Biking is booming in the ‘Boat
From hosting the first-ever Steamboat Gravel and Colorado Classic races this past summer to new mountain bike trails and a world-class bike path along the Yampa River, Steamboat Springs is as bike-friendly a community as you’ll find anywhere.
“Biking is an integral part of our community, just like skiing,” says Steamboat Chamber President Kara Stoller. “It help makes Steamboat a great year-round destination.”
Steamboat was recently designated a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, and a Silver Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association. Voters also recently earmarked $5 million in lodging tax proceeds to trail-building efforts, whose results are surfacing every year with new trails on Emerald Mountain, Buffalo Pass and more (next up: Rabbit Ears Pass).
Throw in the Yampa River Core Trail, BMX, pump and freeride options, a local race series, two bike manufacturers, downhill rides at the ski resort and events like the Tour de Steamboat and Steamboat Stinger and town’s bicycling momentum is rolling strong.
“There aren’t many communities this passionate about riding,” saysHoney Stinger founder Bill Gamber. “People come here from around the country just to go biking.”
Adds Moots marketing director Jon Cariveau: “Steamboat has all the right ingredients of a great bike town.”
Steamboat cycling events
Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series: Held on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, this fun racing series brings out riders of all abilities for everything from hill climbs to cross-country events. Info: www.townchallenge.com.
Steamboat Gravel: This new event drew more than 1,500 riders to town (including several Tour de France racers) to compete in 37-, 100- and 141-mile gravel races along the pristine gravel roads of rural Routt County. sbtgrvl.com
Moots Colorado Ranch Rally: Sponsored by local bike manufacturer Moots, this annual event features a 50-mile group gravel and dirt road ride showcasing area ranches while benefitting the Community Agriculture Alliance. moots.com
Captain of the Boat Series: Held at the Steamboat Bike Park on Friday nights, this event provides a competitive gravity opportunity for riders of all ages and abilities. bike.steamboat.com.
Eriksen Tour de Steamboat: Benefitting local nonprofits, thisnon-competitive event draws up to 1,000 riders each year for rides of four distances, highlighted by the 116-mile Gore Gruel (8,000-foot gain).tourdesteamboat.com
Steamboat Stinger: Hosted by Steamboat’s own Honey Stinger, this race lures 500 riders to race 50 miles up and over Emerald Mountain not once but twice, in a two-loop circuit. honeystinger.com.
Enduro-X: This race at the Steamboat Bike Park is open to riders 14 and older and benefits Routt County Riders. It also offers a Kids Pump Track Jam and Strider Challenge. Enduro-Xrace.com
Steamboat Stage Race: This event’s uniqueness stems from its stage race format, requiring racers to compete all three days, including a time trial, road race and criterium. bikesteamboat.com.
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