Spoke Talk: SBT GRVL in our backyard | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: SBT GRVL in our backyard

Amy Charity
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

For many of us who are cycling enthusiasts, the words Fly Gulch, Trout Creek and the 14s conjure up vivid images of our recent gravel bike rides, where at least one person comments, “I can’t believe we get to live here,” “This is stunning,” or “I saw a (insert majestic creature — elk, moose, deer, bear, crane, eagle) here last week.” We are so fortunate to live in Routt County, with what we believe are the greatest gravel roads on earth.

During the SBT GRVL weekend, Aug. 13 to 15, we get to share the magic of our hometown with 3,000 cyclists hailing from every state and 15 countries. While some of these athletes are World Tour bike racers, Tour de France riders, National Champions and even fresh off the plane from Tokyo, the vast majority are everyday journeywomen or journeymen, aged 9 to 83 years old, looking to have the best day of the year on their bikes.

From the outset, SBT GRVL has focused on investing in our community, our racers and causes that we believe in. What this means for our community is a year-round commitment to giving back, including a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, who will host a Family Fun Festival during the SBT GRVL Expo, along with Alpine Bank.

It is a partnership with the Community Agriculture Alliance that allows us the incredible opportunity to ride on the Fetcher family’s ranch, as well as to collaborate with local ranches to supply food for our event. Finally, we have partnered with Routt County Riders for a community trail cleanup day, as well as a fun fundraising day of serving beverages at the SBT GRVL post-race party Aug 15.

SBT GRVL is known as one of the top-5 premier gravel events in the world. The reason for this bold acumen often used regarding the race is our commitment to the racer. Giving a nod to our Western Heritage, top placing finishers walk away with a Stetson hat from F.M. Light & Son. Every racer receives a meal from a local restaurant, a CO trucker hat and a loaded goody bag. In addition to caloric necessities, our aid stations are remembered for our local volunteers with their enthusiasm and encouragement.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

One of the initiatives of which we are the proudest is our commitment to investing in causes that we believe in, primarily getting more people on bikes. Our focus on parity and moving towards equal numbers of men and women on bikes is a top priority for our team.

Additionally, we have expanded our inclusivity mission to include the Black, Indigenous and People of Color community and have provided 25 scholarships to BIPOC athletes from around the country as part of our Ride for Racial Justice partnership. We will continue to leverage our platform to create opportunities with the goal of growing the sport of cycling, and we are just getting started with all the areas that we believe we can influence.

Whether Fly Gulch, Trout Creek or the 14s are part of your current vernacular or not, we are confident that you will find something to enjoy during the SBT GRVL weekend. Aug. 14’s Expo includes a local band (Yer State Birds), free outdoor yoga offered by Old Town Hot Springs, a Parity Panel and much more. On Aug. 15, please join us in celebrating the accomplishment of every rider who will have just experienced the greatest gravel roads on earth.

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