Community Agriculture Alliance: It’s Ranch Rally time
On June 18, cyclists will roll out from the Moots factory to take part in the Third annual Moots Colorado Ranch Rally, a 50-mile cyclosportive featuring the gravel roads that connect historic Routt County area ranches. The Ranch Rally is a non-competitive ride designed to raise awareness about the importance agriculture plays in our local community. Event proceeds will once again benefit the Community Agriculture Alliance.
One of the best ways to take in the amazing views and splendor of Steamboat Springs and the surrounding area is on a bicycle. At Moots, we often find ourselves heading for the Routt County roads west and north of Steamboat to experience the roads less traveled, many of which are now part of the Ranch Rally route.
Along the way, we pass more working ranches than we have gears on our bikes. We roll past Elk Mountain cemetery and the west side of Elk Mountain, aka, the Sleeping Giant; past the historic areas of Mystic (once a small town complete with a Post Office), Long Gulch, George’s Gulch and Fly Gulch; ride alongside Farnsworth, Trull and Deep Creeks; happen upon one of the most spectacular views of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness; and cross over Turner, Day and Smith Creeks and the mighty Elk River.
Thanks to the preservation of agriculture, discovering Routt County’s ranching history and the current industry isn’t limited to the Moots Colorado Ranch Rally route. Most of Routt County’s rural roads can be enjoyed by cyclists on road bikes with a minimum 28 mm tire, cross bikes with a minimum 30 mm tire and mountain bikes with a minimum 1.5-inch wide tire. Grab a Routt County map, your bike, hemet and explore.
The tradition of ranching undoubtedly enhances the natural beauty of our landscape, and for that, we are truly grateful. Our quality of life and the food we eat would be significantly diminished if not for local agriculture.
Each year, we hear from participants that one of the day’s highlights is lunch at the Rocking C Bar Ranch. They love the opportunity to chat with local ranchers, CAA board members and their families at picnic tables under the shade of a 100-year old tree, with a mare and her foal nearby. It’s a day when members of the cycling and ranching communities sit down together in appreciation of heritage and the value of preserving wide open spaces.
Even though the Moots Colorado Ranch Rally is sold out for 2016, you can “rally” for local agriculture by becoming a Yampavore and shopping the CAA Marketplace at communityagalliance.org/caa-market.html.
See you in the saddle.
Cathy Wiedemer is public relations manager for Moots Cycles.
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Construction on Sleeping Giant School has moved mostly inside as the roughly 100-person crew continues the push to complete the building by the end of summer.