My love for everything bike related established at an early age in the suburbs of Boston, MA. I went from BMX track to BMX track, though by the time I had hit 6th grade most of the tracks were going under. After destroying a few wheels on an old road bike it was then my mom helped me buy my first mountain bike. I biked recreationally for several years and then made my move to Crested Butte, CO in 1996 where my passion for mountain biking and vintage bicycles amplified. My collection of bikes is almost hoarder-status as I believe you should never say no to giving a bike a good home.
I competed in downhill racing in the Mountain State Cup Series for 3 years with some decent results as the crew of Monkeys and I always had the most fun. In 2006 I partnered up to open a local bike shop. I moved on from the shop in the spring of 2011. I wanted to a find a different way to promote mountain biking and share my love for bikes. I started coaching at our local camp for kids that rip and soon discovered I had a knack for teaching. I realized coaching was the obvious choice to help spread the Church of Shred. I am excited to work with the Crested Butte Development Team by providing instructor training for their coaches and to work with the team on skills development.
Bart graduated from Western State Colorado University in 2014 with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He loves riding bikes because of the incredible places they can take you. He is a certified IDP level 2 instructor and has been coaching for four years. In addition to his coaching certification, he has his Wilderness First Responder training. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and kayaking all over Colorado.
“I really enjoy coaching because I am able to share my passion for adventure in the mountains through riding bikes. Having the opportunity to work with excited, inspired, and talented young athletes and help them develop a multifaceted skill set is extremely gratifying. Everyday is an adventure on a bike; whether it’s riding on a new trail, dealing with a mechanical issue or Colorado weather, these adventures challenge us to become stronger people. Watching your children grow over the course of the summer through their experiences makes me proud to know that I played a part in this transformation. Being able to challenge individuals in their technical skills and their personal development while watching them mature makes everyday a success. Working with your children and riding bikes on a daily basis is truly a privilege, Thank You
I’ve been a passionate cyclist for as long as I remember. The days of my youth were spent exploring the neighborhood and surrounding open spaces of Boulder, Colorado aboard the best freedom machine humanity has created, the bicycle. Before the era of bike parks and high school leagues my friends and I would find creek beds to try and ride up, or just head out to see how far we could go and what we might find. I dreamed of riding proper single track, and now I look forward to providing this opportunity to the youth of Crested Butte. I know of no other sport that offers what mountain biking does; the endorphins of a long climb followed by the thrill of a descent, the adventure that comes from exploration in nature, enjoyed in the company of others, or perhaps alone, reflecting on one’s place on this glorious planet.
Since those early years bikes have provided me a wealth of experiences. I attended college in Durango where I was blessed with an extensive trail system to hone my skills and fitness. I was forced to teach myself mechanics, if only to keep my own bikes up and running. This trade ultimately provided me a free trip around the world while wrenching for a World Cup DH team. Should any CB DEVO riders be drawn to mechanics, I’ll see they get some fine instruction! Working as a mountain bike guide stationed in Moab and as a backpacking guide at a Boy Scout camp, I found the opportunity to facilitate an adventure, and share some trail knowledge immensely rewarding.
I’m passionate about trails and am always looking for a way to give back to what has given me so much, be it solo trail work projects, leading crews on CBMBA work days, or designing and constructing new trails. Every mountain biker has an obligation to some kind of trail work and I anticipate working with our community partners to provide this opportunity to CB DEVO participants.
While CB DEVO is not a competitive program, I’d like to foster some fine racers. I’ve participated in the gamut of racing, from the Colorado Trail Race to downhill, and I hope to instill some race craft into the riders who are keen. The experiences and lessons bicycles afford are limitless. I feel blessed to help foster some stoke in the youth of Crested Butte.
My first mountain bike ride was along Horsetooth Reservoir in Ft Collins, CO 25 years ago while attending Colorado State University. When I moved to Crested Butte in 1995 mountain biking, along with skiing, became a way of life. The places a bike can take you, the joy of riding exciting trails and the fitness you gain are the biggest reasons I love to ride.
Soon after I started riding with my kids, I realized it was my favorite thing to do with them. Watching the three of them enjoy the ride while improving their skills is incredibly entertaining and rewarding for me. There is nothing else that is more fun to do with my family and that has created a lot of passion for me. We continually seek new places to ride and share many memorable experiences along the way.
I’ve done some amateur bike racing but have found that learning new technical skills through coaching clinics and teaching it to kids is more satisfying. I was humbled by the “new” style of riding bikes and have become mildly obsessed with teaching and practicing these skills. Crested Butte Devo coaching days are always the best days of the week for me!
Alvaro GUTIERREZ LEAL
My name is Alvaro but my friends call me Alvin. I was born in México outside of a big city up on the mountains and pretty lucky to be able to play in the outdoors. I started to ride bikes when I was 8 and racing XC at the age of 10. With the time and my passion for the sport my parents supported me with a personal trainer who helped me to become the Mexican Junior XC champion. With hard work and discipline, I race my first Junior World cup when I was 17 and one year later won the Latin American cup. When I went to college I discover my passion for speed and gravity, leaving the hardtails behind I started falling in love with full suspension bikes. I had the opportunity to ride and race in several countries on 3 different continents. Nowadays in México, I work as a surf and MTB guide helping the young ones to get into these amazing sports and lifestyles. I own a MTB tour company in México and I take people from different places in the world riding , with this I share my biggest passion with amazing people which is show off my country while riding bikes. This is just a piece of my story expecting you can discover more while we ride together!
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t riding a bike growing up. I would ride before school, to school, and after school. I found that riding to school was a great time to practice wheelies and jumping curbs. The summer before high school started I competed in my first race. It was way harder than I thought it was going to be, and I did not do as well as I wanted. My parents thought that I would never touch my bike again. But later that night I proved them wrong, outside hitting the jumps in the backyard. I have always been more focused on skill over fitness, the better your skills the less work it takes to ride! I love the challenge of trying to ride a wheelie farther than before, clear a bigger jump, or clean a techy climb. When I went to college in Marquette, MI is when I discovered my love for gravity riding. Sneaking out for a few laps in between classes, and going back out later that day to dig fueled my passion for mountain biking. I moved to Colorado for 2 years after college, and during that time had the opportunity to coach some local gravity kids. This is when I discovered my passion for coaching and sharing the knowledge with others. In 2010 I moved back to Marquette, MI to own a bike shop. Over the past 5 years I have been totally focused on spreading the word of mountain biking throughout the community. We recently moved to Crested Butte and are very excited to be a part of such a passionate mountain biking community.
When it came time to make the decision for a career change to experience new things, I left Montrose, CO, where I grew up, and along with it my life with horses. I have always had a huge passion for teaching, and in this case it was training horses and their riders, from children to adults. We studied and practiced the importance of body awareness in courses like Biosomatics to really understand the mechanics and harmony of horse and rider. I absolutely loved giving kids lessons. Seeing their excitement when reaching their goals, working through their struggles to get there, and overall helping them develop their skills not only with their horses but in their lives as young adults was one of the most satisfying jobs I’ve had.
I arrived in Crested Butte in the summer of 2011 and became a counselor for Mountain Adventures as I wanted to continue to pursue the joy of being outdoors and being with kids. I discovered I had the same joy in teaching kids to ride bikes as I had in teaching them to ride horses.
My passion for mountain biking happened almost immediately after arriving in beautiful Crested Butte. I learned quickly, with the exclusive help of my now husband Andy Shabo, who is not only a BetterRide mountain bike coach, but a very patient and talented “Teach your girlfriend to mountain bike” extraordinaire. I am very grateful to have learned the skills correctly right from the start.
I am beyond thrilled to become part of the Crested Butte Development Team. I hope to pass on the passion and enthusiasm for the sport and really develop and expand Crested Butte’s future lady rippers.
I went on my first mountain bike ride at age 25, and came home thinking that mountain biking was the most ridiculous thing I had ever done. I couldn’t figure out why people would possibly want to ride a bike on dirt, rocks, and roots while trying desperately to stay upright. Despite the initial skepticism, mountain biking has transformed to be a great passion and a way of life for me. Mountain biking embodies all of what I love most: a never-ending challenge, a means for keeping my mind and body healthy, experiences in nature and new places, adventures with family and friends, and opportunities to share my passion with others through coaching and clinics. Since that first day, I have raced professionally as a mountain biker in cross country, downhill, enduro, and offroad triathlon. I love sharing all of what I have learned and encouraging others to experience the same excitement I do every time I ride my bike.
We at Crested Butte Devo are so excited to have this mother/teacher/superstar and Juliana Bicycles ambassador as a member of our team!
Surprisingly, I did not find mountain biking until I was 21. During my college career as a runner for Western State I was constantly injured, but I LOVED being outside and on the trails so I headed to the old Tune-Up bike shop in Gunnison to find my first mountain bike. I literally knew NOTHING about bikes and was asked if I wanted a downhill or cross country bike; I asked what the difference was… After landing on a used, aluminum bike complete with v-brakes, I was off discovering the Gunnison Valley in a whole new way. I have since upgraded my bike and my skills and now race mountain bikes for team gO (Griggs Orthopedics) and also race off-road triathlon. I took a brief 2 year stint in Ft. Collins to earn my masters degree in history, which allowed me to race for CSU. After graduating last May, I B-lined it back to the mountains because nothing beats the Gunnison Valley with its amazing community and fantastic riding.
Now I’m back, and I am THRILLED to be coaching for the Devos because it is truly a hybrid of my passions! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE teaching and coaching! I’ve taught everything from PE to social studies, language arts, and now substance abuse prevention– all on top of coaching mountain biking for kids and middle school and college running programs. CB Devos and I are a perfect fit! The CB Devos and I believe in inspiring kids to be awesome people in all aspects of their lives. Through mountain biking kids learn self-confidence, motivation, resiliency, and become part of a healthy community. I’m excited for this summer’s adventures!
My passion for mountain biking starts with going on single track adventures with my dad on the Alley Cat (tag along bike). It was all fun and games until he looked behind and saw me pedaling backwards…. game over. Eventually I got my own real mountain bike and started goofing around with my friend on the trail that led to the blackberry patch. In 2009 I moved to Marquette, MI and that is where my passion for mountain biking exploded. With tons of awesome trails and new people to ride with it was hard not to fall in love with the sport. Soon after I began XC and soon after that I discovered my passion for coaching. I started by coaching women’s clinics, and in July 2015 I had the opportunity to coach a 4 day long junior mountain bike camp and I was HOOKED. Watching the junior riders grow both as riders that week, and people is what inspires me to keep coaching. I absolutely love seeing the looks on riders faces when the conqueror something that they never imagined they would be able to do. Bikes are a great way to explore, and challenge yourself!
My first time on a mountain bike was in the summer of 2013, at Whistler Bike Park. I was on a vacation with friends who were big mountain bikers. I had no idea that my Canadian vacation was about to change the direction of my life. As soon as I landed back home, I bought my first mountain bike. A year later I had a 4 bike quiver, was racing, and just plain obsessed with mountain bikes.
Living in Seattle, I volunteered with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. When they announced an instructor training, I jumped at the chance, hoping to get more women stoked on mountain biking. I had attended multiple clinics to help my own riding, and knew how much they advanced my confidence and my riding. I was excited to give back.
I fell in love with coaching. The weekly women’s clinic I was coaching was the best part of my week. So when I found the CB DEVO program, to say I was excited was an understatement! When I see the kids encouraging each other, tackling goals on individual and group levels, and of course – having fun – I can’t help but be inspired. Sharing my passion with the CB DEVO kids, is rewarding on many different levels. I’m blessed and honored to be a part of this team.
High School Team Head Coach/Program Director Contact Torrey at torrey@CrestedButteDevo.com
My passion for riding bikes began in the early 1980s in as my friends and I would spend our summer days riding motorcycles on the trails all around the Gunnison Valley. Those days were filled with challenge and adventure in the mountains. We belonged to a local club, participated in trail maintenance, and competed in enduros and the occasional motocross race.
In the early 1990s, while working as a bicycle mechanic, I started riding mountain bikes, trying to keep up with some of the Crested Butte locals. I remember the first time I rode Strand – I thought that climb was about as hard as they get. Boy did I have a lot to learn! With time I got stronger and faster, and learned to enjoy climbing as well as descending. I tried my hand at racing and did pretty well. It hurt, but it sure did feel good when it was over, and I learned a lot about suffering and pushing myself. Since then I have raced several times each year, as it keeps me honest and gives me the opportunity to test myself.
In the spring of 2010 I read on Velonews that Colorado would have a high school mountain biking league in the fall. Wow! What if I had had the opportunity to be on a mountain bike team in high school? I just knew that Crested Butte had to have a team, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to combine my passions of mountain biking and working with youth, and to give back to the community of Crested Butte. I took it upon myself to create a team, and the response from the community was overwhelmingly positive. Businesses were eager to become sponsors, and local enthusiasts were willing to volunteer their time to help with coaching.
Over the years we have provided an opportunity for high school kids to belong to a team in which everybody participates and nobody sits on the bench. They get to ride their bikes after school, develop fitness and skills, and compete against their peers from around Colorado. They learn about trail etiquette and participate in trail building days, and spend lots of quality time outdoors.
In 2016 we joined forces with Crested Butte Devo, and I couldn’t be more excited. Devo is full of individuals who are passionate about youth cycling and are committed to building one of the best programs in the country.
Like most people I’ve been riding bikes since I was knee high to a grasshopper. The first bike I really remember was my Raleigh Chopper complete with chopper handlebars, 16” front wheel, 20” rear wheel, long high back padded seat and 3 speed hub gears with a cool “gearstick”. I fitted a needle dial speedometer and rollover odometer that was clocked up to maybe 30MPH. There were some steep hills around and that Chopper managed to top out the speedometer. Just about every kid on my street got a chopper for Christmas that year.
I bought my first mountain bike around 1990. It was allegedly a titanium frame but it was an absolute tank. Fully rigid, 3 x 7, cantilever brakes. Nevertheless, there was abundant mountain biking around where I lived in Scotland. One hot summer day in 1993, while living in Houston, one of my riding buddies asked if I had a MTB. “Yes I do but it’s not much use around here”, I replied. He told me about a trip he and some other guys were making to this place called Crested Butte in Colorado and said I was welcome to join them. It became an annual pilgrimage for me.
Now I am living in Crested Butte full time and my passion for mountain biking has increased if anything. It is a privilege to work with the amazing student athletes of the Crested Butte Devo High School Team and the Devo program as a whole. As long as I can turn a crank I am ready to do whatever I can to help CB Devo and the kids of this incredible valley realize the joy and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through cycling. Shred on!