Community Agriculture Alliance: More than a bike race |

Community Agriculture Alliance: More than a bike race

Greer Van Dyck
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

SBT GRVL, coming up Aug. 15, is more than just a bike race. It is a weekend event that uses bicycles as a vehicle to express their purpose and values, such as fun, safety, credibility, inclusiveness, challenge and positivity.

Another initiative important to the SBT GRVL team is building education and awareness around the lands and agricultural community that make Steamboat Springs a world class destination for gravel riding. Our team has worked hard to integrate a handful of activities that reflect this.

Back in 2019, the generosity of Jay Fetcher allowing the SBT GRVL courses to run through his property opened the door for this conversation to really begin, bringing together recreation and agriculture.

On June 8, the SBT GRVL team hosted a Community Day on the Fetcher property to bring together local partners and advocates to help support the cause. There was education on how formative the Fetcher family has been in the inception of Steamboat, awareness on the importance of working collaboratively toward a common goal and course trail cleanup.

This alliance has, among many other things, given individuals a voice to share how critical both recreation and agriculture are to thriving rural communities.

For a long time, recreation and agriculture haven’t always seen eye to eye, and the SBT GRVL team wants to turn that around by initiating important dialogues and creating education for both parties on the value that each one brings to any community.

Another partnership that means a great deal to the SBT GRVL team is with the Community Agriculture Alliance. Integration of local food programs into the race weekend’s food offerings has been made possible by the sourcing efforts of the association. Programs such as these are very important to keeping rural communities vibrant, and there will be continued awareness of these efforts to the community and beyond.

Additionally, informational sharing and education on public lands and conservation easements have been made possible through the important work and partnership with Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.

There will be a points of interest map that will be made available on our website and to each rider that will feature key locations, such as equine assisted therapy ranches, public land easements, lakes and mountain peaks for the purposes of connecting individuals to the areas in which they recreate.

The fun will begin Aug. 14 with an expo all day on Yampa Street between Ninth and 12th streets. Bring your families to enjoy the day at our Strider Race for the little ones, our Family Fun Zone put on by Alpine Bank and the Boys and Girls Club, and a full expo of local and national vendors who are ready to spend the day with you.

Greer Van Dyck is community relations director for SBT GRVL.

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