Trail and Town Challenge considerations for early mountain bike season |

Trail and Town Challenge considerations for early mountain bike season

Mountain bikes sit in a rack awaiting their riders' return on the Spring Creek Trail in Steamboat Springs, CO on Tuesday, May 15, 2007.
Brian Ray

Tentative schedule

May 30, Howelsen Hill

June 13, Mt. Werner Thunderhead Hill Climb

June 27, Howelsen Hill X-C

July 11, Mt. Werner

July 25, Howelsen Hill

August 1, Howelsen Hill

August 15, Buffalo Pass Hill Climb

August 24, Mt. Werner

If you go

What: Town Challenge Early Registration Party

Where: 5:30 to 7 p.m. today, Old Town Pub & Restaurant

Why: Save $10 on normal registration - $85 for adults, $45 for youth - for the eight-race Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series.

What: Routt County Riders' first 2007 trail work day

Where: 9 a.m. to noon, bottom of Blackmere Drive on Emerald Mountain.

Why: Lupine Trail re-route work. Bring work gloves and water, RCR will provide tools and lunch.

— Gretchen Sehler has been involved in helping organize the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series for 13 of its 18 years of existence.

She has never seen all the trails open for riding on Emerald Mountain as early as they have this season.

With the trails open, the Town Challenge director hopes riders keep the state of their singletrack in mind as they get ready for a new season and another summer of Town Challenge races.

“People should want to keep the trails in good condition so we can all enjoy them, and it’s my personal belief that anybody that uses the trails needs to help out with maintenance.”

Sehler’s philosophy is that one day of work a year per user is all it would take to keep the trails in prime condition. That one day could be the first “trail work day” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. The work day is hosted by the Routt County Riders.

“We’re going to do a small re-route on Lupine Trail that cuts through a perennial bog,” Sehler said.

Able bodies should meet at the bottom of Blackmere Drive with work gloves and plenty of water. Routt County Riders will provide tools as well as lunch.

As far as the 2007 Town Challenge goes, Sehler said the series will stick to its regular every-other-Wednesday-night schedule with back-to-back races July 25 and Aug. 1, followed by an off week.

Sehler encouraged local series racers to attend the Town Challenge early registration party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today at Old Town Pub. The normal $85 adult season pass cost, which includes entrance to all eight races and a T-shirt, will cost $75, and the youth pass will be $35 ($45 normally).

Normal pre-registration begins Thursday at the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Office, 245 Howelsen Parkway.

“It’s a pretty cool thing to see family and friends come together and how excited they get for something that’s a part of their life and summer,” Sehler said of the series, which starts May 30 at Howelsen Hill. “It’s a race atmosphere, but it’s still friendly fun.”

With many of the popular, lower-elevation valley rides open for use, including trails from the Spring and Mad Creek Trails to the Red Dirt and Lower Bear Trails, Sehler urged riders to be mindful of trail conditions.

“On upper MGM from the pond down to the Heart Field, there are a couple wet areas,” Sehler said. “You need to ride through the water instead of going around and widening the trail.”

Visit for more information on the series.

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