Rotary, Routt County Riders partner to install signs on popular Emerald Mountain trail
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Rotary trail on the backside of Emerald Mountain got an upgrade, as 10 educational signs were installed Wednesday by members of Routt County Riders, Rotary of Steamboat Springs and the Bureau of Land Management, which has jurisdiction over the area.
The project started about a year ago when Rotary put aside some funds to put towards the signs. Routt County Riders came up with the idea for interpretive or educational signs with the goal to help kids and beginners learn a little more about mountain biking.
The signs are placed methodically, telling riders how to act around the cows where the cows normally are, guiding them through climbing ahead of the climb and suggesting safe descending skills before the downhill section.
There are also signs on how to handle switchbacks and muddy trails. Lobeck said the inspiration came from a trail in Fruita that had similar signage.
“That’s a trail that kids ride often. It’s a way to help kids improve their mountain bike skills,” said Routt County Riders Board Member and Head of the Marketing Committee Jessica Lobeck. “Sometimes, they don’t listen to their parents.”
Located off Routt County Road 45, the Rotary Trail is a 4.3 mile loop with almost 600 feet of elevation gain.
The signs were installed on Wednesday by members of all three collaborating groups. First, Lobeck and her daughter scouted the trail, marking where signs should go with flags. Then, they had to transport the heavy bases of the signs. With permission, the volunteers used an e-bike to move the bases.
Normally, electric bikes are not allowed on the trail, but for the sake of trail improvement, they made an exception. While the motor-assisted bikes bore the heaviest burden, Lobeck and other volunteers still had to heave the actual signs up the trail.
Volunteers had to dig out a flat spot to put the base before installing the post portion of the sign.
“It was a labor-intensive evening for sure,” said Lobeck.
There will be one more large signs installed later with text on Routt County Riders, the Bureau of Land Management as well as Rotary, making sure mountain bikers know who to thank for the educational signs.
“I think that one might be at one of the high points,” said Lobeck. “Where there is a nice lookout view where you would maybe want to stop anyways.”
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