trail organizations and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). When assisting local organizations they can use help swinging tools though Dave emphasizes the fact that there are many more ways to give than to swing tools. Your talents may be suited to help with graphics, administration, check writing, and more. The fact is local trails organizations are mobilizing like never before and they need people with various skills to aid in their efforts of building “assets for the mind, body and soul.” And IMBA? Dave will ensure you that IMBA gives the local organizations a bunch of tools and the lobbying efforts they do in D.C. are paramount to the successes in our communities.

In final words–get involved with your trail organizations. They do make an incredible difference for communities of every size. And when you see Dave on his race townie–be prepared to cruise fast.
Race Townie Biclcyes

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