I love mountain bike towns. They’re usually deep in the mountains or the desert—small, isolated places with offbeat traditions and rich histories. In addition to miles and miles of trail, they usually offer rustic bars, small-batch breweries and quirky places to eat.
But mountain biking has gained widespread popularity in recent years and that’s brought something else to my favorite bike towns: a crowd.
It’s become harder and harder to find decent campsites and the coffee shop lines seem long no matter how early I arrive. The bars I used to belly-up to after a ride now almost never have open seats. And of course, all of those people share the same, once-open stretches of singletrack.
That’s what brought me to Sweetwater County, Wyoming. The area has untold miles of trail and a population density of about 4.2 people per square mile. Its two settlements, Rock Springs and Green River, are like all my favorite bike towns were 30 years ago.