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.
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“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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