The words that follow are from T-Bird aka Burke Swindlehurst aka promoter extraordinaire of Crusher in the Tushar. To hear the interview conducted by our Partners in Podcasting, The Gravelride Podcast, please scroll down this article. Over to Burke!
I write today with news! It’s BIG news. It’s exciting news. It’s good news.
But, before I spill the proverbial frijoles, I want you all to know that this news comes as the culmination of extensive soul-searching, counsel and consensus within our family. It was a decision that was not made in haste and was arrived at with one goal in mind: securing the future and legacy of The Crusher for many years to come.
With that said, can I get a drum-roll please…
It’s with great excitement that I’m proud to announce that Crusher in the Tushar will be joining the Life Time family of events!
I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the Life Time name for their role in producing such venerable events as the Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Colorado, the Chequamegon MTB Festival in Wisconsin, and more recently, the Dirty Kanza in Kansas. And with tremendous pride, the Crusher will join that distinguished list.
Delving into all of the “ins and outs” of the decision making process that went into this would take far too long to do here (I’ll do that soon in a more accommodating format. Stay tuned), but I will offer this: Before arriving at this decision, I was invited by Kimo Seymour, Life Time’s Senior Vice President of Media & Events, out to Colorado shortly after this year’s Crusher to get a feel for how they do things at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB. I went not only to observe, but also to participate in the race itself (my legs still hurt!) to get a feel for how the “rubber meets the road.” While there, I was able to meet Life Time’s Founder and CEO, Bahram Akradi, and I quickly learned he wasn’t in Leadville just to shake hands and kiss babies. He was there chasing his “Big Buckle,” a distinction reserved for those having finished 10 LT100’s, which he did! I also learned that Kimo was racing that weekend to keep his own Leadville streak alive as the current holder for the record of most consecutive finishes under 8 hours, which subsequently now stands at 13.
That said, I had quite a few “takeaways” from Leadville, and the one that stood out the most is that these are people with a true passion for cycling. They don’t just talk the talk. They walk the walk. But, what really cemented the experience for me was seeing firsthand the amount of philanthropic and community enrichment that Life Time initiates within its host communities. These are good people doing good things. The upshot is that I left Leadville knowing that a partnership with Life Time will not only enrich the event for our riders, but it will also enrich the greater community.
I know some of you might be wondering why this partnership and why now? Well, to be perfectly honest, even ol’ Tbird has only so much strength, energy and bandwidth to work with. Don’t get me wrong. The Crusher is what gets me out of bed in the morning, but it also keeps me up plenty of nights, too. I believe this partnership will bring a wealth of experience and resources that will enable the Crusher to march confidently into its second decade on strong legs. To put it another way, it’s akin to that ice-cold Coke hand-up at the top of the Col ‘d Crush that carries you to finish.
Now, before I sign-off here, I want you all to know that the heart and soul of Crusher is here to stay. I’m not going anywhere. I will remain at the helm as Crusher’s Event Director with Mrs. Crusher by my side. We will never forget our humble roots, and rest assured, we will continue to C*R*U*S*H you for years to come. Who knows, I might even be able to get out there and join you on the bike one of these years.
I hope to see you in July!
As ever, -Tbird
The Gravel Ride Podcast Interview with Burke Swindlehurst
Our partner in podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast, has an exclusive interview with Crusher in the Tushar founder, Burke Swindlehurst talks about his 10-year journey around this unique Utah event. We talk about his journey and reveal his new partnership with Life Time and what it means for the future of the event.