Steamboat’s Bob Enever is still cycling Routt County back roads at 92
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On the back of the Erikson bicycle Bob Enever rides is a custom license plate that reads, “92 Power Bob.” The number doesn’t describe the horsepower of the bike but instead indicates Enever’s age.
The 92-year-old has been biking for decades and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“My knees and nothing works as well as it used to, but I can still bike,” he said. “I suppose one of these days my balance will go or a knee will go. I don’t know what. I don’t know when the end is.”
Enever has a few passions that run deep in his soul, including the Yampa River Botanic Park, birds and biking. He was the creator of the Botanic Park in the 1990s and still works there daily. He’s a self-taught birder and photographer, having published a pair of books about the birds of Northwest Colorado. When he’s not enjoying the chirps of birds from the park or his patio at home, he’s pedaling down the back roads of Routt County.
Enever’s love affair with cycling began in 1997. He loved aerobic exercises that demanded endurance. He started running, then competing in marathons, then triathlons, which introduced him to cycling. Before he even knew what endorphins were, they were dictating his life as he grew addicted to the feeling of flying down the road.
“I used to get up at 5 in the morning and run before I went to the office at 20 below zero in deep snow, just because I was driven. I was hooked, you might say,” he said. “They don’t talk about withdrawal from endorphins, but there is a withdrawal that sends you out at 5 o’clock in the morning if it’s the only way you can get your running in.”
Thankfully, Enever and his wife, Audrey, spend the winters in California, so there’s no more snowy outings for Enever. They drive west each fall to dodge the cold, packing his bike so he can ride year round.
When he was a bit younger, Enever opted to cross country ski in the winter but has since stopped strapping on the skinny skis.
Enever used to go out every day to seek his endorphin high, participating in tours and races like Ride the Rockies. These days, his pedaling is far more casual. He goes out a couple of times a week, training for goal rides. Right now, he is training to ride one of his favorite routes, Willow Creek Pass in North Routt, just south of Hahns Peak Village.
“I’m sort of training right now, getting enough miles in to be able to do Willow Creek Pass,” Enever said. “I like hills, and I got my bike geared right so I can do hills.”
Enever moves slowly but methodically up the hills, knowing he can still balance when chugging along at 3 ½ miles per hour.
He might run into people he’s met over his 30 years in Steamboat Springs when biking down Routt County roads 131 or 18, but he rides alone.
“Many people don’t like to exercise alone, but I enjoy it and I think my best thoughts,” he said. “Usually it’s solving problems that I didn’t solve, and they’re in the back of my head. The solutions come when I’m not trying.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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It is going to be a hot week in Steamboat Springs.