Community Agriculture Alliance: Locally sourced |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Locally sourced

Jon Cariveau
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Handmade bicycles and local agriculture have more in common than you might think.

The Moots Colorado Ranch Rally is celebrating the fifth edition of this 50-mile fundraising event Saturday, June 16 with proceeds benefiting the Community Agriculture Alliance. This relationship between cycling enthusiasts and ranchers may seem odd at first, but if you look a little closer we share so many values that it is a natural fit.

First is appreciation for our local natural environment and the clean air and open vistas we are blessed with here in Routt County. 

For cyclists, the continued health and success of local agricultural enterprises provide miles of quiet roads and amazing scenery free of subdivisions and ever encroaching development mere minutes from downtown Steamboat. These traffic-free roadways accessing Centennial ranches, farms, historical hamlets, schoolhouses and cemeteries are some of the best riding routes in Colorado — a fact the Ranch Rally seeks to share with local riders and visiting cyclists alike.

Secondly, cyclists like to eat, a lot. For some of us, a hard ride provides a perfect excuse for a truly impressive amount of chowing down on locally-raised, grass-fed beef. With the health and environmental benefits of locally-grown produce, meats, eggs, honey and other agricultural products well-known cyclists and other Routt County athletes are well served by the bounty our local producers have on offer. 

We are eager consumers of these foodstuffs via our local restaurants, markets and directly from the ranches and farms of Routt County by way of the CAA Market.  Checking on the health and abundance of these local foods is as easy and pleasurable as a quick ride, run or paddle in any direction where the green fields, buzzing bees and happy cows can be observed fattening up under the Colorado sunshine.

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Knowing where your food comes from is vital. For dedicated cyclists, knowing who built that bike you love so much can be equally important. In this era of outsourcing everything that touches our lives, it's good to know when you fuel up you can prepare food that was raised just off the roads you are headed out to ride.

The same can be said about bicycles, with the vast majority of bicycles being made overseas in giant factories that churn them out by the thousands. Junk food, if you will. Here at Moots in Steamboat Springs, you can have a high-end, custom bicycle made just for you at a small workshop that sits mere yards off the roads and trails we all love to ride.

Farm to table and local workshop to local trails; how many people in the world actually have the opportunity to do this? Not many. As a very physically active community, the ability to locally source our food and our bicycles is as good, or better, than anywhere else in the world.

As summer gets rolling in the Yampa Valley, it's always good to share reminders for safety and awareness.

Leave gates as you find them. Speak up with horse riders and ranchers along your route and offer to help with cattle drives. It's fun, and you may learn a thing or two.

Be wary of ag machinery on roadways as they frequently have different braking, signaling and turning radiuses than passenger vehicles and may have difficulty seeing cyclists. Leave no trace of trash, pee before your ride and don't hog the road as even the quietest of county roads is someone's main street.

I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to the CAA for making our Moots Colorado Ranch Rally event something that locals and visitors look forward to each year.

Our sense of community, like our awesome local agriculture products and sweet Moots titanium bikes can't be outsourced.

Jon Cariveau is with Moots Cycles.