Spoke Talk: Take a kid mountain biking
On Oct. 1, the International Mountain Bicycling Association encourages communities throughout the U.S. and around the world to unite and ride mountain bikes with kids through its Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
Since 2014, Routt County Riders has joined forces with Partners in Routt County to offer a mountain-biking opportunity to several junior partners in the youth mentoring program. Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare donated rental bikes sized according to each youth’s height and age, and Routt County Riders volunteers took to local parks and trails. Past days have been an overwhelming success, with ride leaders having as much fun as the kids.
This year, Routt County Riders and Partners in Routt County will again bring bikes and kids together at local parks and trails Oct. 1. While RCR is focusing its efforts on its continued collaboration with Partners, all parents are encouraged to spend the day enjoying mountain biking with their kids.
Bike parks and skills parks provide a great place to practice before hitting the trail. The bike park at Bear River Park, trailforks.com/region/bear-river-bike-park, and the BMX track at Howelsen Hill, trailforks.com/skillpark/steamboat-springs-bmx-track, both offer fun areas for beginners to get the feeling of turns and changes in trail pitch with rollers.
With this summer’s completion of the re-route heading toward the Emerald Bluffs at Howelsen Hill near the stables, this area has become more accessible to beginners. The re-route is the single track that starts south of the hill behind the rodeo’s concrete bleachers, trailforks.com/trails/bluffs-loop/. A longer loop option would be to go up Ricky’s Ridge and come down the new, summer of 2016 lower NPR trail that is a bit easier than the upper section, built in 2015.
The approximate 3.5-mile Rotary trail, trailforks.com/trails/rotary, with its improved and expanded parking lot, is another good location for the more advanced beginners, due to the length of the loop and a few steeper pitches.
If the weather is questionable, the Butcherknife trail trailforks.com/trails/butcherknife and other in-town trails are ridable without damaging the trail surface. Parking on Amethyst near the high school also allows you to access lower Spring Creek trailforks.com/trails/spring-creek-lower, and the Core Trail, if your kid is looking for more distance.
Many of us earned our love of cycling at a young age, and most of us still consider ourselves kids at heart when riding. Consider sharing your passion for pedaling with your own kids or neighbor kids Oct. 1, or volunteer with Routt County Riders.
Routt County Riders is the local source for grassroots advocacy and information for all types of cycling. If you want to help or would like more information, contact us at facebook.com/rcriders, routtcountyriders.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric Meyer is a Routt County Riders board member and volunteer.
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