First-Ever Guided Night Ride on Monarch Crest Aug. 17 Benefits AVLS

Salida, CO – All the best ingredients of a mountain bike enthusiast’s dream ride will come together next week with the debut of the first-ever commercially guided Moonride on the epic Monarch Crest Trail. Hosted by Absolute Bikes Adventures to benefit the non-profit Ark Valley Libation Society, this unique, fully supported ride with a refreshing finish is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 17.

Officially designated one of this country’s few and select “epic” rides by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, each summer the Monarch Crest Trail attracts riders from around the country and the world to 30 miles of high-altitude singletrack that traces part of the Continental Divide Trail before dropping down off the spine of North America onto any one of several fast and fun descents. Ninety-nine percent of riders experience the trail by day; this is the first time a commercial outfitter will guide the route at night.

While the ride itself promises to be nothing short of exhilarating, it ends fittingly with a well-deserved thirst-quenching stop at Elevation Beer Co. in Poncha Springs. There, riders will enjoy post-ride libations and a brewery tour before being transported back to the start point at Absolute Bikes in downtown Salida.

Libation Society producer-member and avid mountain biker PT Wood said that although technically the full moon is couple nights later, the night sky high atop the Crest on Aug. 17 should be spectacular with the moon 88 percent full. To that point, Wood reminds participants that they must bring their own technical lighting for the ride and recommends layers to ward off the nighttime chill.

Riders will also receive an AVLS Silver Passport encouraging a return visit to the Salida region to enjoy food and drink discounts at the other member producers who, in addition to Elevation, include Amica’s Pizza and Microbrewery, Deerhammer Distilling Co., Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub, and Wood’s High Mountain Distillery.

Absolute Bikes Adventures owner Shawn Gillis enthusiastically embraced the Monarch Crest Moonride fundraising idea. He said the Crest is already a unique experience but riding it at night will make it an extra-special treat. Gillis said he is happy to support his fellow local small business owners by donating proceeds of the ride to help AVLS get off the ground.

Cost of the Monarch Crest Moonride: $190 per person which includes shuttles, knowledgeable local guides, a Crest-worthy mountain bike, AVLS Silver passport, Elevation post-ride libations and return shuttle to Absolute Bikes. Existing passport holders: $25 off. And as they say, memories: priceless. Space is limited to 26 guests; first come, first served.

The group may be split to accommodate different skill levels and interests.

Link to register online is:


The Ark Valley Libation Society, a guild of the area’s award-winning craft beer and spirit makers. This is a pilot fundraising concept of AVLS, whose members are dedicated to putting Colorado’s Upper Arkansas River Valley on the statewide tourism map as a unique destination to enjoy craft, small batch beer and spirits.


Absolute Bikes Adventures offers guided mountain bike trips in beautiful backcountry locations around the Upper Arkansas River Valley of South Central Colorado, near the fun mountain towns of Salida and Buena Vista.





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