Storm Peak Climb makes riders wonder
Steamboat Springs — Many of the riders who take part in Steamboat Springs’ Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series buy season passes for the eight-race circuit.
It’s cheaper, $160 for those buying early. Registering separately for each race, $35 for a day-of signup, could run up to $280, so most riders sign up for the whole thing before it starts.
That may be a good thing for a race such as Wednesday’s.
At 8.7 miles, Wednesday’s Storm Peak Hill Climb isn’t the longest race of the season. It’s far from it, actually.
The race is one of the most iconic, however, and certainly one of the most challenging. Where as most races mix up and down, Wednesday’s is nothing but up — a climb from the comforts of town to one of the highest points in the area.
It’s not easy.
“You’re thinking, ‘I can’t believe I paid to do this,’” said Katie Lindquist, former pro cyclist and a regular in the series.
“You go through so many mind changes,” she said. “You’re always thinking someone’s having more fun than you are.”
The Storm Peak Hill Climb, the fifth scheduled and fourth actual Town Challenge this summer (one was rained out), begins at 5:25 p.m. with children’s races.
Don’t worry. The course for the young racers isn’t quite as taxing, running near the starting line near Gondola Square.
The riders in the sports divisions also get a bit of a break, riding to a finish line at the top of the gondola on Thunderhead Peak.
The pro/open, expert and singlespeed riders, meanwhile, have 3,472 feet of climbing to conquer.
This year’s trail will offer some changes. Construction at Steamboat Ski Area will force a re-route that will include parts of the resort’s new Pioneer trail.
That may be enough for some of those riders to have fun, and certainly tackling and beating the challenge itself is a motivator.
The views are unbeatable and the sense of accomplishment unmatched, at least in the Town Challenge series.
That all comes at the top, however.
On the way up, for many riders, it’s a whole lot of questioning.
“It’s an all-out time trial, and you just don’t stop until you get to the end,” Lindquist said.
Registration for the race will be open until 5:15 p.m. in Gondola Square; the cost $35.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
With the threat of yet another drought-ridden summer looming over the Yampa Valley, the consequences of climate change are again knocking at our door. It’s the same story seemingly year after year, and people are…