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Spoke Talk: Ride local, support local

Tonya Kennish
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Happy summer! As riding season kicks into full gear, I’m thankful for the amazing selection of local trails. I was so excited to hop on Flash of Gold last week after it reopened from the seasonal closure. I rode (literally tongue-wagging) viewing the gorgeous columbines dotted along the trail. And while I saw several trees down, I was impressed with the freshly sawed stumps that opened nonstop access to the sweet singletrack before me.

Flash is a favorite among locals and visitors, along with the trails it now easily connects Grouse, BTR and the brand-new Buffalo Billy cutoff. It just keeps getting better and better. I think it goes without saying that our trails are a key feature to the active lifestyles so many of us crave — and dare I say, thrive on.

I am acutely aware that our trails are taking a beating after increased use (especially over the past year) compounded with the dry conditions. They need a lot of TLC. Currently, the ever-popular NPR trail is undergoing major improvements thanks to a private donor, city staff, contractors and volunteers. And since trails don’t manage themselves — that is where we come in. You and me, the collective “trail users.”



I urge you to consider the opportunities below to support the management, improvement and advocacy of our trails that is necessary to keep them riding — running and hiking — beautifully for years to come.

Amazon: Go to smile.amazon.com and select Routt County Riders as your charity. Download the app to make it even easier. Amazon will send you an email update regarding the amount contributed to RCR based on your purchases as well as the total amount RCR gets from combined supporters. Each update truly makes me smile. “Every little bit counts” it says. I would love to see the collective number go up.



RCR: Support RCR as a member. Go to RouttCountyRiders.org, click “Ride” and follow the links for membership. You will be directed to an IMBA page and simply select RCR as your local chapter. Membership goes towards RCR’s mission of cycling advocacy in Northwest Colorado, and you get a few other perks from IMBA. And if you do enjoy shopping, RCR has a lot of great merch you can buy online. I love their new Flylow Goodlab hats and MTB-specific jerseys.

Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund: This fund is a permanent funding source for nonmotorized trails and trail maintenance in both Routt and Moffat counties. This is a unique fund managed by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation that will ensure money is available forever for trail maintenance and ensures the trails get the TLC they need. Go to YVCF.org/trails to donate or look for the bright yellow refurbished parking meters at various trailheads.

Volunteer: If you enjoy trail building, RCR could always use your help on the trails. Go to RouttCountyRiders.org and click on the link for Volunteer opportunities. RCR has a number of trail work days throughout the summer.

Enjoy the trails. Keep riding and keep smiling!

Tonya Kennish is a member of Routt County Riders and is a trail ambassador.


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