Tour de Steamboat opens 2015 registration |

Tour de Steamboat opens 2015 registration

A group of riders heads up Colorado Highway 131 just outside Steamboat Springs during the 2014 Tour de Steamboat. The event raised a record $72

— It may seem a bit wintry outside, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the 12th annual Eriksen Tour de Steamboat presented by Shimano.

Registration for the annual cycling event opened at the beginning of the month. The Tour de Steamboat will take place July 18, and organizer Katie Lindquist Eriksen is optimistic this year’s event will reach its cap of 1,000 riders.

“We have about 100 riders registered for the event right now, which is about a 10th of the way for us,” Lindquist Erikesen said.

She said last year’s event drew more than 800 riders, and the three-ride format of the event offers opportunities for just about any level of cyclist. Participants can register for the 25-mile ride, which will be held on a rarely used road at the Sydney Peak Ranch, and there is also a 40-mile ride that takes participants to Stagecoach Reservoir and back along a scenic route to the south.

The marquee event is a 110-mile ride that takes riders from the heart of downtown over three mountain passes, including Rabbit Ears Pass, and climbs 6,978 vertical feet before returning riders back to Steamboat Springs.

“This is a very well organized event with lots of support for the riders,” Lindquist Eriksen said. “But the best thing about this race is its size. Since there are only 1,000 riders, there isn’t the congestion that riders typically find at other rides.”

She added that Colorado State Patrol offers traffic control and there are plenty of well-stocked aid stations with energetic volunteers that make riding in the event fun. At the end of the event the participants from all three rides gather for an end-of-event barbecue.

Riders will also have an opportunity to take part in several drawings that offer a chance at prizes ranging from a $7,500 hand-crafted cycle from Kent Eriksen and Shimano, a New Belgium cruiser bike or the chance to win a trip to one of four locations for two people. Ticket prices vary, and all items are listed and described in detail on the Tour de Steamboat website at

This year, organizers are offering the Titanium 2.0 Experience. For an added fee, riders can “upgrade” their ride with a light breakfast, gear storage, gear drop and private bathrooms at three aid stations. There will also be a private tent at the finish line with bike valet cold towels, additional beverages, a massage therapist and a live feed of the Tour de France.

Lindquist said Kent Eriksen started the Tour de Steamboat many years ago as a race. Twelve years ago Lindquist Eriksen and Brad Cusenbary brought the event back as a ride. Today, the Tour de Steamboat is a large fundraising event that supports four local organizations including Partners of Routt County, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, Routt County Riders and the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. In 2014, the ride raised $72,000 for those organizations.

This is the final year of a three-year commitment to these organizations, which partner with the Tour de Steamboat board of directors to provide a wide range of enticing fundraising opportunities. Next year, the board will re-evaluate the organizations it supports and make new commitments to local community groups.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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