Spoke Talk: Tour de Steamboat supports 4 local nonprofits | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: Tour de Steamboat supports 4 local nonprofits

Besides the beautiful scenery and fun post-ride barbecue and expo, a highlight of the Tour de Steamboat bike ride is the raffle for a custom, handmade titanium Eriksen bike.

Kent Eriksen started the tradition of donating a custom bike to the Tour 12 years ago. Last year, Brad and Hannah Bingham purchased the business and have continued the generous donation. All proceeds from the ride, bike raffle and auction directly benefit the Yampa Valley community through the four local nonprofit beneficiaries.

Not familiar with Kent Eriksen Cycles? Head to 12th Street and watch how Brad Bingham welds and builds bikes by hand to fit individual customers. For five consecutive years, Bingham has taken home the blue ribbon for Best Tig Weld, a highly coveted award, at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show.

This year's winner will work with Bingham to build his/her dream bike valued at $8,000. Fitted with Shimano components and customized with colors of your choice, it doesn't get any better for a cyclist.

The second and third place winners will not be disappointed. The second lucky raffle winner will get a DT Swiss wheelset valued at $1,286 and third will win a Giant Momentum fat tire cruiser, $701 value, customized with stickers from the Tour's five local brewery sponsors. The winners of the raffle will be chosen at 5:30 p.m. at the post-ride barbecue at Little Toots Park on Saturday, July 21. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Raffle tickets are available at tourde

New this year, the Tour de Steamboat is hosting an online auction. There is something for everyone, including a bronze sculpture of your choice from local artist Sandy Graves, Big Agnes camping gear, a gift certificate for a guided fishing trip on the Yampa, a one-year family membership to Old Town Hot Springs, a $1,000 lodging certificate from Wyndham Resorts and more. The online auction closes at 4 p.m. on July 21. To see all items available and start bidding, visit tourdesteamboat.com/online-auction.

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In 2017, the Tour de Steamboat raised more than $93,000 from registration fees and the raffle for the nonprofit beneficiary organizations, which all benefit the Yampa Valley in unique and valuable ways. Partners in Routt County makes a positive difference in the lives of Routt County youth by creating and supporting meaningful mentoring relationships. Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide provides suicide prevention, intervention and postvention through volunteer training, collaborative initiatives, educational programs and compassionate survivor-care. Routt County Riders advocates to implement positive change for cyclists in Northwest Colorado. And, finally, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council serves as a resource and catalyst for building a sustainable community and reducing our community's carbon footprint through education, tools, resources, events and collaboration.

The Tour de Steamboat is an all-volunteer event. Volunteers are needed both out on the course and at the expo. For more information and to sign up to volunteer, email abislings

Cameron Hawkins of Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, beneficiary of the Tour de Steamboat.