As the snow falls here in Durango, Colorado I'm thinking about townie bikes; my friend and photographer Braden Gunem asked me to write a short piece about townies in Crested Butte, Colorado for a project he's working on. This is what I came up with, and some townie photos.
There could be more comfortable places for a townie to end up than this town way up in the Rocky Mountains, but none of those destinations probably value or appreciate the townie as much as Crested Butte, Colorado. Like their owners they migrated from all across the United States, maybe not for an easier life, but a more interesting one; a life in the mountains.
Maybe they did not even know they were called “townies” before they arrived, strapped to the top of a Subaru, with a destination for a new existence. And they probably didn’t know they would spend winters covered in snow, winters that seemed to last forever, like they would never get their chance to shine again.
Then the day comes, the snow melts away, it is the townies time. Someday around April 20th, the townie takeover is organized. Only the locals are here now, and all the townies awaken from their slumber. No longer a forgotten piece from a past life, they are the stars of the spring, summer and fall; everyone must have a townie in this town.
Some of the lucky ones will be decorated, and improved; some refuse to sit out the winter and beg to be maintained and adapted with snow tires, and fenders. Others, even luckier, will be obsessed over, preparing them for a 24 hour townie race; fully adorned with lights, even a stereo, as if they were about to take off from the coolest place for a townie in America, into the stars.
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