Spoke Talk: Plan B: Cycling motivation in the time of the coronavirus | SteamboatToday.com
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Spoke Talk: Plan B: Cycling motivation in the time of the coronavirus

Barb Dowski
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

The subject of the email: Event canceled. And just like that, the air went out of the proverbial balloon. Are you someone who is goal-oriented and finds extra motivation to stay fit by training for summer cycling events? Or, are you just not finding your usual motivation to ride due to this pandemic? Perhaps participating in a local event will reinvigorate you. 

Plan B for cyclist Rebecca Rusch took place recently when she created a challenge to cyclists around the globe, called the Everest Challenge, which gave her a training goal in the face of events that were canceled and also raised money for COVID-19 relief. The riders raised over $135,000 during their solo event, and Rebecca was connected to hundreds of other cyclists achieving the same goal at the same time. 

In Routt County, Plan B looks different depending on the event. First, the Moots Ranch Rally was canceled early on. Hopefully, it will be back in 2021.

Tour de Steamboat’s “COVID-19 Edition” considered every way to accomplish the ride with a unique twist — you have two weeks to do it beginning on July 18 and ending Aug. 2. The event does have some registration spots open ,and if you register by July 17, you’ll be eligible for their prizes — one of those custom Titanium bikes. Check out their website for other prizes. And knowing that by registering you’re helping out some of our local nonprofits is perhaps the only motivation you need to participate. 

For the inaugural Emerald Mountain Epic, formerly Steamboat Stinger, organizers are working on their COVID-19 contingency plan. Organizers said the event “will likely be able to take place with scaled-down numbers from previous years and with a virtual offsite option for folks to support Routt County Riders and Partners in Routt County from afar.”

They will potentially stagger riders at the start as well as have participants ride similar distances closer to hometowns. Stand by for more plan B developments there. 

For SBT GRVL, the race itself has been canceled, but the inaugural SBT VRTL is now taking place on the same day, Aug. 16. Registration is free, which says we should all be doing it community-wide, and there are four routes to choose from ranging from 37 to 144 miles. They have incredible sponsors and prizes, and the ride supports five local non-profits. You can choose where to donate on the registration website. The organizers have been striving to encourage everyone to ride more, and local nonprofits were chosen with that goal in mind. 

For those of you who just want to get out there, maybe, just maybe, there’s never been a better time to be out cycling, and donating, in Routt County. The snow has melted, the trails are open, the mag chloride has been dropped on most of our 650 miles of gravel, and Routt County Riders has been out cleaning up the asphalt and the dirt. Check out the Routt County Riders’ website for more cycling motivation at routtcountyriders.org.

Barb Dowski is a longtime Yampa Valley resident and serves as Routt County Riders’ Board Secretary.


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