Spoke Talk: Steamboat Bike Park — love to love it | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: Steamboat Bike Park — love to love it

Kelly Northcutt For Steamboat Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There has been a significant amount of complaining about our wonderful ski and bike resort this summer: the gondola delay, gripes about the mountain coaster, the lack of new bike trails being built, etc. Maybe it is time to take a moment to see the other side of the picture.

Steamboat Springs has a gondola-serviced bike park. No, it is not Whistler. But Whistler started somewhere too, and personally, our bike park always leaves me sore and smiling.   

The following are a few things to note.

• Ski Corp. reduced the price of the bike park season pass from $239 to $99 and $49 for those under the age of 13. These are incredibly reasonable prices, considering that two days at other parks can be more than double this. Even if you only ride a few times, you certainly get your money's worth.

• With the pass they added three free days at Winter Park Trestle Bike Park, Snowshoe Bike Park in West Virginia, Evolution Bike Park in Crested Butte and Blue Mountain Bike Park in Ontario as well as 50 percent off a ticket at Angel Fire, New Mexico. If you feel like our park is not meeting all of your downhilling needs, I guarantee there are trails at those other parks to make your palms sweat. For some, that was the greater incentive to get a pass and explore other awesome parks.

• They extended the operating season until Oct. 22. This is the first time they have ever extended it that far and maybe this will encourage them to do so next season as well. Fall is the best time to ride in Steamboat and now we get to ride through the golden leaves with ease.

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I encourage our community to give our bike park some love. Your support and encouragement is what will generate the momentum to build more trails. The politics and turnover of the resort may or may not bring changes, but the best way to let them know your goals for the facility is to ride it. Tell them what they have done right and be part of the process to improve the experience.

Bike parks take advantage of existing winter infrastructure and increase the summer economy. They help get new riders into the sport. They provide directional, bike-specific trails that are difficult to get approved elsewhere.

Most of all, they are fun. Get out there and enjoy this extended season, and if you know anyone who is working hard maintaining the trails, providing medical care or promoting the growth of our park, give them a high-five.

Kelly Northcutt is an avid mountain biker, trail advocate, mountain bike guide and administrator for Routt County Riders. Routt County Riders is the local source for grassroots advocacy and information for all types of cycling. Find them at facebook.com/rcriders, routtcountyriders.org or email rcriders@routtcountyriders.org.