Bike Guide 2012: Locals’ favorite rides
Steamboat Springs —
Bill Gamber, President, Honey Stinger
“My favorite is a ride known only by its initials, which takes off behind my house off Strawberry Park Road. It’s great singletrack in a wilderness setting, ranging from open meadows to forests of aspen and pine, and ends with a climb back to the hot springs, where you can soak right after your ride.”
Chad Fleischer, Olympian, President, Fleischer Sport
“My favorite ride is the Divide Trail starting from Dumont Lake on top of Rabbit Ears Pass. It’s a late summer ride but worth waiting for because it has all the elements of a fantastic ride — scenery, little traffic, rolling terrain, limited climbing, singletrack and a few easy technical aspects. You can ride it fast and go for it or take it easy with a lakeside lunch stop along the way.”
Barkley Robinson, Realtor, Former King of the Rockies/ Laramie Enduro Champion
“My favorite mountain bike ride is the Stinger loop on Emerald Mountain (down Ridge Trail and up Beall). It’s a killer 25-mile loop of signature Steamboat singletrack with loads of fast climbing, flowing descents and expansive views — all right in our backyard. For road riding, it’s the ‘coal mine loop.’ From town, take Routt County Road 33 to the coal mine and then over the hills to Oak Creek. Finish the loop on C.R. 14 by Stagecoach Reservoir for a scenic 50-miler, or for the climbing ride, turn around and hit all the hills in reverse. Hint: Pack a lunch!”
Mark Satkiewicz, President, SmartWool, Triathlete
“I have three favorite rides. One is the coal mine through Stagecoach loop. It has five climbs and I can test myself throughout the year and see my improvement. I also ride Elk River Road to Columbine and Seedhouse for a 78-miler. I go early in the morning and always see animals. I also do an in-town ride through Dakota Ridge and to the schoolhouse and then to the office. It’s 30 miles and close to home. It’s in town with the best of everything: climbing, flats and lots of people riding around.”
Rob Mitchell, President, Moots
“I like hitting the Emerald Mountain loop after work. I ride from my house down Fish Creek Falls Road to Howelsen, then head up the Bluffs Loop and Lupine to the Quarry. After taking in the view of town, I duck left onto Blair Witch and climb Quarry Mountain to the Ridge Road. Then I hit Root Canal to Stairway to Heaven and cut right onto Abbey’s to Hudson’s. Then it’s down MGM to either Eye-to Eye or the meadow switchbacks to Molly’s, which may be my favorite trail on Emerald. By the time I reach the bottom of Howelsen, my mind is solely focused on what beer I’m going to have when I get home — after the mile climb back up Fish Creek.”
Caroline Lalive, Downhill/Super G Olympian, 1998, 2002
“I like anything on Emerald Mountain. There’s something surreal and simple about those trails. If I had to pick one, it’s Larry’s, finishing with a quick trip across prayer flag meadow. It reminds of a giant slalom ski race, with its sweeping, banked turns. The meadow feels like my own private oasis. I often stop and marvel at this hidden spot in the middle of town. It’s one of my favorite places in Steamboat.”
Corey Piscopo, Founder, Steamboat Stage Race
“I like the Buff Pass climb because it’s on dirt and takes you to some pretty incredible and remote spots. You can ride to it from town and be out in remote wilderness with incredible views pretty quickly. An added bonus is when the gates are closed, restricting cars and leaving the road entirely to bikers until you reach snow. Plus it climbs 3,100 feet in 10.5 miles, so it’s a solid training ride.”
Nelson Carmichael, Olympic Bronze Medalist, Moguls, 1992
“I like the climb up Mount Werner. It can be arduous, but the payoff is worth it. I start up Zig Zag, turn onto Yoo Hoo, then head up Sitz and Valley View and onto Spur Run. From the top of the gondola, it’s down Zig Zag to loop back to the base or, if I’m game for more, it’s up to the summit via Elkhead, Chisholm Trail and Storm Peak Challenge. It’s 3,400 vertical feet to the summit, and possibly that many calories burned. Thankfully, it’s all downhill from there, starting with Pete’s Wicked, Cathy’s Cutoff, Sunshine and back down Zig Zag. It has everything — tough climbs, smooth singletrack, tight corners, fast rollers, jumps, boulders, logs, aspens, pines, open meadows, and great views.
Kelly Boniface, Professional Mountain Bike Racer
“No question — Emerald Mountain is my favorite place to ride in the whole Valley. I can coast down from my house and be riding fantastic singletrack in just five minutes. With the new trails on the backside, I can ride up there all day and never do the same trail twice. It’s a gem right in our backyard.”
Murray Selleck, Manager, Ski Haus
“My favorite has to be the Tour de Steamboat ride (Gore Pass Gruel), which includes Rabbit Ears, Gore and Yellowjacket passes. At 100-plus miles, it has everything a roadie is looking for — long climbs, crazy fast descents, headwinds, crosswinds, an occasional tailwind, and big views. You never know what you’ll get or how your body will react. A favorite ride shouldn’t be one you nail every time; it should also challenge you, which this one does.”
Kent Eriksen, Owner, Kent Eriksen Cycles
“My favorite ride is right out our back door by Strawberry Park Hot Springs. We ride Lower Bear to Elk Park Road, cross the creek and keep riding up Upper Bear. Then we hike-a-bike across Summit Park and up Ball Bearing Pass for an incredible overlook into the Zirkels. From there, we retrace our route. It’s all downhill, technical at first, then simple flowing singletrack right back home. No driving, no cars, purely fun playing in the backyard.”
Rishi Grewal, Three-time 24-Hours World Champion, Former National Road Champion
“Easily my favorite trail ride is to ride up the ski area and then descend back on Pete’s Wicked trail to Cathy’s Cutoff to Sunshine to Moonlight to Valley View and finally Yoo Hoo. It’s a fun ride that will test all your skills and leave you satisfied to have made it to the bottom safely.”
Chris Johns, Owner, Wheels Bike Shop
“Rock Creek and Tepee Creek. It’s a bit of a drive but well worth it — especially when you’re tired of the riding around town and the regular trails are dusty. It’s tranquil and you probably won’t see anyone else. It has gentle climbs, excellent singletrack, lush forests, creek crossings, wildlife and open meadows. I have plenty more hidden treasures, as well. Just bring me a sandwich at the shop and I’ll tell you.”
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Steamboat Free Summer Concerts announced Friday that it will return live music to the Yampa Valley this summer in the form of two concerts scheduled for August and September.