2nd annual Steamboat Springs Bike Summit gears up Thursday
Steamboat Springs — From an event standpoint, Steamboat’s crazy summer of cycling came to an end nearly a month ago, and shorter days and cooler weather slowly have been bleeding the biking season dry.
The second annual Steamboat Springs Bike Summit is meant to celebrate that wild summer and also to help plot out the city’s cycling future, organizers said.
“The summit draws on all different types of cyclists, from people using the commuter paths and bike lanes to people riding on the roads, those concerned about the roads and to cross-country mountain bike riders,” said Paige Boucher, Steamboat Springs Bike Town USA Initiative member. “Part of the meeting is definitely celebrating what we’ve accomplished and part is looking forward to figuring out what else we need to do.”
Four days of activities are on tap for the event that officially will cap Steamboat’s cycling season, offering Routt County residents the chance to consider how cycling has affected Steamboat and other communities, help plan the next stages for biking development and enjoy some of the area’s cycling amenities.
The summit’s first two days will be based at The Steamboat Grand and will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday with a presentation by John Cowan, of Gravity Logic, who will speak about the progress his firm has made on Steamboat Ski Area’s downhill mountain bike park. His presentation will be followed by a showing of “Pedal Driven: A Bike-umentary.” The event is a fundraiser for Routt County Riders and costs $10.
Friday events start at 8:30 a.m. at the Grand and feature a wealth of speakers from across the country as well as opportunities for discussions about the direction Steamboat’s biking initiative should take. That event is free to attend or $8 for lunch.
The morning will showcase speakers from the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Belong, Bicycle Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the city of Fort Collins.
The afternoon will offer more speakers, time for community input from 1:10 to 2:20 p.m. and discussions focused on bicycling from a business standpoint.
“It will be about how people have used biking as a catalyst, ideas for other businesses, the best practices and the ways you can be bike friendly without turning other customers off,” said Betsy Nauman Cook, executive director of Routt County Riders and Bike Town USA Initiative project coordinator.
A free day of riding and bike-related clinics starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. A free barbecue bridges morning rides with afternoon safety clinics, trail work sessions and tours of local bike manufacturers.
The summit wraps up Sunday starting at 9 a.m. with the second annual Routt County Riders downhill mountain bike race, which will take place at Steamboat Ski Area.
“We’re at a critical time in Steamboat. So much is going on around biking,” Boucher said. “It’s wonderful to have a community event where everyone can gather and learn about what’s going on.”
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