Spoke Talk: Ride for good at Yampa Valley’s premier cycling event
Steamboat Springs — One day. Three rides. Four nonprofits. Let’s make it more than 1,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities.
The 11th annual Tour de Steamboat, presented by Kent Eriksen Cycles, will provide cyclists the opportunity to take to the hills and test their endurance, skill and equipment. This noncompetitive event is followed by a barbecue with drawings for a complete custom Eriksen bike, trips, wine and more.
One day: Saturday, July 19.
Three rides: a 25-mile ride to Sydney Peak Ranch; a-40 mile jaunt to Stagecoach and back; or the epic 110-mile ride, the Gore Gruel, which takes cyclists over Rabbit Ears, Gore and Yellow Jacket passes.
Four nonprofits: Last year, the all-volunteer-run Tour de Steamboat refocused its efforts inward and chose four nonprofit organizations within the Steamboat community as its beneficiaries. Once again this year, those four nonprofits — Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, Partners of Routt County, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide and Routt County Riders — are assisting in putting on this ride and will reap the benefits when all is said and done.
Last year’s ride netted each nonprofit a lofty $12,250! At Routt County Riders, those funds enabled us to support the purchase of more Share the Road materials and signage, sponsor a port-o-let at Chuck Lewis Park for road riders, increase the down payment on our trail building machine and accomplish trail maintenance projects.
Throughout the year and leading up to race day, the four beneficiaries and the dedicated volunteer support staff work not only to make the experience more enjoyable for attendees but also to make the event more profitable. The event provides a unique opportunity for the nonprofit organizations to work together and share successes and challenges within their own groups and utilize each other’s strengths and innovative ideas. As such, a few improvements have been implemented for this year’s event.
New this year, the Tour de Steamboat will offer the option of the VIP experience, which includes valet parking and private port-o-lets, a pre-ride breakfast and the chance to hobnob with local cycling legends and receive a last minute bike check from onsite mechanics. Post ride, the VIP tent will offer shade, massages, cold beer and drinks, snacks, a one-day pass to Old Town Hot Springs, a gondola ride and lots of top-notch swag.
Replacing the benefit dinner this year, the committee is focusing its efforts on three key fundraising segments: a new robust online auction, the famous Eriksen Bike Drawing and the Great Wine Pull. The online auction is open, and items will continue to be added until July 18, when it closes. To view auction items or purchase tickets for the Eriksen Bike Drawing or Great Wine Pull, visit http://www.32auctions.com/tourdesteamboat. Partners is also supporting ticket sales at http://www.partnersrouttcounty.org.
The ride can accommodate more than 1,000 cyclists, and each one who registers contributes to those funds that will be distributed within our community. So consider signing up, and spread the word near and far. Beyond a great community fundraising event, it’s a fun party and a fantastic way to see our beautiful countryside! For information or to register, visit http://www.tourdesteamboat.com.
Steve Williams is a Routt County Riders member and volunteer and serves on the Tour de Steamboat beneficiaries committee.
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