More info: https://facebook.com/AllRides?ref=ts&fref=ts
T he University of Colorado Freestyle Ski team won both the men's and women's national titles earlier this month in Sun Valley, Idaho.
CU sophomore Ben Hitchcock took home the men's individual title at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Freestyle Skiing Championships.
He's also started his own party bus company, All Rides Colorado, with partner and fellow CU student Dave Soya. But he stopped the party long enough to answer some questions for us:
Winning a team and individual title at nationals -- did you expect that coming into the season?
Every time we would win a slopestyle overall and then the halfpipe overall, we had a pretty good idea we would win the whole thing overall. All of our teammates, we were top 10 in pretty much every competition, so that made us pretty confident in winning.
You won the men's individual title, which combined your results from all the events -- halfpipe, slopestyle and skier cross. What was your key to winning?
The individual (title) comes down to consistency. I didn't win in any competition, but I took fourth in slope and fifth in halfpipe and then I did 36th in the skier cross -- it was consistency thing. Anybody who beat me in the halfpipe did not beat me in slope, so that really just does come down to consistency.
What are you studying at CU?
I've been in mechanical engineering, but I think I'm going to switch to business next fall. I've been more interested in business lately because I started a transportation business here in Boulder. We took my bus to nationals. I transported the team up there, so I've been really interested in business.
Tell us about this transportation business.
It's called All Rides Colorado. We realized that transportation within Boulder is really good. Where the transportation lacks is when kids are trying to go to concerts or events up in the mountains. We hope to fill that void there and provide good, reliable transportation.
How did you get your hands on a bus?
Craigslist actually (laughing). We had some money saved up and we also got a lot of investors and people liked our idea. We found a really good deal for our bus. We bought ours for $6,500. It's got low mileage on the engine, so we found a steal there. It's a 25-passenger old RTD bus that we converted into a party bus type thing. That's our only bus so far but we're looking to expand.
Our major market is students, and where I've been focusing is really in the ski world. That's where my life is at. We've been working with the team and hoping to make it a collaboration with the team and make it a ski bus, but that's definitely not our only interest.
What's your background in skiing?
I grew up ski racing. I did that for about 10 years and then I went to a ski academy for high school called Carrabassett Valley Academy (in Maine). I went into it as a racer and after my first year, I became really interested in freestyle and switched over to that. I moved out here about three years ago. I took a year off then and lived in Summit County. I went to school starting last year.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.