BEAVER, Utah (July 8, 2021) — In late 2010, Burke ‘T-Bird' Swindlehurst retired from a decade-plus career as a professional road racer and one of North America’s best climbing specialists to focus on mountain bike and road adventure cycling. Mash that together, and what do you have? The Crusher in the Tushar! Or gravel racing, but way ahead of its time and gravel's contemporary popularity. The Crusher was conceived from Burke's want of adventure and a return to his hometown, and was born in July 2011 with an initial guest list of about 325 riders. It now fits neatly pinto the gravel calendar as one of the premier (and yet, in some ways still lesser-known) events in the United States. It also makes sense that Burke’s rendition of it combines road, dirt, huge climbs (10k feet of them), and high elevations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Crusher was unable to celebrate its 10th edition in 2020, but Burke and the crew have worked hard to give the Crusher a proper 10th birthday party this weekend in Beaver, Utah, where it all started. As part of the celebration, there will be two shake-out rides on Friday, July 9; the first led by former pro rider and current artist T.J. Eisenhart at 9:00 AM, and the second led by ENVE's Neil Shirley at 3:00 PM.
There will also be an expo in the evening during rider check-in, where Eisenhart will also be doing a live-painting of the Crusher Goat to be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Life Time Foundation, where it will be later distributed to various groups. For example, proceeds of 2010's virtual Crusher were donated to the Beaver and Paiute County school systems to help fund each county's school lunch programs, as well as to Beaver and Paiute County Search & Rescue and Voluntary EMS programs.
Stay tuned for more news and photos from the Crusher this weekend and early next week. In the meantime, please enjoy Cycling West's coverage of the first nine years of the Crusher in the Tushar!