Maps & tips | Trail & Road rides | Family cruising
2017 Bike Guide Bike Town USA ® special pull-out
RIDE GUIDE BIKE EVENT calendar
LOCAL TRAIL updates
THE GUIDE TO BIKING THE ‘BOAT steamboatbiketown.com
2017 Bike Guide | 1
AFTER your epic day in the saddle...
Aquavitaspas.com | 970-879-4390 | Central Park Plaza Showroom open Mon - Fri, 10 - 6 & Saturday 10 - 5 2 | 2017 Bike Guide
HAYMAKERGOLF.COM 970.870.1846 | 34855 U.S. HIGHWAY 40 18-HOLE PUBLIC COURSE LOCATED EAST OF TOWN ON HIGHWAY 40
STEAMBOATALPINESLIDE.COM 970.819.8010 | 645 HOWELSEN PARKWAY LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AT THE BASE OF HOWELSEN HILL
STEAMBOATSPRINGS.NET/ICE 970.871.7033 | 285 HOWELSEN PARKWAY LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS NEXT TO THE RODEO GROUNDS steamboatbiketown.com
STEAMBOAT10S.COM 970.879.8400 | 2500 PINE GROVE ROAD OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 7 DAYS A WEEK! LOCATED AT THE BASE OF 2017MT. BikeWERNER Guide | 3
Auto • Truck • 4X4 • Foreign • Domestics Even the best cyclist needs an auto mechanic!
SUMMER TIRES! Call for appointment
970-871-1346 • Brian Small - Owner
www.docsautoclinic.com • 2565 Copper Ridge Drive • Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
A SeAt At the tAble for everyone!
970.879.5667 | Central Park Plaza | tue -Fri 11-5:30 & Sat. 11-4 www.davidchaserugsandfurniture.com 4 | 2017 Bike Guide
We are here to keep
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970.879.6663 | www.orthosb.com | email@example.com 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 280, Steamboat Springs, CO | 595 Russell, Craig, CO Official Physicians of the US Ski Team and the PRCA Pro Rodeo Series steamboatbiketown.com
2017 Bike Guide | 5
LOCATION: Buffalo Pass, Steamboat Springs, Colorado | PHOTO: noahdavidwetzel.com
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Gondola – Opens June 30, 2017 Daily: 10am - 4pm • Sunday: 9:30am - 4pm Thurs & Fri: Open until 7pm through 8/27 Fri-Sun: 10am - 4pm • September 8 - 24 Bike Park Hours Daily: 10am - 4pm Thurs & Fri: Open until 7pm through 8/24
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HOURS & INFORMATION
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Coca Cola Adventure Zone Activities Operate Saturday - Tuesday: 10am - 5pm Thursday & Friday: 10am - 7pm
Guest Services Info Center and Lost & Found Daily: 9am - 4pm Thurs & Fri: Open until 7pm through 8/24
Sunset Happy Hour: July 6 - Aug 24 Most Thursdays & Sundays, upload 5 - 8pm
Bear River BBQ: Daily: 11am - 7pm Oasis Sundeck: 11am - 4pm Gondola Joe’s: 8am, breakfast and lunch
BIKE PARK SPONSORS
This map may change, maps and updated information are available at the Gondola Base Area.
Bike Rentals Steamboat Bike Shop is in the Sheraton Daily: 9am - 5pm Thursdays & Fridays: Open until 7:30pm
For more information visit steamboat.com/bike
Restaurants – Reservations: 970.871.5150* *Korbel® Sunday Brunch on the Mountain: 9:30am - 2pm *Hazie’s Dinner: Thur - Sat: 6pm - 8:30pm
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Steamboat is located in the Routt National Forest and is operated under permit from the Forest Service.
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2017 Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation This map is an artistic representation. Degrees of difficulty ratings are relative to Steamboat Resort only.
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Ski HauS HaS tHe bikeS, Selection, & Service to make every ride fun
Steamboat’s Largest Fleet of Rental Bikes. Mountain, Road, Comfort, Cruisers, Kids & Trailers.
Best Retail Selection featuring Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Cervelo, Santa Cruz, Fox, Giro, Pearl Izumi, Club Ride, E-Bikes, and tons more!
Ski Haus . 879.0385 . Open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday 9 am to 5 pm. Highway 40 and Pine Grove Road . www.skihaussteamboat.com
Hot Springs • Fitness Center • Water Slides • Massage • Fitness Classes • Cafe • Child Care Open year round, 7 days a week in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs
970.879.1828 • oldtownhotsprings.org • 136 Lincoln Avenue • Downtown Steamboat 8 | 2017 Bike Guide
Steamboat Bike Town USA Initiative Board of Directors Chris Sias, president David High, vice president Linda Corkadel, secretary Brad Iversen, treasurer Reall Colbenson, Kent Foster, Liana Jones, Larry Mashaw, Trevyn Newpher, Brian Savino, David Scully Director Amy Stern Safe Routes to School Coordinator Sally Cariveau The 2017 Steamboat Springs Bike Guide is produced by the Steamboat Today. Suzanne Schlicht, Publisher Eugene Buchanan, Magazine Editor Julia Hebard, Creative Services Manager Photographers Aryeh Copa, Scott Franz, Corey Kopischke, Larry Pierce, Joel Reichenberger, John Russell, Matt Stensland, Noah Wetzel For advertising information, call Bryna Sisk at 970-871-4235
Welcome ................................................................................ 10 Bike Ambassadors ................................................................. 11 Event Calendar ..................................................................... 13 Steamboat Cycling Events .................................................... 14 Accolades Roll In For Cycling In Steamboat . ....................... 16 New Grinta Cycling Camps .................................................. 17 Fat Biking Gaining Steam ..................................................... 18 E-Bikes In The ‘Boat............................................................... 20 Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund . .................................. 21 2A New Trails Update ........................................................... 22 Ride Guide — Pull Out Section (PG. 25)
2017 RIDE GuIDE Bike Town USA ®
Trail ratings, tips, maps, descriptions and more for Steamboat’s favorite rides, from classic roadie tours to Emerald Mountain, the Steamboat Bike Park and more. Take this special pull-out section with you on the trail for easy reference.
THE steamboatbiketown INSIDE TRACK .com
ON STEAMBOAT’S TRAILS AND 2017 Ride ROADS Guide | 25
MAps & TIps | TrAIl & rOAD rIDEs | FAMIly crUIsING
2017 Bike Guide Bike Town USA ® special pull out
RIDE GUIDE BIKE EVENT calendar
LOCAL TRAIL updates
THE GUIDE TO BIKING THE ‘BOAT steamboatbiketown.com
2017 Bike Guide | 1
On the cover: Local mountain biker Justin Reiter makes his way down the MGM trail on lower Emerald Mountain in downtown Steamboat Springs. Photo by Noah Wetzel steamboatbiketown.com
Routt County Riders ............................................................. 57 Après Biking Downtown........................................................ 58 Breweries in the ‘Boat . ......................................................... 59 Online Bike Guide . ............................................................... 60 Spoke Talk with Brent Whittington......................................... 61 Where Olympians Ride ......................................................... 62 Share the Road ..................................................................... 65 Safe Bike Riding Tips ............................................................ 65 Bike Shop Roundup .............................................................. 66 Local Bike Builders . .............................................................. 68 STARS Adaptive Cycling ....................................................... 69 Women’s Riding Programs.................................................... 70 Gravel Riding Going Gangbusters ....................................... 71 5 Minutes with Trevyn Newpher............................................. 72
2017 Bike Guide | 9
Welcome! Welcome to another great season of riding in Bike Town USA We realize that cyclists have choices – choices as to where to travel, the type of riding to pursue, and what après experience will cap a perfect day of cycling. As Christopher Sias, Steamboat Bike Town enthusiastic proponents USA Initiative Board of cycling in President Steamboat Springs, we hope you’ll choose us as your “must ride” destination this year, and we believe you’ll find the choice rewarding at many levels.
Bike Town USA Board and Staff (l to r): David High, Amy Stern, Reall Colbenson, Liana Jones, Linda Corkadel, Chris Sias, David Scully, Trevyn Newpher, Brian Savino, Kent Foster. Not pictured: Brad Iversen, Larry Mashaw.
If you ride on Emerald Mountain, keep an eye out for a Bike Town Ambassador – they’ll be wearing their “Ask a Local” jersey and are happy to help with route-finding or a friendly restaurant tip. Our single-track network continues to grow, nurtured by active volunteers, public funding and stakeholders driven to enhance the cycling experience in Steamboat Springs. The trails on Buffalo Pass will open to the public this summer, featuring a new uphill trail and a variety of downhill options. Trail development continues on Emerald Mountain and throughout town. With the addition of the new trails, Steamboat will offer a palette for riders of all abilities, as well as plenty of variety for a multi-day visit or several trips throughout the summer. Gravel riding continues to grow as an activity unto itself or as a way to link
traditional road segments with detours onto our scenic rural roads. The Steamboat Bike Park continues to evolve and is a perfect place to challenge yourself with some downhill laps or take a lesson to refine your gravity riding skills. With great dining and new family activities scheduled to open this summer, including a coaster and mini-golf, it’s an excellent place to spend the day. As always, Steamboat offers great accommodations, from plentiful camping to luxury condominiums, a varied and deep restaurant scene, and excellent bike shops to set you up with a rental, repairs and a friendly steer toward the perfect ride. We hope you’ll enjoy the riding here as much as the locals do. See you out there. —Chris Sias, President, Bike Town USA
Experience Steamboat Springs on two wheels this year Bike Town USA® is home to endless biking adventures. Explore hundreds of miles of county roads, taking in the gorgeous scenery. Get your blood pumping on extensive cross country trail systems that allow for quick rides from downtown to full-day expeditions. The Steamboat Bike Park boasts over 50 miles of thrilling downhill trails with lift-service. The 7.5-mile paved Yampa River Core Trail winds through downtown along the scenic Yampa River, perfect for family bike outings. With significant dedicated tax dollars funding trail building
throughout the Yampa Valley, every year we debut new and improved trails to be tackled. Stay tuned to SteamboatBikeTown.com for updates on openings. Insider tip: come in late September or early October to bike on Emerald Mountain through the golden aspens in the crisp, fall air. Head to Yampa Street after your ride for delicious bites and refreshing drinks to make for an exceptional day in Steamboat. — Kara Stoller, CEO, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association
Kara Stoller, CEO, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association
Welcome! Please share the road While Steamboat Springs is popularly known as Ski Town USA, we are also a world-class cycling community. Be aware that Colorado state law requires motorists to give bikers a 3 foot (1 meter) clearance at all times, and that cyclists may be encountered on roads or streets in Steamboat Springs and throughout Routt County. Riders have equal 10 | 2017 Bike Guide
status with drivers, and may use traffic lanes as needed, especially if no bike lane is available. It’s best to treat them as a slow-moving vehicle: yield where appropriate and pass only when clear. Please remember to “Share the Road” with these users!” Jack Trautman, President, Routt County Riders steamboatbiketown.com
Welcome Continued No better place to spend your time Welcome to Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley, a place of immense beauty from the valley floor to the mountain peaks, and a place that offers nearly every aspect of biking to match your desires. Whether it be road biking on our scenic highways, a family cruise along the Yampa River Core Trail, competing with friends at Bear River Bike Park, flying down the flow trails at Steamboat Bike Park, or riding the endless miles of singletrack on Emerald Mountain, Buffalo Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass and the surrounding area — there’s something for everyone.
There is no better place to spend your time on two wheels than right here in Bike Town, U.S.A. On any day of the week, you can find solitude on a ride or join friends for a challenge at almost any ability level. In Bike Town, U.S.A., recreational and amateur riders regularly join the world-class elite on our trails. I trust that you, too, will enjoy your time here. I hope to see you on the trail! — Jim Schneider, Vice President of Skier Services, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
Bike town usa ambassadors
At your service: look for Bike Town USA’s new bike ambassadors in yellow jerseys.
New to town and looking for directions on local trails? Look for riders in yellow jerseys to help you and provide information. Entering its pilot season, Bike Town USA’s new Bike Town Ambassador program will field 10 to 15 ambassadors this summer on city and Forest Service trails in and around Steamboat to help answer any questions riders might have. The all-volunteer riders won’t have set schedules but will ride a minimum number of days and carry maps and more to offer wayfinding and tourist information to trail users. “You’ll be able to recognize them by their yellow jerseys,” says program organizer Liana Jones. “They’ll be like ski ambassadors, there to help. They’re not mechanics or bike patrols, but just riders out to ensure everyone’s ride goes as smoothly as possible. It’ll be helpful for both tourists and locals.” She adds that one area they’ll be able to offer assistance in is for those accidentally riding directional trails the wrong way. “It’s kind of like roving signage,” she says, adding that they’ll also serve the public trails on the ski mountain, but not the Steamboat Bike Park itself. “Everyone’s pretty excited about it, from the city to the ski area. It should be a great program.” Info: www.steamboatbiketown.com 2017 Bike Guide | 11
at. in Downtown Steambo
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12 | 2017 Bike Guide
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BIKE EVeNTS CALENDAR May the Hell’s Maybell, free, 3013 Where mile scenic group ride from Craig to Maybell on U.S. Highway 40, www.visitmoffatcounty.com
3rd Annual Cog Ride, 11 a.m., Wesley Park, Hayden. 31-mile paved/gravel ride, 28-mile mountain bike ride, 3-5 mile family fun ride. www.haydenheritagecenter.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-846-2333 SSWSC Bike Swap, Howelsen Hill, www.sswsc.org
of the Boat series, 21 Captain www.bike.steamboat.com
Challenge Mountain Bike Race 26 Town Series, Howelsen, www.townchallenge.com Camps Endurance 4-day 26-30 Grinta Cycling Camp, www.grintacamps.com
Challenge Mountain Bike Race 21 Town Series, Howelsen, www.townchallenge.com Camps Junior 23-25 Grinta Development Weekend (ages
includes aprés party and T-shirt. www.steamboatstars.com Challenge Mountain Bike Race 30 Town Series, Howelsen, www.townchallenge.com
September of the Boat series, 1 Captain www.bike.steamboat.com 2-4
Steamboat Springs Stage Race (presented by Moots Cycles), www.bikesteamboat.com
Enduro-X Mountain 9-10 Steamboat Bike Series, www.Enduro-Xrace.com High School League 10 Colorado Mountain Bike Race, Howelsen, www.coloradomtb.org
August Challenge Mountain Bike Race 16 Town Captain of the Boat series, Series Finale, Howelsen, 4 www.bike.steamboat.com www.townchallenge.com
Biking the Boat Charity 26 STARS Ride (5-, 26-, 52-, and 75-mile rides);
Eriksen Tour de Steamboat (fundraiser rides including 110-mile “Gore Gruel,” 40-mile Stagecoach ride and family friendly Core Trail ride), www.tourdesteamboat.com
June (Colorado Bike-To-Work Month) Kick-off Town Challenge Mountain Stinger Mountain 7 Bike Race Series, Marabou, 12-13 Steamboat Bike Race (50-mile, plus full/half Moots Colorado Ranch Rally (50-mile, dirt/gravel non-competitive ride), www.moots.com
of the Boat series, 18 Captain www.bike.steamboat.com
trail marathons), www.steamboatstinger.com Triathlon At Lake 13 Steamboat Catamount (Sprint, Olympic, & Aqua Bike), www.withoutlimits.com
Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series, Mt. Werner, www.townchallenge.com
and Chainless, Steamboat Ski 23 Quick Area, www.bike.steamboat.com
October Annual Steamboat Springs 7 11th Mustache Ride (fundraiser for Routt County Humane Society), www.ssmustacheride.com
Tri the Boat Triathalon, Stagecoach; www.steamboatstars.com
opens for summer riding 30 Gondola season, www.steamboat.com
July of the Boat series, 7 Captain www.bike.steamboat.com Bike Week, 10-15 Steamboat Presented by Bike Town USA, Bikerelated events for cyclists of all ages and abilities www.steamboatbiketown.com Town Challenge Storm Peak Hill Climb, 12 Bike Mt. Werner, www.townchallenge.com CycleArt Presented by 14 Steamboat Alpine Bank, auction of local bike-inspired art benefitting Bike Town USA and the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation - www.steamboatbiketown.com Kitchen and Garden Tour 15 Strings by Bicycle, visit seven homes and gardens. Registration required - www.stringsmusicfestival.com Camps Women’s 4-day 19-23 Grinta Cycling Retreat,
Ongoing events Town Challenge Dates: June 7; June 21; July 12; July 26; August 16; August 30; September 16 SSWSC Steel Club Road Training Races: May 24 - Rabbit Ears Time Trial; June 28 - Hwy. 131 Time Trial; July 19 - Twentymile Time Trial; Aug. 9 - Team Time Trial; Sept. 13 - Rabbit Ears Time Trial Gravity Groms: 2-day downhill clinics for juniors. Steamboat Bike Park, Tuesdays/Wednesdays in July and August. Info: www.steamboatbikepark.com Gravity Girls Clinic: Steamboat Bike Park, Thursdays June 15- Aug. 24. Info: www.steamboatbikepark.com Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare: Basic Bicycle Maintenance Clinics (free): Second Tuesday of every month. All clinics start at 7 p.m. and last an hour. Info: 970 879-9144, www.facebook.com/steamboatskiandbikekare Steamboat Ski And Bike Care Women’s Mountain Bike Clinics and Ride Nights (free): Tuesdays May 30-Aug. 23. All levels welcome, 5:45pm courthouse lawn; bring functioning mountain bike, water and trail tools. Clinics follow at 7 p.m. Info: www.facebook.com/skiandbikekarewomen; email@example.com Team Flying Wheels BMX Race Series: Steamboat Springs BMX will again be hosting its summer race series at the 980-foot-long, USA BMX-sanctioned track located at the base of Howelsen Hill. Open to all ages and abilities, the cost per race is $10 with registration 4:30 -5:45 p.m. and the races starting at 6 p.m. Races and clinics are held Thursdays June 29 - Aug. 17. The group will also host two, four-week summer coaching sessions from 9-11 am. Session 1: June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20. Session 2: July 27, Aug. 3, Aug. 10, Aug. 17. Info: www.usabmx.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (970) 846-9880.
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Steamboat cycling events
Want to race or participate in a great cycling event this summer? Following is a line-up of town’s top events to put on your riding radar
Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series (Wednesdays, all summer) Held on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer riding season, Steamboat’s Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series brings out riders of all abilities for everything from hill climbs to cross-country events. Kicking off June 7 at Marabou Ranch, the series offers 24 different categories, from pro/open to three different age groups for men’s and women’s expert, sport and novice divisions. It also offers kids and even single-speed categories. Points are awarded for each race, with the results tallied for top bragging rights at a raucous party at season’s end. Riders can register ahead of time online or at the city’s Parks office, or on-site on race day. “It’s become more popular than ever, with more locals and visitors turning out each year,” says longtime series co-organizer Gretchen Sehler. “It’s a great way to bring riders together Steamboat-style.” Info: www.townchallenge.com
2017 Town Challenge Races June 7 – Marabou June 21 – Howelsen Hill July 12 – Mt Werner July 26 – Howelsen Hill Aug 16 – Mt Werner Aug 30 – Howelsen Hill Sept 16 – Howelsen Hill (TBD Final)
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4th Annual Moots Colorado Ranch Rally (June 17) This fourth annual event has proven itself a community classic, featuring a 50-mile group gravel and dirt road ride showcasing area ranches while benefitting the Community Agriculture Alliance. Culminating with an after party at local bike manufacturer Moots, the noncompetitive event draws 150 riders to rural dirt and gravel roads around Routt County connecting area historical ranches and farms. En route you’ll pass by historic Elk Mountain Cemetery and ghost town of Mystic, enjoy lunch at a working ranch and finish with a climb over Fly Gulch before ending at the Moots headquarters. “It lets you see Steamboat’s amazing countryside in a great group ride setting,” says Moots spokesperson Jon Cariveau. Info: www.moots.com Steamboat Bike Week (July 10-15) Steamboat celebrates cycling fullbore July 10-15 with its fourth annual Bike Week, offering two-wheeled fun for the whole family. Organized by Bike Town USA, the week-long series of cycling events includes discounts and specials at local bike shops and the Steamboat Bike Park; skills clinics; a Town Challenge race (The Bike Town Challenge - Storm Peak Hill Climb) on Mount Werner; Steamboat CycleArt auction of bike-inspired art; Moots factory tours; a Bike-in movie; Kitchen and Garden Tour by Bicycle; new trail openings; and much more. “It’s always an awesome week, with a variety of bicycling-related activities all week long,” says Bike Town USA director Amy Stern. “It’s a great week to visit Steamboat.” Info: www.steamboatbiketown.com
Captain of the Boat Series (July 7, 21; Aug 4, 18; Sept. 1) The Captain of the Boat Series returns to the Steamboat Bike Park on Friday nights this summer, providing a competitive gravity opportunity for riders of all ages and abilities. This year’s series starts July 7 and continues every other week until the final race Sept. 1. With the focus on fun, experienced racers can test their skills against the best in the ‘Boat while newbies can enjoy a relaxed introduction to competitive mountain biking. To become this year’s Captain of the Boat, you’ll need to beat such local mainstays as Marlo RossBryant and multiple women’s champ Yvonne Delaunty, who once tallied a perfect 2,400 points for the season. Info: www.bike.steamboat.com Eriksen Tour de Steamboat (July 22) When mountain bike hall-of-famer Kent Eriksen first concocted the Tour de Steamboat in the 1980s, a motley crew of 80 riders pedaled a 50-mile loop to Oak Creek and back. Now, the event draws up to 1,000 riders each year, all while benefitting local nonprofit organizations, including Routt County Riders. The non-competitive event offers rides of four distances, including a 26-mile loop out to Sydney Peak Ranch (963-foot gain), a 46-mile Stagecoach out-and-back (2,200-foot gain), and the infamous 116-mile Gore Gruel (8,000-foot gain), which takes riders from Steamboat over Rabbit Ears and Gore passes and back (with plenty of aid stations en route). This year also includes a 66-mile Yampa Loop (3,100foot gain) to Stagecoach, Phippsburg and Yampa along the Flat Tops mountain range. “It’s a great event for a great cause,” says Eriksen. “These routes offer a fun and challenging day for all members of your group or family, and showcase northwest Colorado’s steamboatbiketown.com
The best part about joining an event? Pedaling with your peers.
beautiful mountains, forests, rivers, ranch land and historic communities.” Info: www.tourdesteamboat.com Steamboat Stinger (Aug. 12-13) This year marks the seventh straight running of the locally organized Steamboat Stinger race, hosted by Steamboat’s own Honey Stinger. Serving up a healthy dose of punishment Emerald Mountainstyle, this year’s event will lure 500 mountain bikers to town to race 50 miles up and over Emerald Mountain, not once but twice, in a two-loop circuit. Billed as “epic fun with western flair,” this year’s event will again offer solo and duo divisions, as well as half and full marathon trail races. “Racing is in our DNA, so this is a great way to promote our local, world-class trail system,” says Honey Stinger’s Len Zanni. “It’s become a
highlight of the summer riding season and gives people a great reason to come to Steamboat.” Eat plenty of Honey Stinger if you hope to beat the course record of 4:07:58, and even more to earn the coveted King Sting and Queen Bee categories, awarded to those who both ride and run. Info: www.honeystinger.com Steamboat Enduro-X Mountain Bike Race (Sept. 9-10) Enduro-X riding returns with the two-day, six-stage Enduro-X race at the Steamboat Bike Park. Open to riders 14 and older and benefitting Routt Count Riders Trail Building and the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the downhill extravaganza features descents of 2,000 feet or more. Info: www.Enduro-Xrace.com
Steamboat Stage Race (Sept. 2-4) The idea for the Steamboat Stage Race started when founder Corey Piscopo moved to town in 2008 and saw an opportunity for a new event drawing road racers from around the state. The event’s uniqueness stems from its stage race format, similar to the Tour de France, requiring racers to compete all three days, including a time trial, road race and criterium. It also offers 10 different racing categories for men and women, based on age and ability, with equal prize money for the pro men and women. This year’s ninth annual race is slated for Sept. 2-4. “It’s great because you get pro riders racing right alongside locals,” Piscopo says, adding that this year’s event should draw nearly 400 competitors. “It’s a Colorado classic for pro-am racing.” Info: www.bikesteamboat.com
Steamboat Bike Week July 10-15 Mark your calendar for July 10-15, when Steamboat celebrates its fourth annual Bike Week. Organized by Bike Town USA, the week-long series of cycling events includes lodging specials; women’s clinics; discounts and specials at local bike shops and the Steamboat Bike Park; the Bike Town Classic race; official Buff Pass trail openings; the Steamboat CycleART 2017 auction (presented by Alpine Bank); Moots factory tours; the Strings Kitchen and Garden Tour by bicycle; the Farmer’s Market Bike Polo tournament; a bike-in movie at Steamboat Bike Park; skills clinics and more. “It’s always an awesome event, with bicycling related activities all week long,” says Bike Town USA director Amy Stern. “It has something for everyone, and is a great chance to discover all the two-wheeled adventures Steamboat has to offer.” Info: steamboatbiketown.com
Bike Week Dates 7/10, 7/12, 7/14 Moots Factory Tours 7/11 Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare Women’s clinic 7/12 Bike Town CHallenge Mountain Bike Race 7/14 Steamboat CycleART 2017 (presented by Alpine Bank) 7/15 Bike-in movie at Steamboat Bike Park 7/15 Farmers Market Bike Polo tournament 7/15 Strings Kitchen and Garden Tour by Bicycle Watch for announcements of new trail openings during Bike Week – visit Steamboatbiketown.com 2017 Bike Guide | 15
Accolades roll in for cycling in Steamboat
Gold-level Bike Friendly Community; Bronze-level Ride Center among merits
We know and you know that the riding is great in Steamboat. Now others are stamping their approval on it as well, none more prestigious than the League of American Bicyclists awarding Steamboat its Gold-level Bike Friendly Community status. “It’s a huge honor,” says Bike Town USA executive director Amy Stern. “Not many towns have that distinction.” To qualify towns have to score high on a bike town’s five E’s: Engineering: Creating safe and convenient places to ride.
Education: Giving people of all ages and abilities the skills and confidence to ride; Encouragement: Creating a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling. Enforcement: Ensuring safe roads for all users. Evaluation & Planning: Planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation option. To date, the U.S. has only 26 goldlevel Bicycle Friendly Communities. “We’re inspired when we see places like Steamboat making bicycling safer and
more accessible,” says the association’s Liz Murphy. “It helps set the bar for other communities investing in bicycling.” The honor follows several other milestones for town. In 2014, The International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) selected Steamboat to host its 2014 World Summit, calling it “a natural choice for the event.” IMBA also labeled Steamboat a bronze-level Ride Center, the first in Colorado. Locations are judged on trail experience, services, community involvement and marketing. “It carries a lot of weight,” says Stern. “A lot of riders will see that label and want to come ride here.”
And you wonder why Steamboat has won so many awards.
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New Grinta Cycling Camps Your guides: Amy Charity (left) and Lisa Renee Tumminelo
2017 Grinta Camps June 23-25, Junior Development Weekend For young riders aged 13-18 wishing to develop cycling skills, strength, healthy habits, and confidence by spending 2 1/2 days riding, learning skills and having fun.
Want to boost your fitness, improve your cycling skills, and have the time of your life in Steamboat this summer? Join the new series of Grinta Cycling Camps, led by retired professional cyclists Amy Charity and Lisa Renee Tumminello, catering to all abilities. The duo plans to host three cycling camps over the summer, all taking advantage of Steamboat’s world-class terrain. “As avid cyclists, we feel fortunate to have Steamboat as our training ground,” says Charity. “With quiet paved roads, rolling hills and mountain passes, it’s an ideal road cycling destination, and we saw an opportunity to bring cyclists to town to experience
all that Steamboat has to offer.” Tumminello, an ultra endurance cyclist and coach, has hosted similar camps for running and foresees similar success for cycling. “After experiencing such great community support for our youth track and field camps and high school running camps, bringing cycling camps to the area seems a perfect fit,” she says. “We live in a perfect environment to foster quality training and are surrounded by talent and knowledge. We hope to play a small role in growing the cycling community here.” Info: www.grintacamps.com
July 19-23, Women’s 4-day Cycling Retreat A chance for ladies to get away from their busy lives by spending time in the mountains getting fit, soaking in the hot springs, learning health and wellness strategies, and enjoying a meal and glass of wine with other women. July 26-30, Endurance 4-day Cycling Camp For those looking to improve their cycling endurance, learn key skills, and challenge themselves mentally and physically. Open to men, women and juniors.
Another Option: SSWSC Clinics MTB Fundamental Skill Clinic (all ages): One-day clinic for those interested in developing their fundamental mountain bike skills, including body position, vision, climbing/descending, cornering and braking. Clinics run from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm and include Honey Stinger snacks. Cost: $99/SSWSC members; $129/non-members. Meet at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Info: www.sswsc.org DATES AND TIMES: Session 1: Friday, June 23
Session 2: Friday, July 7
Session 4: Friday, Aug. 4
Session 3: Friday, July 21
Session 5: Friday, Aug. 11
Mini Skill Clinic (ages 5-10): Put together a small group of your own and schedule a small group lesson. Clinics run three hours and include Honey Stinger snacks. Cost: $50/SSWSC members; $65/non-members. Meet at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Info: www.sswsc.org steamboatbiketown.com
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Fat biking gaining steam Skis aren’t the only way to get around on the snow come winter anymore. The new rage of fat biking has firmly swept through Ski Town USA, showing that cycling in Steamboat isn’t just for summertime, letting riders stay in shape well after the Solstice. “It’s fun and different…a lot of our employees ride the same singletrack they ride in the summer.” —Moots president Butch Boucher “It’s definitely a fast-growing trend here, especially with RCR packing out trails on Emerald Mountain,” says the city’s Craig Robinson, who oversees fat biking on the city’s Nordic trails.
Fat bike retailers like Orange Peel Bicycle Service, Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, Ski Haus and Wheels report growing sales and rentals every year, with local bike manufacturers Eriksen and Moots also hot on the trend. “It’s fun and different,” says Moots President Butch Boucher. “A lot of our employees like to ride the singletrack they ride in the summer. Plus, it’s super accessible and the equipment is great; five-inch-wide tires work great in the snow.” Credit, in part, Routt County Riders, which uses its snowmobile-towed trailgroomer to create winter flow trails on Emerald Mountain, including the No Pedaling Required trail. “That trail is great for it,” says Orange Peel owner Brock Webster. “It’s super smooth and flowy, with great ramps.”
Where to go Lake Catamount Touring Center: Open to fat bikes with restrictions; trail fee required and rentals available. Steamboat Ski Area: Open to fat bikes with restrictions; closed during normal hours of operations; use only routes identified by the resort. Howelsen Hill Nordic Center: Open to fat bikes with restrictions; trail fee required; trails closed to fat bikes from 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and during Nordic events. Haymaker Nordic Center: Haymaker uses a special grooming machine to prep more than 10 kilometers of dedicated singletrack over gently rolling terrain. Trail fee required and rentals available. Elsewhere: Fat bikes are allowed on all other city trails not groomed for Nordic skiing. Hotspots include Blackmere Drive, Rabbit Ears Pass and the mountain bike trails of Emerald Mountain.
It’s a tough choice in Ski and Bike Town USA... ski Champagne™ powder or fat bike beautiful fields?
18 | 2017 Bike Guide
Other popular riding spots include the city-owned Nordic trails at Howelsen Hill; Catamount Ranch & Club, which hosts a series of races, and, new this year, 10K of groomed singletrack at Haymaker Nordic Center. Riders also hit the snowmobile trails groomed by Routt Powder Riders on Rabbit Ears Pass. “Steamboat’s perfect for fat bike “Fat biking has become a great addition to our activities at the Nordic Center.” —Dave McAtee, Catamount riding,” says local Robert Orr, a threetime finisher of Idaho’s 200-km-long Fat Pursuit Race. “We get great snow and have great terrain for it that’s not too steep or rocky.” Adds Webster: “Since fat bikes came out, we’ve seen a phenomenal difference in winter traffic in the store. It keeps people interested in biking.” Local events also help. Hahns Peak Roahouse hosted a fat bike race around Steamboat Lake in March; Steamboat Ski Area’s Cool Dual race had a fat bike category; and Catamount Ranch & Club,
in conjunction with Ski Haus, held its annual Pleasant Valley Race-Ride-Tour series to terrific turnout. “Fat biking has become a great addition to our activities at the Nordic Center,” says Catamount’s Dave McAtee, touting their full moon 22-km Fat Cat 22 race and six-event Race Ride Tour Series, one of which is a Nordic ski/fat bike combo, with a touch of corn hole. He adds Catamount’s fat bike specific singletrack trails are also a big hit, thanks to a groomer they purchased just for that purpose. “We can have up to an extra 15K of singletrack at any given time,” he says. In partnership with the Classic Crank bike shop, Haymaker Nordic Center — the city’s municipal golf course in summer, and a Nordic touring center in winter — purchased a special grooming machine this year used to prep 10K of dedicated singletrack, all offering big views of the south valley. “We have three great interconnected loops to ride on,” says Classic Crank owner John Weinman. “One is gently rolling and less than a mile for novices, while another can take upwards of an hour.”
It all boils down to fun, and what better way to have it than on two big wheels in the snow. “Fat biking is getting more and more popular every year,” says Catamount race series co-organizer Kevin Kopischke. “They’re no longer just a curiosity. People want to try them now.”
Fat bike protocol * Don’t ride groomed trails if: 1) you leave a tire rut deeper than 1 inch or can’t ride in a straight line; 2) your bike tires are narrower than 3.7 inches and tire pressure is greater than 10 psi. Also, don’t ride in classic tracks. * Do: yield to all other users; ride in control; ride on the most firm part of the track.
Fat bike rentals: • Orange Peel Bicycle Service • Wheels Bike Shop
• Lake Catamount Touring Center • Haymaker Nordic Center
• Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare • Ski Haus • The Classic Crank
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E-Bikes in the ‘boat Available for sale and rent at a growing number of bike shops throughout town, electric bicycles come in two main types, each having an electric drive system with an advertised top speed of 20 miles per hour: Class 1 E-bikes employ a pedal assist mode; and Class 2 E-bikes let the rider engage a throttle. While not allowed on nonmotorized U.S. Forest Service, City or Steamboat Bike Park trails, they are allowed on roads (providing riders follow all appropriate rules). “Currently electronic bikes (including pedal assist) are considered motorized per our regulations,” says U.S. Forest Service recreation specialist Kent Foster. “So when it comes to using them on trails, it has to be a trail open to motorized vehicles, and they’d need an OHV registration. But we’re continuing to work with the groups as this technology develops – so something may happen in the future.” Steps in that direction were taken by the city this spring, pertaining to their use on the Yampa River Core Trail. The Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the city start a yearlong pilot program allowing Class
1 and 2 E-bikes on the bike path, after hearing from community members of the issue. “E-bikes are big and are getting bigger, so we need to start figuring out what the proper regulations should be,” says Commissioner Doug Tumminello, adding it’s up to the Steamboat Springs City Council to accept their recommendation. He adds they’d also want the city to look into a speed limit that would apply to all cyclists on the Core Trail. But there’s no question they’re gaining a quick following among everyone from the elderly and disabled, who can’t pedal like they used to, to regular riders who want a little extra help to get up that steep hill home. “I love my E-bike,” says South Routt rancher and cyclist Steve Williams, who uses one to haul weed sprayers and fence repair materials around his Glas Deffryn Ranch near Oak Creek. “It’s an incredible work vehicle.” He adds that with his wife’s recent heart problems, it’s the only way she can still ride; and the same for his brother, who has a spinal cord tumor. This penchant for E-help also
equates to enhanced sales for local rental and retail operators. Steamboat’s first “E-bike only” bike shop, Pedego Steamboat, opened last summer, with a rental program that has riders grinning and spinning all over Steamboat. Patrons can choose from a variety of offerings, including the Stretch, which handles 400 pounds of cargo, to tandems, beach cruisers and the fat Trail Tracker. “Don’t think of it as replacing your bike,” says co-owner Linda John. “Think of it as replacing your car. It’s a lot more fun than people expect.” Even more traditional bike shops are slowly hopping on the batterypowered bandwagon. “We sell a few of them each year,” says Orange Peel owner Brock Webster. “It’s a growing trend worldwide, so it’s smart for us to offer some options in the category. That said, there is a need for clarification as to what rules apply to them, and where it’s appropriate to ride them. I appreciate their potential to pull people away from automobile dependence, but I worry about their abuse on non-motorized trails.”
Brooke Bumgarner Who’s to argue with a little extra leg power on area roads?
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Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund Fish Creek Trail first beneficiary Building new trails is one thing; maintaining them quite another. That’s the reason for the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund managed by Steamboat’s Yampa Valley Community Foundation, whose goal is to keep town’s trails in top shape for years to come. Designed to pay for maintaining trails on public lands, the endowment fund will help maintain trails built on National Forest and other public lands. “It’s a unique approach to solving the maintenance problem,” says U.S. Forest Service recreation specialist Kent Foster. “Ensuring you have the means to maintain trails is far more difficult than building them. Having the foresight to address that in perpetuity is testament to Steamboat’s commitment to its trails. It will help ensure we have great trails for years to come.” Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s government programs manager, says the fund has a goal of raising $100,000 per year over the next 10 years. Spending decisions will be made by a five-member board with representation from the city, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “Each year, we’ll take a look at which entity and trail needs the maintenance most,” says Foster. Land managers will then partner with such entities as Routt County Riders’ Trail Builders division, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, contractors, internal crews or others to perform the trail maintenance. The fund has already paid out its first grant, with the Fish Creek Falls trail its first beneficiary. The U.S. Forest Service will use a $2,303 grant to perform erosion control, shore up retaining walls and stabilize trail past the waterfall bridge. “In our first year, we already made a grant out of the fund, so the steamboatbiketown.com
money is already in action,” says the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s Helen Beall, adding they expect to double this grant in 2017. Adds DelliQuadri: “We’ll be granting out money every year, which bucks the nationwide trend of closing trails and reducing recreation. It’s a very successful program and great for our valley. Our trails are important to us here, and we want more of them, and this fund is critical to showing that we value them and are willing to invest to keep and maintain them.”
How to Donate! The fund must reach $1-$1.5 million by 2026 to generate approximately $50,000 annually to maintain proposed and current Routt and Moffat County trails. As of spring 2017, says the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s Helen Beall, the fund has $125,000, putting it on target to reach its fundraising goal. “But we need the support of all trail users, and it’s easy to donate,” she says. “As a donor, your gift will provide for regional trail maintenance needs not just in your lifetime, but forever. Ride today, give for tomorrow!” To donate, visit www.yvcf.org/trails.
A promotion for contributing.
Local Helen Beall helping the trail maintenance effort.
2017 Bike Guide | 21
2A New Trails Update
2A program completes Buff Pass trails There’s a trail-building boom in Steamboat, and this year Buff Pass is the main beneficiary. Entering year four of a 10-year spending cycle allocating $5.1 million in lodging tax proceeds for 46 trailrelated projects (known as the 2A Trail Program), the results are popping up all over, most recently on Buff Pass. “We’re really excited,” says the City’s Winnie DelliQuadri. “We received official approval for the new trail system on Buff Pass last August, which will enable us to develop a new 40-plus-mile trail system up there.” Spearheaded by Routt County Riders, RCR Trailbuilders and the U.S. Forest Service, local organizers have made quick work of the trail-building windfall, starting initial work on two Buff Pass trails last fall. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected this July. “We got a later-than-expected start on the construction last year, but were able to begin implementing it,” says U.S. Forest Service recreation specialist Kent Foster. “We built about six miles of trail, which should be ready to ride by July 2017. A couple other trails were partially completed, and may be ready by mid-summer also.” Foster adds the Buff Pass trails project should be completed by the end of
2018, with 40+ miles of new singletrack, including the new 6.2-mile trail leading up the south side of Buff Pass Road from Dry Lake, the 4.5-mile Grouse trail, 1.9-mile BTR trail, 9.5-mile Soda Mountain trail, 1.2-mile Dry Lake South trail, and 3.1-mile Soda Creek Loop trail. A singletrack trail open to motorcycles is also being planned, as well as an alternate Spring Creek downhill trail, reducing two-way traffic on the popular multi-use trail. “We have enough work to keep us plenty busy for the next two years,” says Foster. Open to hikers and horseback riders as well as mountain bikers, the new trails will “be a little rougher and in a more natural state” than their counterparts on Emerald Mountain, says Foster, but they should be a great complement to town’s offerings. DelliQuadri adds the community will have a say in the trails’ naming process, as long as the names meet Forest Service criteria. In particular, they’re looking for input for naming the new uphill trail above Spring Creek, as well as two new beginner loops near Dry Lake. Regardless what they end up being called, local riders are ecstatic. “It’s an amazing opportunity to create an interconnected trail system rivaling anything in the country,” says avid rider and 2A committee member Nate Bird.
2A trail-building funds at work Year one:
The new 4.2-mile Morning Gloria trail on Emerald Mountain; a reroute of lower Spring Creek Trail; and the installation of several road-crossing signals.
The expansion of the Ridge Trailhead on Emerald’s backside; and (co-funded by GoCo lottery funds) the building of the new NPR downhill directional trail and Wild Rose trails on Emerald Mountain.
Initial steps of adding 40 miles of new trails on Buff Pass, including a new connector singletrack leading up from the top of the Spring Creek Trail; and the continuation of Emerald’s NPR trail, with a beginner and intermediate line east side of Mile Run.
The completion of a new 6.2mile trail leading up Buff Pass from the top of Spring Creek, as well as two new beginner-oriented trails near Dry Lake, all expected to be completed by mid-summer. Info: www. steamboatspringstrails.com
Looking ahead There’s plenty more in the works as well. The City and Forest Service are in the planning and design stages for a new Spring Creek Alternate trail – an important link from Buff Pass to downtown, with proposed implementation in 2018. The Forest Service is also looking ahead at the remainder of the Steamboat Trails Alliance proposal, including the Rocky Peak/Mad Creek area north of Buff Pass, and the Rabbit Ears Pass area. “We’ve received a lot of ideas on trail development, and we’re in the beginning stages of assessing the need, balancing resource objectives and refining a proposed action before reaching out for public comment,” says Foster, adding the environmental analysis should be completed by spring 2019. 22 | 2017 Bike Guide
2A New TRAIL BOOM SNAPSHOT
Volunteer weekend On August 5-6, 2017, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado will be in town to help put the finishing touches on the new beginner hiking/ biking loop near Dry Lake Campground. To join in, visit www.voc.org. Buff Pass Trail building continues this year on Buffalo Pass, an area quickly becoming the new must-ride destination in Steamboat. One new trail is set to open in June 2017, and 10 to 15 miles of new trails are expected to be completed this summer. Look for trail openings throughout the season.
Morning Gloria This 4.2-mile trail on the south side of Emerald Mountain was the first trail funded by the lodging tax. Great to ride up or down, it offers sweeping views of Steamboat and Mount Werner as well as the Flat Tops to the south. With 848 feet of vertical and 35 switchbacks (yes, we counted), and built with Routt County Riders’ new trail-building machine, it
provides a more accessible route to the top of Emerald. Bonus: it’s also accessible to hand cyclists.
Ridge Trailhead The city has created a better parking lot in the popular access area on the west side of Emerald Mountain off Routt County Road 45, serving the Ridge and Rotary trails. “The area really needed it,” says the city’s Winnie DelliQuadri. “Accessing three great trails (Rotary, Ridge and Beall), the parking lot gets used all the time.” The enhanced access includes a new parking area and restrooms.
Wild Rose This 1.5-mile trail features an average grade of 3 percent and
Sneak Peak: Spring Creek
Running from Dry Lake Campground to the Spring Creek ponds, a new downhill mountain biking trail in the works would parallel the existing Spring Creek Trail and offer cyclists a new, less crowded way to reach city limits from Buff Pass. “The vision is to develop a sustainable trail for intermediate and expert cyclists to safely get down from Buff Pass and minimize impacts to other recreationalists using the Spring Creek Trail,” says city trails manager Craig Robinson. steamboatbiketown.com
provides a direct connection to the Beall and Ridge Upper trailhead from the front side of Emerald. Perfect for riding up or down, it also takes pressure off the popular Stairway to Heaven trail and give riders a pure single track option to access the back side of Emerald. Plus, it puts you in one of the best aspen groves in town.
No Pedaling Required (NPR) This flowy, rampy and jumpy one-way trail down Emerald roughly paralleling Blackmere Drive, lives up to its name, and gives cyclists a better route to the bottom of Emerald. If you like smooth, man-made berms and table tops (that you don’t have to air out), this trail’s for you.
The trail would be funded by 2A lodging tax dollars, which voters approved to spend on trail improvements. A committee vetting various trail proposals has approved funding for the design of the trail this year, with possible construction in 2018. The city also hopes to receive public comment on the proposal. The trail proposal includes two sections. The first section would start at the Dry Lake parking lot and end where the singletrack meets Spring Creek Road. The second would extend from there to the ponds. 2017 Bike Guide | 23
2A New Trail
U.S Forest Service recreation specialist Kent Foster isn’t shy about giving credit where it’s due for the trail-building efforts underway on Buff Pass. “Routt County Riders (RCR) was integral in completing work with the assistance from the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps,” he says. “Plus, they were successful in receiving a sizable grant from Colorado Normally, the Forest Service doesn’t get involved in building new trails unless it has strong local partnerships, which is exactly what we have in RCR and our other partners.” — Kent Foster, Forest Service recreation specialist
State Parks for trail construction in 2017 and 2018, which will assist the City’s 2A fund to complete these and more projects.” Foster adds that without RCR’s help, none of these trail-building projects would have gained ground as quickly as they have. “Normally, the Forest Service doesn’t get involved in building new trails unless it has strong local partnerships, which is exactly what we have in RCR and our other partners. It’s not just support for construction, but also long term commitment to support maintenance - between RCR, other volunteers and funding generated from the Yampa Valley Community One of countless riders happy to take advantage of Routt County Riders’ trail-building efforts. Foundations’s Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund,” he says.
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2017 RIDE Guide Bike Town USA ®
THE INSIDE TRACK ON STEAMBoAT’S TRAILS AND ROADS 2017 Ride Guide | 25 steamboatbiketown.com
Steamboat Bike Town USA Initiative Board of Directors Chris Sias, president David High, vice president Linda Corkadel, secretary Brad Iversen, treasurer Reall Colbenson, Kent Foster, Liana Jones, Larry Mashaw, Trevyn Newpher, Brian Savino, David Scully
Using this Guide..................................................................... 27 Safety ................................................................................. 28 Riding with animals, riding right, road safety, bike tips ........ 28 Family Rides ..................................................................... 29 Rotary Park to Whistler Park, Bear River Skate and Dirt Jump Park, Ski Time Square Pump Track, Butcherknife Creek to Strawberry Park Elementary Playground............................... 29 Yampa Valley Core Trail, Spring Creek, BMX Course........... 32
Director Amy Stern
Municipal Map ............................................................... 30
Safe Routes to School Coordinator Sally Cariveau
Bear River Park/BMX/Pump Track . ...................... 35
The 2017 Steamboat Springs Bike Guide is produced by the Steamboat Today. Suzanne Schlicht, Publisher Eugene Buchanan, Magazine Editor Julia Hebard, Creative Services Manager Photographers Aryeh Copa, Scott Franz Corey Kopisckhe, Larry Pierce Joel Reichenberger, John Russell Matt Stensland, Noah Wetzel For advertising information, call Bryna Sisk at 970-871-4235 Mountain ride elevation profiles courtesy of MTB Project. Check out MTBProject.com, or look for the app for your iPhone or Android. On the cover: Steamboat riders Chris and Kaitlyn Reed pedal across Orton trail on lower Emerald Mountain. Photo by Noah Wetzel.
2017 RIDE GuIDE Bike Town USA ®
THE INSIDE TRACK ON STEAMBOAT’S TRAILS AND ROADS 2017 Ride Guide | 25 steamboatbiketown.com
26 | 2017 Ride Guide
Steamboat Bike Park . ................................................. 33 Town / Mountain Rides ............................................ 36 Howelsen / Emerald Mountain ............................................. 36 Rotary Trail ............................................................................. 37 Beall / Ridge Trails................................................................. 38 Morning Gloria Trail .............................................................. 39 Emerald Mountain Map ........................................................ 42 New trails — NPR and Wild Rose ......................................... 44 Lower Bear ............................................................................. 44 Spring Creek Trail ................................................................. 45 Hot Springs Trail ................................................................... 46 South Routt / Rabbit Ears Rides ........................... 47 Divide Trail ............................................................................ 47 Lynx Pass ............................................................................... 48 North Routt Rides ....................................................... Seedhouse Area . .................................................................. Big Red Park . ........................................................................ Nipple Peak/Lopez Creek Loop ...........................................
49 49 50 50
Three Epic rides .............................................................. 51 Lunch Loops .................................................................... 51 Road / mixed surface rides ................................. 52-55 Twentymile out and back, Twentymile/Oak Creek, Coal View Gulch/Twentymile Loop......................................................... 52 Gore Gruel, Stagecoach/Oak Creek Loop ........................... 53 Elk River Road/Seedhouse Road Out and Back, Airport Plus “Gravel Grinder” . ................................................................. 54 Emerad Loop ........................................................................ 55 RCR Map ............................................................................. 55 steamboatbiketown.com
Using this Guide This guide includes a sampling of the world-class riding around Steamboat Springs. Distance The length of the highlighted trail or route. Elevation The lowest and highest points of the highlighted ride. Rating Based on the Trail Difficulty Rating System published by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). This system focuses on the trails’ technical challenge, not the physical exertion required to enjoy them. The ratings provide a general idea of the difficulty of each region; our trails are rated relative to each other and not necessarily relative to trails in other towns. All backcountry trails may have natural and manmade obstacles such as rocks, logs, stream
crossings, ledges, and bridges. Easy trails have a firm and stable surface. More difficult trails have some variability in the riding surface and usually include steep terrain changes. Difficult trails have a widely variable surface with significant rough terrain and many obstacles
and include long, steep climbs. Consult local bike shops if you are unsure of your riding abilities. Season General idea of when the ride is free of snow and dry enough to ride without harming trails.
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2017 Ride Guide | 27
Bike Safety Safety with Animals If you encounter a cattle drive make it a positive experience. Approach slowly and quietly. Cattle will move away given the opportunity, but become unpredictable when stressed by noises and movement. Don’t get between a cow or calf and the herd. Stop and stay still and the animal will go around you to return to the herd. Don’t try to get around it or chase it back to the herd. Move to one side when approaching a cow from behind. This will cause them to move off the trail. Also, ease your speed. If they get far enough ahead they’ll look for an escape. Heed the herd. When encountering a herd, stop, step to one side, and stand still until it passes. Don’t hurry the herd’s passing with noises and arm movements. If you come up behind a herd, take cues from the horseback riders — they might lead you through the herd or ask you to wait.
Carry Your Bike on the Bus Taking your bike on the free bus is a great way to get back to your lodging property after a day of riding. All Steamboat Springs buses are equipped with a bike rack that holds two bikes. Instructions for use are on the rack. If the rack is full, please wait for the next bus. 28 | 2017 Ride Guide
Grazing sheep: When approaching don’t ride into the flock or disturb their guard dogs. Keep a fair distance from the flock. Stop, and walk your bike until you’re well past the sheep, or relax and enjoy the scenery and wait for the flock to pass. Riding Right * Ride only on open trails • Don’t use trails when wet, or short-cut switchbacks • Leave No Trace (ride or carry through, rather than around, obstacles like mud puddles) • Avoid locking your brakes and skidding down steeps • Always control your bicycle • Always yield to uphill traffic, hikers and horses • Never scare or chase animals (wild or domestic) Road Safety for bicyclists • Colorado has specific laws concerning bicycling on public roads. Please visit www.bicyclecolor ado.org for a summary and the statues • Always practice the following rules of the road for safe riding: • Always wear a helmet, be visible, be aware and ride friendly. In Routt County we Share the Road! • Don’t use headphones or cell phones while biking • Show respect for everything on the road: drivers, other bikers, pedestrians, parked cars, agricultural operations and animals • When stopping move off the pavement, remain visible in both directions to other users, particularly on curves and hills, look for driveways and wide shoulder areas • Use correct hand signals to show your movements • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals, and never ride against traffic • Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn or avoiding hazards (ride on paved shoulders and bike lanes when possible) • Ride no more than two abreast, returning to single-file if impeding the flow of traffic (play it safe— ride single-file on curving, narrow roads and blind hill crests)
• Riding at night legally requires a white headlight and a red tail light or reflector. Wear bright or reflective clothing • Never assume motorists see you or that you have the right-of-way Road Safety for Motorists • Be courteous, share the road and obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. • When passing a bicyclist, allow at least three feet of space between the widest point of your vehicle and the widest point of the cyclist. To pass a cyclist safely, you may cross a double yellow center line when oncoming traffic is clear. Bike Tips • Before every ride check tire pressure and tire surface for cuts and embedded debris. • Keep chain clean and lubricated. Lubricate chain with dry lube; or every other week or 400 miles with wet chain lube. • Check chain regularly for excessive side to side play and replace if necessary. • Wash bike regularly (once a week or every 200 miles) in hot water and dish soap, oil drive train, and wipe off excess oil. • Inspect shifting and braking cables and housing twice a year; replace if necessary. • Be prepared for inclement weather; carry extra clothing and food. • Carry proper repair gear, including pump, spare tube, patch kit and chain tool. • Check cleats for wear and tighten bolts; replace if worn. steamboatbiketown.com
Family Rides Rides for the young-â€™uns on city trails and playgrounds
Rotary Park to Whistler Park Starting point: Hwy 40 and Mount Werner Rd, Rotary Park parking lot, located at southwest corner of Hwy 40/Mt. Werner Rd exit. Porto-let restroom at parking lot. Ride: Head south on the Core trail (toward Rabbit Ears Pass). Continue past the Walton Creek Road intersection and take a left at the split in the trail to cross under Hwy 40. Take a right at the next intersection to cross the bridge. Ride past pond and turn left at Stone Lane. Ride about two blocks to Whistler Road, turn right onto the sidewalk/bike path, and veer right after one block to the Whistler Park entrance, where thereâ€™s a playground and restrooms. For a longer variation, start from the Core trail downtown. Bear River Skate and Dirt Jump Park Starting point: Little Toots Park at 11th and Yampa Streets. Parking, food and restrooms can be found in the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Ride: Head past the park toward the library, ride under 13th Street, follow the Core Trail to bridge and steamboatbiketown.com
turn left to cross the Yampa River. Turn right and continue on the Core Trail. Across the second bridge, the Community Center offers a park and playground with restrooms. Continue to the T-intersection at Shield Dr. Stay on the Core Trail and follow signage to Bear River Skate Park. The dirt jump/ pump track is located on the far side of skate park, complete with beginner lines and berms. (Fun game: time riders around the beginner loop). Ski Time Square Pump Track Starting point: Ski Time Square. Ride: The pump track is located at the upper end of Ski Time Square Road, on the lefthand side. The track is smaller and great for young kids. Ride from the pump track down the access road next to Torian Condos for several options for food, beverages and restrooms. Continue down the Promenade to Gondola Square for a kids activity center and more restaurants. You can ride to Ski Time Square from the Core Trail intersection of the Mt. Werner Road/Hwy 40 exit, but the hill can challenge young riders.
An awesome driveto family ride Rotary Trail The Rotary Trail on the backside of Emerald Mountain is well worth the short drive. Featuring easy climbs, smooth banks and a wide and smooth, user-friendly trail, the four-mile loop is accessed by riding 0.65 mile and 125 vertical feet of the Ridge Trail. From there, it climbs 1.5 miles and 210 vertical feet to the summit before another 1.5 miles of roller-coaster fun followed by a mile ride back to the trail head. To get there, cross the river at the library and head west on 13th Street (also Twentymile Road/Cty. Rd. 33) for approximately seven miles. Turn left on Cow Creek Road (Cty. Rd. 45) and go one mile. Two parking areas are available on the left.
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steamboatbiketown.com Blackmere Trailhead
Spring Creek Trailhead
The City of Steamboat Springs has over 2,500 acres of parks and open space reserved for recreation, habitat protection, wildland buffers, and agriculture. A variety of recreation and commuter opportunities are available on miles of trails that start near downtown. Explore a trail today to experience the wide open views, wildlife habitat, and rural western setting of the Yampa Valley.
Municipal Trails and Parks
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Howelsen Park / Emerald Mtn / BLM Summer Trails System
Roadway Connector Route
City Owned Land
Family Rides continued from page 29 Cycling State Parks
Stagecoach State Park Eight miles of trails await at Stagecoach State Park. Two trails skirt the lake in a scenic, easy-to-ride dirt track. On the north side is the twomile Lakeside Trail and on the south shore is the six-mile Elk Run Trail from the inlet to the dam. Join the two for an eight-mile ride, or complete the loop by riding on County Road 18 before taking a refreshing plunge into the lake. Stagecoach Lake offers camping, showers and bathroom facilities. From Steamboat Springs travel four miles south on U.S. 40, then five miles south on Colo. 131 to County Road 14. Drive seven miles south on 14 to the park entrance. Steamboat Lake State Park Steamboat Lake State Park offers easy, scenic biking for the whole family, with views of the Zirkel Wilderness Area. Ride the Willow Creek trail from the Dutch Hill Marina 3.8 miles to the Sage Flats Day Use area, or try the 1.1-mile Poverty Bar Trail, which highlights the area’s gold mining history (access from the visitor’s center). The park also offers camping, beaches boat rentals and more. From Steamboat, head west of town on U.S. 40 and take a right on Cty. Rd. 129. Drive 25 miles north to the park entrance. Pearl Lake State Park Pearl Lake offers beautifully shaded trails and a great access point to Coulton Creek Trail. This easy ride is less than a mile towards the dam, paralleling the lake. Continue on for a more difficult route through the Routt County National Forest. To reach Pearl Lake drive west on U.S. 40 to Cty. Rd 129. Drive north until just before the Steamboat Lake turnoff and look for the park entrance signs. Colorado State Parks Beta Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake and Pearl Lake state parks require a day use park pass for $7/day or a valid Colorado State Park season pass. Convenient parking, picnic and restrooms are available at all three parks. Info: 800-6782267, www.parks.state.co.us. 32 | 2017 Ride Guide
Butcherknife Creek to Strawberry Park Elementary Playground Starting point: Downtown, from Yampa Street/Core Trail, or Howelsen Hill Lodge parking lot. Ride: From downtown, cross Lincoln Avenue and head north two blocks to Pine Street. Follow Pine Street to 7th Street and turn north to a three-way intersection at Missouri Street. Turn right onto Missouri Street and ride four blocks to Stehley Park. Follow the gravel bike path (Butcherknife Trail) along the creek through Butcherknife Canyon to a split in trail (short steep hill at intersection). Turn left and cruise down to the Middle School track. Veer left and follow the trail to the Middle School parking lot. Ride across the parking lot to the playground to the right of the school. End the ride with an ice cream or shake from Lyon Drug Store (9th and Lincoln Ave.) or Johnny B. Good Diner (Lincoln Ave. between 7th and 8th Streets). Note: The Howelsen Hill parking lot is a great starting point for this ride if one parent wants to mountain bike on Emerald Mountain while the other takes the kids to the playground. Yampa River Core Trail A block off Lincoln Avenue lies Steamboat’s true summer Main Street — the Yampa River Core Trail — a seven-mile, multi-use pathway that parallels the Yampa River from Walton Creek Road on the east to the Bear River Bike Park on the west. Hit it on foot, bike or skateboard for a fun-filled
excursion for the whole family. It’s also the best ride for cruiser bikes in town. Abundant parking is available at Rotary Park at Mount Werner Road and the Yampa River. Hint: ring your bell when passing pedestrians. Spring Creek This gem of a downtown ride follows a dirt road for a half mile up to two ponds perfect for fishing and throwing rocks, before continuing on as a creekside two-track for another two miles. From there, you can continue up the singletrack of Spring Creek trail proper for as long as your troopers’ legs last, or return the way you came, with a leisurely stop at the ponds. To get there, take Fish Creek Falls Road up the hill and take a left on Amethyst Drive. The parking area is at dirt road to your right across from the high school. To bike there, take the new bike underpass leading north from the upper parking lot of the Old Town Hot Springs. BMX Course Steamboat Springs has a perfect BMX course for kids The 980-footlong, USA BMX-sanctioned track is located at the base of Howelsen Hill (on the far west end). The track turns back on itself for four straight shots, each littered with rollers, mounds and berms designed to challenge experts and beginners alike. It also features starting gates, lights and a public address system for a 10-race BMX summer series racing circuit, open to kids and adults. Info: www. usabmx.com, (970) 846-9880. steamboatbiketown.com
Steamboat Bike Park
While winter is what brought most Steamboat residents to the Yampa Valley, summer is what keeps them here. When the Champagne Powder® snow melts at Ski Town U.S.A.® another world is revealed involving wheels instead of skis. The Steamboat Bike Park is an extraordinary bike park offering nearly 2,200 vertical feet of lift-served gravityfed and downhill flow trails, covering nearly 20 miles. The trail crew utilized every inch of the natural topography ensuring a thrilling ride that highlights the best of the resort’s natural features, including rocks, bridges, rollers, drops, berms, banks and man-made jumps; all while providing exciting terrain for all ability levels. For beginners, the green trails feature dirt berms, banked turns and wooden ladder bridges. This summer, the freeride steamboatbiketown.com
momentum continues. After opening five new trails last summer we’re gearing up with several new rerouted trails at the base area to accommodate the new amenities. The Steamboat Bike Shop is the one stop shop for your rental, gear and pass needs. With an expanded Demo and Premium rental line that now includes GIANT bikes, top-of-the-line rental options are available with the latest components and downhill technology. Twilight Bike Park access offers evening riding on Thursday and Friday nights from 4-7 p.m. New this fall, twilight riding extends every Friday night through Sept. 24. Downhill action heats up with the Captain of the Boat Downhill series, held every other Friday evening in July, August and September starting July 7th. The resort’s Bike Park(Downhill Only) trails open on
Trail Changes for 2017: This year will see some permanent reroutes to trails affected by the ski area’s new coaster and mini golf operations. The last switchback of lower Rustlers just to the right of the gondola line and Buckin’ Bronc, lower Lasso, Bull Rider and EZ Rider will all be relocated to the west.
June 30th. All other multiuse and multi directional trails open as conditions permit (please stay off closed trails). Say hello to our professional bike patrol and friendly guides who are available all season with lesson programs to help you improve your skills no matter what your level. The action is just as hot off the hill with the free Steamboat Mountain Music Series, free Coca-Cola Movies on the Mountain, Sunset Happy Hour, Korbel Sunday Brunch, Coca-Cola Adventure Zone and a number of tantalizing culinary experiences. Unique mountain events round out the season, including Bike Week, Town Challenge, Enduro-X races, STARS Charity Rides and much, much more. Discover Steamboat-Ski Town USA’s other sizzling season! Info: www. steamboat.com, (800) 922.2722. 2017 Ride Guide | 33
*Bike Park bike trails are downhill traffic only. Waiver and park pass are Access is restricted to operating hours only.
Steamboat Bike PaRk* required. Name
Connects Rustler Ridge to Gunsmoke and Lickity Split.
Series of ‘S’ turns with great view of base.
Connects to base area with wood bridging and features.
Sweeps through pine forest to top of Wrangler’s Gulch and Lasso.
Leads from top of Gondola to Wrangler Gulch at bottom of the Thunderhead chairlift with great views.
Blue flow trail through aspen trees and scrub oak.
Narrow built flow trail with rollers and jumps, leading to top of Buckin’ Bronc.
Rustler’s Ridge Upper
Downhill trail with steep banked turns, rollers, and small to medium sized table top jumps.
Rustler’s Ridge Lower
Downhill trail with steep banked turns, rollers, and small to medium sized table top jumps. Leads from Snowmaking Building to base.
Rustler Ridge Connector
Short trail connecting to Valley View cross country trail.
Steamboat’s first “expert” trail with big banked turns, wooden bridge drop, and jump line.
Flowing jump line with medium to large table tops, step downs/ups, and huge high speed berms. Thunderhead to Vagabond Saddle.
Steep, narrow, rough trail with rollable rock drops, wooden features, and sharp turns. Experts only!
Connects Tenderfoot and Rawhide
Expert only trail with wooden features
Green = Beginner | Blue = Intermediate | Black = Expert Only
MOUNTAIN MULTI USE TRAILS
*Multi-directional trails that are free to use and open to the public as conditions permit.
Rainbow Saddle to Rendezvous Lodge with mild grades and incredible views. Expect vehicle traffic.
Single track, connecting Pete's and Sunshine.
Start/finish at top of gondola, varied single track/service road.
Double track/service road, most direct route to Valley View.
Challenging, more difficult single track through Sunshine Bowl.
Primarily single track to base including cross-country style, rolling terrain, switchbacks and uphill/downhill.
New in 2016! Great cross country up/down singletrack
Single track from bottom of Thunderhead Lift to base.
Double track including steep sections and creek crossings. Ends at Burgess Creek Road.
Single track with switchbacks, steep and technical terrain. Best ridden downhill from Elkhead Loop to Spur Run.
Leads through outer boundaries of resort with steep terrain, sharp switchbacks and rugged trail.
Storm Peak Challenge
Extremely challenging double track from Four Points Lodge to the top of Continental Divide and USFS Trail 1032 on dirt two-track road.
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Bear River Park, BMX & Pump Track
Let your kids work on their pump, park and BMX skills at three great locations in Steamboat, offering ramp-filled fun.
The BMX Track Located near the base of Howelsen Hill, Steamboat’s BMX track is free and bike-friendly for all ages and riders. The 980-foot, professionally designed track is top-tier facility for the Rocky Mountain region. “It’s a technical, professional course,” says co-designer Brian Deem. “It’s varied and requires more than just one skill to ride well.” The track turns back on itself for four straight shots, each littered with rollers, mounds and berms designed to challenge experts and beginners alike. It also features starting gates, lights and a public address system for a 10race BMX summer series racing circuit, open to kids and adults. Info: www.usabmx.com, (970) 8469880.; Team Flying Wheels, 970-871-9500. steamboatbiketown.com
Bear River Bike Park The recently renovated Bear River Bike Park offers something fun for riders of all abilities. Built by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and Flowline Trail Design, the pump track, located on the west side of town along the Yampa River, can be ridden numerous ways, with multiple jump options. It offers professionally built small, medium and large lines, each progressively built, letting riders work their way up from small table tops to pro level gaps progressively. And bring your skateboard: the park is also home to the Bear River Skate Park, making it a great stop for families cruising the Core Trail.
The Pump Track Maintained by Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., the Pump Track, located in Ski Time Square just north of the base of Steamboat Ski Area takes riders on a bank-filled, pedal-less course at the base of Mount Werner. Designed to allow riders to cruise the entire course without pedaling, relying on “pumping” up and down to take advantage of gravity and momentum, the track is a partnership between the Steamboat Ski Resort, the City and the Atira Group. The Pump Track is a great skill-building tool, and is open and free to riders of all ages and ability. Info: www.steamboatbikepark.com
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Howelsen & Emerald Mountain Park Logging Update
The city is wrapping up the Emerald Mountain Hazard Tree Mitigation Project this summer. The last of the logs cut last season will be removed and the landscape rehabilitated. Trails affected by this project include Root Canal, Wild Rose, No Mo Bluez, Stairway to Heaven and Abby’s. Root Canal and Wild Rose have been rebuilt and will be open. No Mo Bluez is mostly intact and will reconnect with the rebuild of Stairway to Heaven and Abby’s, which are being re-routed to create more flowy and sustainable trails retaining their backcountry feel. About Emerald Across the valley from Mount Werner lies town’s mountain biking crown jewel, Emerald Mountain. Accessible from the heart of downtown via the Yampa Core Trail, Emerald offers a range of rides with more than 4,000 acres of public land and miles of connected natural surface trails. Known for its smooth, tacky singletrack through wildflower-filled meadows and groves of aspen, shrub oak and pine, this is Steamboat’s true local gem and a must for every rider. For longer rides, tie in a loop on the Ridge and Beall trails off the backside. Also check out the new Morning Gloria, No Mo’ Bluez, Wild Rose and NPR trails. Season: Late May through October Trail rating: Varies – Intermediate to Advanced (fair amount of climbing) Total mileage: It depends on your route and what trails you decide to link together. Ride up the front side, down Ridge, up Beall and back and
p What’s New! p
As well as re-routing switchbacks to make the beginning climb less steep up Mile Run from Howelsen Hill (as part of hosting the High School Mountain Bike Race in September), trail workers this summer are also re-routing the popular Orton Trail to make it more sustainable and reduce its grade, making it a great uphill alternative to Blackmere Drive. 36 | 2017 Ride Guide
you’re looking at 25 miles of uber-buff singletrack. Stay front side and link Lupine-Blair Witch-Quarry MountainRoot Canal-No Mo’ Bluez-MGM and you’re clocking nearly 10 miles. Know before you go: The trails can get crowded during lunch and after work, so ride with respect for other users, including those on horseback and hikers. A bell can come in handy, especially during the height of fern season.
Trailheads and Parking Three main trailheads serve the numerous riding options on the front side of Emerald Mountain, as well as a newly expanded parking area on the backside (with restrooms) at the Ridge Trailhead. On the front side, parking is available at the Rodeo Stables, Howelsen Lodge (which has public restrooms) and Backmere Drive. Parking gets tight during Triple Crown baseball and softball events, which occur throughout the summer, so ride from your accommodations as a nice warm up. Rodeo Stables Trailhead: For a local favorite try the twisty Lupine trail, which is accessed via the new, lower-grade Bluffs Loop. The trailhead is located next to the stables and restrooms behind the Rodeo grounds. Mile Run Trailhead: A ski run in winter, this wide trail provides a moderate grade to access the higher riding options. The trailhead sign is located by the winter tubing building between the white pavilion and northernmost baseball field at the base of Howelsen Hill. To find it, veer right along the base of the Nordic ski jumps. The trail heads south before winding northwest and cutting behind Howelsen Hill. New Switchbacks make it a beginner-friendly climb from the base. Blackmere Trailhead: Blackmere provides the most forgiving riding option to the Quarry overlook. Head down the Core Trail and take a left at 13th Street at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Follow 13th over the bridge and take your first left on Gilpin Street (or look for a shortcut singletrack on your left). Take a left onto Saratoga Avenue and a right onto Routt Street, which ends at a parking area and the trailhead. Note: the first pitch is a grunt, so don’t be afraid to put it in granny.
Loops: Bluffs Loop: Short climb to big views of the Yampa Valley. Access the trail at the Rodeo Stables Trailhead. Climb a short pitch on the Bluffs trail and then take a broad gentle loop through sage-covered hillsides with views of town, the Yampa River and the Steamboat Ski Area. Quarry Loop: A moderate climb to the Quarry overlook through aspen groves with a twisty, fun descent. Access the trailhead at the Rodeo Stables then ride up the Bluffs Loop-Howelsen Meadows-Ricky’s Ridge-Lupine-Emerald MeadowsLarry’s-Prayer Flag Road-Angry Grouse-Blair Witch. Stop and enjoy the views of Mt. Werner and Town at the Quarry overlook then head down Little Moab to either the new NPR directional trail or Lupine back to the Bluffs Loop. Stinger Loop: Sting or bee stung. Follow the famed Honey Stinger race route for 25 miles of Emerald glory, from the Howelsen base up and over Emerald Mountain. At top, head down the Ridge Trail to Cow Creek Road, where you’ll take a left to the Beall Trailhead. Ride the Beall Trail back up and then head back down however you like (hint: try the new Wild Rose trail) back to the rodeo grounds. For more information, visit www.steamboatstinger.com.
Interactive Trail Map The City of Steamboat Springs hosts an interactive trail map for all trails in town on its website (www.steamboatsprings.net), including Emerald Mountain, Spring Creek, Steamboat Ski Area and neighborhood trails, with up-todate information on trail length, allowable uses and closures. From the homepage of the city website www.steamboatsprings.net click on the View our Maps icon in the upper right hand corner then select City Interactive Trails Map. You can zoom in for individual trail names and click on trails for more information. steamboatbiketown.com
Photo courtesy of Moots
Season: Early May through Early November (one of the first trails to open each season due to its low elevation and western aspect). Know before you go: Built by the local Rotary Club, this loop, best ridden counterclockwise, includes wide and smooth trails that wind smoothly through trees and down ridge lines with large berms and dirt rollers that can be pumped or doubled. This loop is designed to be exciting for the expert rider when ridden fast, yet easy for family riding. Parking: From the library, head west on 13th Street for approximately 7 miles (Twentymile Road/Routt County Road 33). Turn left on Cow Creek Road (Routt County Road 45) and go one mile. Two parking areas are available on the left. Rating: More Difficult (Ridge)/Easy (Rotary) Description: Perfect for families, the Rotary Trail is accessed by riding up .65 miles and 125 vertical feet of the Ridge Trail from the newly expanded Ridge Trail parking lot on the backside of Emerald Mountain. The Rotary trail turns left off the Ridge Trail and continues to climb 1.5 miles and 210 vertical feet to the summit. With 400 vertical feet of drop, the next 1.5 miles are all roller coaster fun. From there, itâ€™s a mile back to the trailhead on gradual up and down smooth trail that gains 65 vertical feet back to the trailhead. You can also access it by continuing farther up the Ridge Trail to an alternate access (veer left at the fork if climbing); or as an alternate downhill option when descending Ridge Trail from the top of Emerald Mountain. However you get there, be prepared for berm- and bank-filled fun. steamboatbiketown.com
Trail: 3.3 miles Ascent: 327 feet Descent: 435 feet
Highest point: 7,171 feet Average grade: 4 percent Max grade: 17 percent
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Beall & Ridge Trails Trail: 6.63 miles Ascent: 1,385 feet Descent: 308 feet
Highest point: 8,195 feet Average grade: 5 percent Max grade: 17 percent
Beall Trail Total mileage: 6.63 miles Know before you go: The Beall trail recognizes the efforts of Ben Beall, the 13-year chairman of the Emerald Mountain Partnership who was instrumental in negotiating the land exchange between the State Land Board and the BLM in 2007. The negotiations yielded the largest land swap in Colorado history, adding 4,193 acres of public land called the Special Recreation Area on Emerald Mountain. Parking/Trailheads: Access the Beall Trail from two places — the top of Emerald Mountain, at the top of the new Wild Rose trail, or via Routt County Road 45 (Cow Creek Road). From downtown head north to 13th Street. Follow 13th as it becomes Routt County Road 33 (Twentymile Road). Take a left off the pavement onto RCR 45 at the bottom of the hill. RCR 45 is dirt, but it is well maintained. The first parking area you will pass accesses the Ridge and Rotary Trails. Just a short drive past this trailhead you will see parking for Beall Trail. Description: The most popular option is to link Beall Trail as part of a larger loop ride. The easiest option is the Emerald backside loop. Most riders choose to park at the Beall Trailhead, ride up Beall and then descend the Ridge Trail. At the Ridge trail it is only a short ride up Cow Creek Road to your car. For the most difficult option ride the “Stinger Loop,” which begins at the base of Howelsen Hill climbing to the top of Emerald Mountain, then descend the Ridge Trail, climb up the Beall Trail and then descend back down the frontside of Emerald. The Beall Trail offers views of Rabbit Ears Pass, the Flat Tops Wilderness Area and surrounding ranch land. You’ll meander through open meadows, pine forests, aspen groves and the beautiful gamble oak forest that is so prevalent on Emerald Mountain. The trail is non-technical singletrack with a gentle grade.
Note Both the Ridge and Beall trails can be linked together from their respective trailheads on Cow Creek Road for a 13-mile loop, 11.5 of which are on great singletrack. For the easiest climbing, head up Beall and down Ridge. You can also add in the Rotary Trail for an additional loop. 38 | 2017 Ride Guide
Trail: 5.0 miles Ascent: 31 feet Descent: 1,379 feet
Highest point: 8,198 feet Average grade: 6 percent Max grade: 20 percent
Ridge Trail Total mileage: 5 miles Know before you go: The Ridge Trail is another recent addition to the amazing network of trails on Emerald Mountain. Located on the backside of Emerald, it offers stunning views and smooth, tacky riding, with the options to link longer rides, via either the Rotary Trail towards the bottom, or Beall Trail. Parking: Parking is available at Howelsen Lodge, or on Cow Creek (Routt County Road 45) Description: To get to the trailhead at Cow Creek head out Routt County Road 33 (Twentymile Road) and turn left on Cow Creek (RCR 45). You’ll find the trailhead about a mile down on your left. From the Emerald/downtown side you have the option of riding up a number of trails to the summit of Emerald Mountain. At the top follow the twotrack along the ridge. To access the trailhead continue down and to the left just before the closure gate. steamboatbiketown.com
Morning Gloria Season: Mid-May through mid-October Know before you go: With its 35 switchbacks, this twodirectional trail—built with proceeds from the city’s $5.1 million in trail-building funds—provides one of the easiest, most gradual routes to the top of Emerald Mountain. The trails can get crowded during lunch and after work, so ride with respect for other Trail: 4 miles users and yield to uphill traffic. A bell can come in handy. Ascent: 28 feet Parking: Access Morning Gloria from the three main trailheads Descent: 848 feet serving the numerous riding options on Emerald Mountain. Parking is available at the Rodeo Stables, at Howelsen Lodge and at Backmere Drive. There are public restrooms at Howelsen Lodge. Rating: More Difficult Description: With its whopping 35 switchbacks, or one for every 0.12 miles, this 4.25-mile trail has become an instant Steamboat classic whose quad-friendly gradient makes it one of the easiest ways up to the top of Emerald Mountain. Access it by riding up Lower Lupine, and then taking a left at the well-marked trailhead sign. Traversing the east side of Emerald Mountain, its silk-smooth singletrack leads 848 vertical feet up through arching scrub oak caverns, platoons of pine trees and fern-filled aspen groves marred by bear claws back and forth up Emerald Mountain. Upon reaching the top at the junction of the Quarry Mountain and Root Canal trails, you can turn around and enjoy the smooth, flowy and fern-filled ride back down or ride any number of alternate routes back down Emerald. lt’s also become a favorite way to access longer rides up and over Emerald on the Ridge and Beall trails.
Highest point: 8,182 feet Average grade: 4 percent Max grade: 10 percent
New Trails: NPR & WIld Rose
Two new trails were built on the front side of Emerald Mountain last year, offering even more great singletrack options for riders.
NPR Trail No Pedaling Required (NPR) is another great addition to frontside riding on Emerald. This flowy, rampy and jumpy one-way trail down Emerald between Blackmer Drive and the Orton property line lives up to its name, letting you coast the entire way once you have it wired. It also steamboatbiketown.com
reduces conflicts between trail users while giving cyclists a better route to the bottom of Emerald. It has five distinct sections: 1) the stretch from its start just up Blackmere Drive from the bottom of Little Moab to Prayer Flag Road; 2) the longest stretch between Prayer Flag Road and Blackmere; 3) a section leading from Blackmere across from the start of Larry’s Trail to the road’s saddle near the start of Lower Lupine; 4) a shorter, lower section leading to near the top of Howelsen Ski Area; and 5), new last year, a final two sections (intermediate and advanced) paralleling each other from the top of Howelsen to their junction at the near-bottom of Mile Run. If you like smooth, man-made berms and
table tops (that you don’t necessarily have to air out), this trail’s for you. Wild Rose Trail The new 1.5-mile Wild Rose trail features an average grade of 3 percent and provides a direct connection the Beall and Ridge Upper trailhead from the front side of Emerald. Riding up, access it about a third of the way up No Mo’ Bluez from the bottom of the Stairway to Heaven climb. From the top, access it just north of the twotrack across from the Ridge and Beall trail junction. Perfect for riding up or down, it gives riders a pure singletrack option to access the backside of Emerald. Plus, it puts you in one of the best aspen groves in town. 2017 Ride Guide | 39
July 14, 2017 Depot Art Center
Auction of Bike-Inspired Art
BENEFITTING Bike Town USA and the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation
Tickets $45 in advance $55 at the door
Includes live music, local food and beverages by Harwigs and Butcherknife Brewing Co. Tickets available at Steamboatbiketown.com/CycleArt 40 | 2017 Ride Guide
would like to thank 2017 Presenting Sponsor
And All Of Our Sponsors
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hot Springs Area Season: Early May through October Know before you go: With southern exposure and quickly draining granitic soils, the hot springs area trails dry out early and offer the longest riding season of all the trails in town. Mad Creek is popular with hikers and their dogs. Please ride carefully and remember to yield the trail to hikers. Also be aware of horse use in this area during the early riding and hunting seasons. Yield the trail to horses. The Red Dirt Trail has some north facing slopes and does not melt out as early as the rest of the trail system. Do not ride into the Mt Zirkel Wilderness area, or you could be ticketed. Parking: Ample parking is available about 5 miles up Routt County Road 129 at the Mad Creek trailhead, and another half mile beyond at the Red Dirt trailhead (you can also ride RCR 129 directly to each trailhead). The other option is to ride the Strawberry Park Hot Springs Road, Routt County Road 36, to the Hot Springs trail. Ride this trail down to RCR 129 and then turn right and go 0.25 miles to the trailhead. Trail Ratings: More Difficult (Mad Creek)/Very Difficult (Red Dirt)
Highlighted Trail: Mad Creek/Red Dirt Loop: This loop climbs from the Mad Creek parking area up to the historic barn. Look for the Swamp Park Trailhead sign on your left. Climb through aspen and lodgepole forests before descending the steep and technical Red Dirt trail. A short spin along the road returns riders to the trailhead. These trails all link up essentially at the Mad Creek Barn, where you have three options: Ride Trail #1140 (Saddle Trail) north to the Red Dirt Trail; continue of Trail #1100 (Swamp Park) to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness boundary and then back down (do not enter the Wilderness); cross Mad Creek onto Forest road #128 (Mad House) to the south either the Hot Springs Trail or the Mad Creek trailhead parking lot. No matter your route, you’ll likely see birds of prey, deer or elk, fox and other wildlife. You’ll also encounter other trail users, so ride under control. The long locals’ ride starts in town, rides out Strawberry Park Road to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, down the Hot Springs Trail, up Mad Creek, down Red Dirt, then back up Hot Springs (for a post-ride soak) and finally back into town. Trail: 10.2 miles Ascent: 1,298 feet Descent: 1,325 feet
Highest point: 7,581 feet Average grade: 5 percent Max grade: 31 percent
Note Mandatory winter closure for trail and parking lot Dec. 1 through April 15 to protect winter range habitat.
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Lower Bear Season: Early June through October Know before you go: This trail is a beauty, and one of the first in the Steamboat area to dry out each spring due to its southern exposure. It can also be linked-in with several other trails in the area, including Hot Springs, for a great half road/half trail loop from town. As an out and back from Lower Bear Trailhead to the summit overlook expect roughly 4 miles of pedaling with an elevation rise of 1,353 feet. A word to the wise: avoid climbing it midday in summer; without much shade, it can get brutally hot. Parking: The trail starts on the right about a half mile before you reach Strawberry Park Hot Springs on County Road 36 (Hot Springs Road). Park at the pull-out for the Lower Bear Trail on the right and look for the singletrack trail heading north from its far end. Rating: Intermediate Description: Break out your energy bar. This Forest Service trail starts out with a bang, without much warm-up.
Beginning at an elevation of roughly 7,600 feet the trail heads north at first, before turning east and climbing the scrub oak-filled hillside with a series of switchbacks. After 1.6 miles, or about half an hour, youâ€™ll reach the old Two-track trail, which is even steeper. Turn left and climb another 0.4 miles (2 miles from trailhead) to the overlook at the top of a saddle and a commanding vista of the Yampa Valley. This is a great place to regroup and catch your breath. From there, the trail rolls northeast before contouring across a rocky outcrop and descending to its junction with 4WD Elk Park Road at mile 2.9. The trail ends at a beautiful meadow called Elk Park. Turn right on the Trail: 2.8 miles road and you Ascent: 956 feet can descend all Descent: 236 feet the way back
to Strawberry Park Road at mile 4.8, where a right turn and short road climb takes you back to your car. You can also head back the way you came on Lower Bear, whose smooth, buff trail is pure butter to descend.
Highest point: 8,567 feet Average grade: 8 percent Max grade: 22 percent
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Spring Creek Trail
Trail: 10.4 miles Ascent: 1,435 feet Descent: 1,435 feet
Highest point: 8,275 feet Average grade: 5 percent Max grade: 25 percent
Season: Mid-May through mid-October Know before you go: This classic from downtown is a local favorite. The trail weaves back and forth over Spring Creek and through aspen forests with about a dozen bridge crossings. It can be done as an up and back down, or a loop connecting Buffalo Pass Road (Routt County Road 38). Parking: From downtown Steamboat Springs, head north under Fish Creek Falls Road from the Old Town Hotsprings parking lot. Follow the dirt path to where it intersects Amethyst Drive. The trail, which starts as a dirt road (RCR 34), is directly across the street. If driving, you can park your car here. Rating: More Difficult Description: Begin pedaling up the dirt road (keep an eye out for cars, stay to the right). The road will turn to a double track in about 0.5 miles. Follow this double track up above Spring Creek Park (featuring two ponds and gazebo). The first bridge crossing will be in about Â˝ mile. Stay on this double track for another mile until the trailhead sign. At the sign, climb up a short steep hill to the left and take the immediate right. This is the beginning of the singletrack and the official beginning of the Spring Creek Trail. From here on, there are no other trails off the wide singletrack. The trail will cross back and forth over the creek until reaching the summit at Dry Lake, approximately 5 miles later. The terrain is mostly hard packed dirt but does have sections of rocks, roots and ruts. It is a continuous climb with many short steep pitches. The trail is not very technical in nature, but the climbs require physical fitness (total elevation gain: 1,200 feet). Upon reaching the top, turn around and enjoy the beautiful ride back down, or extend it with a ride into Soda Creek. Be careful, this trail is one of the most popular in Steamboat, so encounters with other riders, hikers, dog walkers and equestrians are inevitable.
The upper trail is closed Dec 1 through April 15 due to winter elk range closure.
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Divide Trail Continental Divide Trail/Mountain View Trail Dumont Lake to Steamboat Ski Area Season: Late July/early August through mid-October Know before you go: If you have time for one high alpine ride in Steamboat, make it this one. This rolling, scenic trail is a classic Steamboat epic, with moderate technical sections, buff singletrack and sweeping views. This trail is referred to by three different names (Wyoming Trail, Divide Trail and Trail 1101). Don’t be confused — they all lead to the same great place. You will need two cars or a shuttle driver. Your car will be left at Dumont Lake, with the ride ending back in Steamboat. Check with local bike shops for trail conditions, and be aware of early season snow and/or fallen trees. Parking: From Steamboat, take U.S. Highway 40 east for 20 miles over Rabbit Ears Pass. Turn left toward Dumont Lake. Pass the campground entrances then turn left toward Base Camp (there is a large boulder in the middle of the road with a plaque on it). Park your car 300 yards up Base Camp Road on the right hand side. Trail Rating: More Difficult Description: Look for the start of the trail on the opposite side of Base Camp Road. You will quickly come out onto the campground road. Continue straight on the campground road until you take slight right onto Trail1101 (Wyoming/Continental Divide Trail). Initially the trail follows an old roadbed along an irrigation ditch. Head left after crossing a small creek and begin your first steep climb. The trail will roll along, cross another creek, and 4 miles from the start, you will come out on Base Camp Road. Turn left on Base Camp Road and climb for about ½ mile to Base Camp Trailhead. (Option: ride or drive rough 4WD Base Camp Road to this point to avoid 4 miles of singletrack). At the Base Camp Trailhead, begin a fun, twisty descent over many water bars. After the descent, you’ll cross a creek and a climb up to Fishhook Lake (a good spot for a snack). After riding along the east side of the lake, look for a left turn to continue on 1101 (don’t go to Lost Lake). More rolling terrain with a few rocky sections will take you past Lake Elmo and to an obvious four-way intersection, another great spot to regroup. Turn left onto Fish Creek Falls Trail 1102, which rolls downhill toward Long Lake. Stay right as you first approach the lake and then continue onto Fish Creek Falls Trail 1102 (don’t go to Fish Creek Reservoir). Another 0.8 fairly flat miles later, turn left and begin climbing Mountain View Trail 1032. The trail climbs a few loose switchbacks then rolls through the forest, then climbs again. At the top, you’re rewarded with gorgeous views across Rabbit Ears Pass and a nice spot for a break. A couple more miles of rolling terrain take you to Steamboat Ski Resort. Head left on the resort’s dirt road to connect with Pete’s Wicked Trail to begin the descent. The best route down is Pete’s Wicked Trail, right on Cathy’s Cut-off, right onto Sunshine trail, and left on the dirt road. steamboatbiketown.com
Trail: 24.8 miles Ascent: 1,952 feet Descent: 4,589 feet
Highest point: 10,397 feet Average grade: 5 percent Max grade: 21 percent
Other trail options in the area 1. Dumont Lake to Summit Lake on Trail 1101. Descend Buffalo Pass Road to Dry Lake.Spring Creek Trail down into town. 2. Dumont Lake to Fish Creek Falls Trail. Same directions as Mountainview, but stay on Trail 1102 Fish Creek Falls for arguably the most technical descent in the Steamboat area. Note: The lower Fish Creek Trail is heavily used by hikers, many with heads down hiking uphill. Proceed with caution, and yield to the hikers. 3. Base Camp Road towards Base Camp, turn left on Trail 1101 and ride back to your vehicle on the singletrack. Easier 8-mile loop, no shuttle required. 4. Climb Steamboat Ski Area and use Mountain View to access Divide Trail to Summit Lake and descend Buffalo Pass Road to Spring Creek, or Mountain View to Fish Creek Falls trail. 2017 Ride Guide | 47
Rock Creek/Tepee Creek Know before you go: This is a gorgeous ride that stays in great shape throughout the summer. While it requires an hour drive each way from Steamboat, you’ll be rewarded with winding singletrack along Rock Creek. Parking: Take U.S. Highway 40 east from Steamboat. Follow Colorado Highway 131 south for 39 miles to Colorado Highway 134. Follow Colo.134, 8.2 miles to Forest Road 270 (Lynx Pass). Follow FR 270 3 miles and turn right onto Forest Road 263 for one-quarter mile. (If you pass the bathrooms, you’ve gone too far.) Park on the side of the road at the sharp switchback to the right. Rating: More Difficult Trail Description: Leave the road at the outside corner of a sharp switchback in the road. Cross the creek and begin climbing Tepee Creek trail. Turn left onto FR 263. Continue a moderate climb for about 4 miles. Take a right onto Rock Creek Trail. This starts as an old dirt road for about one-half mile; past a closed gate the trail turns into singletrack. The trail descends steeply at first, then follows and crosses Rock Creek a few times. After following the creek, you’ll begin a short climb before descending an old two track. At the bottom of the descent, look for sharp right onto Tepee Creek Trail (1173). Climb along the Tepee Creek drainage back to the FR 263. Continue straight across the road to stay on Tepee Creek trail. Hang on tight for the fast descent back to the trailhead.
Trail: 16.6 miles Ascent: 2,280 feet
Descent: 2,280 feet Highest point: 10,180 feet
1/2 Horizontal EAT WELL BE BOLD.
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Trail: 20.9 miles Ascent: 1,682 feet Descent: 2,072 feet Season: Late June to September Know before you go: Trails in this area are shared with equestrians, hikers and motorcyclists, so ride with respect. Also, hunters use this area in the fall, so wear bright colors. This area was heavily hit by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and while tree clearing had been extensive in years past, it is ongoing. In early season, many trees may be across the trails. Please report any new downfall to the U.S. Forest Service at (970) 870-2299. Parking: The Seedhouse area offers ample parking in several locations: The Hinman Lake trailhead, the North Entrance to the South Fork trailhead, the South Entrance to the South Fork trailhead, the Burn Ridge Trailhead, the Seedhouse trailhead, and the Diamond Park South trailhead. Trail Ratings: Very Difficult Description: South Fork/Scottâ€™s Run. This approximately 20-mile moderately technical loop offers a great aerobic workout and spectacular views of the south and north forks of the Elk River, the Zirkels and the 2002 Hinman burn area (notice the regeneration). The suggested ride is counterclockwise and prepare for creek crossings. The Seedhouse area network of trails offers riders of all abilities the opportunity to ride pristine trails and see a wide variety of wildlife, beautiful flowers and the rugged Zirkel range. The trails, located approximately 30 miles north of Steamboat Springs, traverse aspen and lodgepole forests, and pass by meandering creeks and streams and glimmering lakes. In the summer, they allow riders to escape the heat of Steamboat and ride through shady stands of aspens and lodgepole forests connecting to brilliant meadows of columbines. The singletracks are narrow and smooth with few technical interruptions, making for fast and furious fun in the saddle. steamboatbiketown.com
Highest point: 8,646 feet Average grade: 5 percent Max grade: 29 percent
Diamond Park South
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Big Red Park: Manzanares Loop Season: July 1 through mid-October (officially closes Dec. 1) Know before you go: This area has challenging hilly, rocky sections and steep grades. Loose rock portions may require dismounting. Be aware of jeep, motorcycle, and ATV traffic, as you will be sharing the trail. Be prepared to deal with fallen trees, especially in the early summer before winter timber fall has been cleared. Parking: Take Routt County Road 129 past Steamboat Lake and Hahns Peak Lake. Just past Columbine, turn right on Forest Road 550. Proceed north 4 miles and turn right on Forest Road 500. After 2 miles, turn right onto Forest Road 402, which becomes rough and wet with deep holes (4WD recommended). The Farewell Mountain trailhead (1203) is 1 mile up the road. Trail Ratings: Very Difficult Description: Take Farwell Mountain Trail (1203) southeast about 5 miles to Forest Road 409, then follow the road about 3 miles to Wyoming Trail (1101). Take Trail 1101 north about 13 miles to Manzanares Trail (1204). Follow the trail west about 5 miles back to the trailhead (1203). This route is through pine forests and alpine meadows. The intersection of the Wyoming and Manzanares trails offers views at the top of the Continental Divide. Don’t enter the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area, which only allows travel by foot and horseback.
Trail: 21.7 miles Ascent: 1,541 feet
Descent: 1,541 feet Highest point: 10,126 feet
Nipple Peak & Lopez Creek Loop Season: Late June through early October Know before you go: This approximately 20-mile, technical, north Routt loop is a great ride, but is also shared by ATVs and motorcycles. It’s best ridden counter-clockwise loop. The ride is gorgeous during the fall colors. Parking: From Steamboat Springs, turn north at Elk River Road (Routt County Road 129) and drive past Columbine to Forest Road 47, on the left just past the Summit Creek Guard Station. Park off FR 47. Rating: Very Difficult Description: Follow FR 47 clockwise, west. It turns into Trail 1147. This trail winds through aspen groves and spruce, down to Lopez Creek and then connects with Trail 1156. Turn left, staying on Trail 1156 back over the divide and down Willow Creek. This area can be wet early summer. Stay on trail 1156 across Forest Road 487 to Forest Road 488. Turn right on Fr 488 and travel to the junction with RCR 129. You can stay on the trail back to RCR 129, but at this point some smoother riding is welcome. Turn left on RCR 129 and return to the starting point. Other trails can be accessed from the Nipple Peak loop. 50 | 2017 Ride Guide
Trail: 19.7 miles Ascent: 1,550 feet
Descent: 1,550 feet Highest point: 9,600 feet
See map and consult local bike shops for more information. Note: This ride is great to access if you’re camping at Hahn’s Peak Lake. steamboatbiketown.com
Three Epic Rides Here for a long weekend? Hit the below combo of two mountain bikes rides and one road ride to max-out a whirlwind cycling weekend in Steamboat. Stinger Loop This is one of Steamboat’s most classic rides, taking you 25 miles from downtown, up and over the backside of Emerald Mountain and back, all on different, silky smooth single track the entire way. And get this: it ends right on the Yampa River, which harbors two of the best swimming holes in the valley, the C and D holes. The ride also dumps you straight onto Yampa Street and its myriad, riverside bars just in time for happy hour. (See description under Emerald Mountain.)
Divide Trail Carpool up to Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass and you’re in for a wilderness ride treat with the nearly 25-mile-long Divide Trail, which follows the Continental Divide to the top of the ski resort where 3,000 vertical feet of singletrack await. Bonus: hit the Rustler’s Ridge downhill trail from the top of Thunderhead to the bottom, where cold beer awaits. Then all you have to do is Roshambo to see who has to shuttle back up to get the car. (See map under Divide Trail.)
Road Ride: Coal Mine Loop If you have time for only one roadie, make it the Coal Mine Loop, which takes you on a 53.5-mile loop from downtown, out Twentymile Road to the coal mine at the junction of RCR 33 and 27, onto Oak Creek, past Stagecoach reservoir and back on Highway 131 to Steamboat Springs and a dip in the river before a well-earned refueling stop. (See map under Road Rides.)
Lunch loops Two roadies and a trail ride (followed by a cheeseburger) Road Bike: Downtown to Hilton Gulch school house via Routt County Road 14 This is a great lunch hour ride along the valley, with vehicles used to seeing bikes and recent resurfacing providing a smooth surface. And its rolling terrain lets you set your own pace. Leave downtown via 5th Street, turn left onto River Road and follow the Yampa River out of town. At the intersection of Routt County Road 14F (4 miles) turn right staying on Routt County Road 14. At 6.9 miles follow the road around to the right and slightly uphill onto Routt County Road 35. At 7.9 miles follow the road to the left staying on RCR 35. At 8.7 miles you are at the base of a short climb. Either turn around or continue up the short half mile hill to the right where RCR 41 and RCR 35 merge. At just over 10 miles you will arrive at the old school house at Hilton Gulch. Turn around here for a fast descent and cruise back to Steamboat. Road Bike: Catamount Lunch Loop Looking for a scenic ride with a great lunch stop? Consider the Catamount Lunch Loop. From downtown, take River Road (Routt County Road 14) heading east. This rolling byway passes through pastoral ranch lands and some classic steamboatbiketown.com
Steamboat vistas. At Routt County Road 131, turn left. A half mile down the road, turn right onto Routt County Road 18. Follow RCR 18 about a mile to the Lake Catamount compound on your left. You can stop for lunch here at the Lake House Restaurant, or continue on for a little climb. Follow RCR 18 for another two miles and challenge yourself with a half-mile climb. Turn around at the top or continue down for another mile until the pavement ends at the road to Sarvis Creek. Turn back here and then enjoy a lunch stop at the Catamount Lake House. Total distance to end of pavement and back to downtown is about 30 miles. Mountain Bike: Downtown to Emerald Mountain Quarry This is an awesome, intermediate mountain bike ride taking in prime Emerald trails, offering a great view from the Quarry and a fast, flowy return to town. Leave downtown via 5th Street. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right toward Howelsen Hill. At the intersection go left and arrive at the horse stables. Turn right at the stables and then immediately left, on the new Bluffs Trail uphill. After a short climb, follow a smooth, mellow section south along the flank of Emerald before curving up to the next intersection where you bear
left and continue up. Follow Ricky’s Ridge on your left up to Lupine on your left. Stay on the flowy, single track until you pop out onto a gravel road spin to the Quarry. For the return, descend the road and look for the Blair Witch Trail that disappears left into the woods after about 50 yards. After you pop out at an intersection keep going slightly left uphill. After a slight downhill, turn right at the intersection of a two-track road and continue downhill. Look for a left turn onto MGM after the second bend. Stay left until you come almost to a meadow, turning right and uphill briefly onto Eye-2-Eye. Follow this winding trail to the bottom of MGM. Take a right and after 100 yards bear left onto Molly’s, a flowy trail that feels like a slalom ski course. Stay left at the first fork, then head right at the fork at the bottom across a small wooden bridge. A short uphill on the Gas Line connects you back to Blackmere Drive and town.
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Road & Mixed Rides Twentymile Road
Twentymile Out and Back
A local’s favorite with rolling hills, plus a few hardy climbs, nice pavement and relatively low vehicle traffic especially on weekends.
From downtown Steamboat Springs, turn off Lincoln Ave. at the library onto 13th Street. This will turn into Routt County Road 33 (Twentymile Road). There is about 5 miles of open range, so pay close attention for cattle on the quick valley descents. It’s 40 miles out-and-back if you make it all the way to the coal mine at the junction of RCR 33 and RCR 27.
For a loop variation of the ride (47 miles) continue south on RCR 27, where you’ll need to climb the Three Sisters (to be PC) before descending back into the small town of Oak Creek. Head back on highway 131 toward Steamboat Springs. Turn off on Routt County Road 14 to enjoy a low rolling hills back into town.
Technical: Advanced Ascent: 3,380 feet Highest point: 7,875 feet
Distance: 45.6 miles Duration: 3 to 5 hours Aerobic: Moderate+
7,200 7,000 6,800 6,600 6,400 30
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For a slightly longer loop option head west on Colorado Highway 40 from downtown Steamboat Springs. At 19 miles take a left on RCR 27. Continue for 18 miles. At the intersection of RCR 27 and RCR 33 (Twentymile Road), turn left and follow RCR 33 back into Steamboat Springs. Be prepared for two really steep climbs as you return on RCR 33.
Coal View Gulch & Twentymile Loop
Technical: Advanced Ascent: 2,825 feet Highest point: 7,205 feet
Distance: 52.6 miles Duration: 3 to 5 hours Aerobic: Strenuous
For updated road construction information, visit: http://www.co.routt.co.us/index.aspx?nid=198 steamboatbiketown.com
31 Colo. 1
34 Colo. 1
Technical: Advanced Ascent: 6,055 feet Highest point: 9,565 feet
Distance: 111.8 miles Duration: 6 to 10 hours Aerobic: Strenuous
Steamboat’s signature 111-mile “century” ride. Head south from town on U.S. Highway 40 climbing over Rabbit Ears Pass, followed by some fast descending and rollers to Wolford Mountain Reservoir just before Kremmling. Turn right onto Colorado Highway 134 for a scenic ride over Gore Pass. Descending from Gore Pass, turn right at the intersection with Colorado Highway131 through Toponas and head north. Just past Phippsburg take the right onto Routt Country Road 14, pass by Stagecoach Reservoir and tackle the few final short climbs. It’s best to start this ride early in the morning to avoid traffic on U.S. 40 and to turn the corner at Toponas before the afternoon winds or storms pick up. Take an extra bottle, too. It’s about 70 miles before your first chance for a snack in Toponas.
7,800 7,600 7,400 7,200 7,000 6,800 10
Stagecoach & Oak Creek Loop A 42-mile classic Steamboat loop. From Steamboat Springs head south on RCR 14 (River Road). At the junction of Routt County Road 35, veer left across the railroad tracks onto RCR 14E and continue to the intersection with Colorado Highway 131. Go right on Colo.131 for a brief stretch, then turn left back onto RCR 14 heading to Stagecoach. Ride over Yellow Jacket Pass, past Stagecoach Reservoir and intersect again with Colo. 131. Turn right on Colo. 131 and head into Oak Creek. From Oak Creek, stay on Colo. 131, roll through the canyon and come back toward town, then turn left back onto RCR 14E to ride back in on River Road.
4 RC R 1
Distance: 42.7 miles Duration: 2 to 3 hours Aerobic: Moderate
Technical: Intermediate Ascent: 2,095 feet Highest point: 7,590 feet 2017 Ride Guide | 53
9,000 8,500 8,000 7,500
Elk River Road & Seedhouse Road Out and Back
Technical: Advanced Ascent: 3,785 feet Highest point: 8,705 feet
Distance: 36, 49, 62 or 74 miles Duration: 3 to 5 hours Aerobic: Moderate+
Gorgeous riding through small towns and historic ranches along the Elk River. Head north from Steamboat Springs on RCR 129 for a scenic, rolling ride through the Elk River Valley. Turn around at Clark for a 36-mile round trip. For some adventure, turn right onto Rout County Road 64 (Seedhouse Road) just past Clark and head out to the end of the pavement at the Hinman Park turnaround for a 50-mile round trip. The Seedhouse Road section has narrow shoulders and some rough pavement but is not heavily traveled. For a longer ride, from Clark continue on RCR 129 over Willow Creek Pass, past Hahn’s Peak Village and Steamboat Lake and climb up to Columbine where you can turn around (making it a 63-mile round trip from Steamboat Springs). And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, make an out and back on Seedhouse Road before riding up to Columbine for a total of 73.5 miles in some of Colorado’s most beautiful countryside. Note: Shoulder width varies significantly along the length of Elk River Road (RCR 129) and can get tight between Steamboat Springs and Clark. .
Hahn’s peak village
Mixed Gravel Elevation (feet)
7,000 6,900 6,800 6,700 6,600 5
Airport Plus “Gravel Grinder” RC R RC
. U. S
RCR 33A N
Distance: 21.86 miles Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours Aerobic: Moderate 54 | 2017 Ride Guide
Technical: Intermediate Ascent: 1,150 feet Highest point: 6,920 feet
Equal parts pavement/dirt on this fun mixed ride around the Sleeping Giant. Head north on Elk River Road and past the Steamboat Airport to Routt County Road 44 where you veer left onto the dirt. Continue out over the Elk River toward the Sleeping Giant and the farms that dot the countryside. Ride RCR 44 until it hits Colorado Highway 40 and then turn left for a pavement section that will take you east toward Steamboat. After the quick spin on the flat pavement turn right onto Routt County Road 33. Over the railroad tracks and onto the dirt/gravel, then continue on RCR 33 until you intersect Twentymile Road. Take a left onto Twentymile and make the easy spin on pavement back to town. This ride is a perfect 22 miles, with an estimated time of just over an hour. steamboatbiketown.com
7,7500 7,500 7,250
7,000 6,750 4
Technical: Intermediate Ascent: 2,120 feet Highest point: 7,765 feet
Distance: 27.9 miles Duration: 2 to 3 hours Aerobic: Moderate
A Routt County mixed-gravel classic. Head out of town on 13th Street/RCR 33 (Twentymile Road) up and over the first major climb and take a left onto RCR 43, where the gravel begins. Continue around the back side of Emerald Mountain, bearing right onto RCR 41. After the steep descent down to the Hilton Gulch schoolhouse, take a left back onto the pavement and continue down, merging with RCR 35, then left on RCR 14 (River Road) which will bring you back to town. Ride the loop in reverse for a challenging climb up Hilton Gulch. This is a 28-mile loop with about 6 miles of well-maintained gravel roads.
RCR Map Routt County Riders has created a detailed trail map that shows summer and winter bike trails in the Steamboat Springs area including North Routt County, as well as popular road rides. The map shows difficulty levels for each trail and has descriptions of suggested rides and hikes in the margins. RCR worked with Adventure Maps to create this comprehensive version after determining that other maps available for the area contained inaccuracies. The map was produced with funding assistance from City of Steamboat Springs tax dollars. To support future trail maintenance efforts, RCR has decided to put all proceeds from maps sales to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. Your purchase helps make sure the trails you enjoy riding here in Steamboat Springs will continue to be available for everyone. See www.routtcountyriders.org for a list of shops which carry these maps, or check any local bike shop! There are also flat laminated versions available for sale at https:// squareup.com/market/routt-countyriders steamboatbiketown.com
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Routt County Riders
RCR Trail Builders Reaping the rewards
Routt County Riders is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Chapter and a Bicycle Colorado (www.bicyclecolorado.org) organization which represents all variations of biking throughout Routt County, including downhill/freeride, BMX, dirt jump, commuting and urban cycling, fat biking, and adaptive cycling. Our mission is to unite all bicyclists in Steamboat Springs, and Routt County through trails, roads, and pathways;
education; and cycling events. Our goal is to create a fun, healthy, and safe bicycle-friendly community. Routt County Riders is a volunteerbased, membership-driven organization. We advocate for cycling as a method of transportation, a mechanism for fitness, and a way to have fun. We work with our community, locals and tourists alike to promote cycling, and do what we can to enhance all forms of cycling on trails, roads, and pathways in Routt County. As a bicycle advocacy group, we offer input to, and through, numerous governmental agencies including: CDOT, Northwest Transportation Region, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Routt County, the City of Steamboat Springs, the Emerald Mountain Partnership, and others. To learn more, or join us in membership, visit www.routtcountryriders.org.
Putting in more than 1,000 manhours of volunteer work every year, Routt County Riders’ trailbuilding efforts, through RCR Trail Builders, can be seen far and wide throughout the Yampa Valley. Thanks to the purchase of a new Single Track 240 trail-building machine (with a fundraising match by Yampa Valley Bank and support from Moots), in the past three years RCR Trail Builders has completed the 4.25-mile Morning Gloria trail, the Wild Rose trail and the directional No Pedaling Required (NPR) trail on Emerald Mountain. As well as spearheading additional trails on Emerald, RCR Trail Builders is also working with the U.S. Forest Service on a new series of trails in the Buffalo Pass area, the first of which will open this summer. RCR also conducts winter fat-bike grooming for selected trails on Emerald Mountain.
Joel Reichenberger Routt County Riders works hard to ensure there are more trails like these in Steamboat.
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Aprés Biking Downtown For après-pedal fun, it doesn’t get any better than Yampa Street, just moments away from the trails of Emerald Mountain. Undergoing a major renovation to make it more bike- and pedestrian-friendly than ever, it’s the perfect location for post-pedal fuel and libations, from a cold beer by the river to a sandwich in the sun. Following is an alphabetized rundown of where to celebrate your ride:
Aurum Food & Wine Seasonal new American fare, with a Colorado-focused craft cocktail, beer and regional wine program along the Yampa River. 970-879-9500, 811 Yampa St. Carl’s Tavern Home of comfort food and big screen TVs, Carl’s will fill your belly after your ride or let you socialize around its Cheers-like horseshoe-shaped bar. Try the Rocky Mountain Mule. 970-7612060, 700 Yampa St. Cugino’s Pizzeria What’s not to like about pizza or calzones and beer after a long ride?
Plus, it has a great deck offering views of Howelsen. 970-879-5805, 41 8th St. Double Z BBQ If you’ve really worked up an appetite, head to Double Z for Best of the Boat BBQ ribs and fries. 970-8790849, 1124 Yampa St. E3 Chophouse Swing by for happy hour beers and bar food (or an all-natural, Angus beef steak), complete with a beautiful lawn and deck overlooking the river. 970879-7167, 701 Yampa St. Mountain Tap Brewery Hand-crafted pizza and beers, enjoyed in a large garage-door patio across the street from the river. Try the Passionate Pedal after the day’s ride, and look for bike maintenance clinics on the patio. 970-879-6646, 910 Yampa St. Sake2U Hop off your cycle straight into some sushi or cold beer at this downtown dining establishment across from town’s newest park. Grab a seat on the outdoor
deck to view the terrain you just rode on Emerald Mountain. 970-870-1019, 609 Yampa St. Scratch Scratch prides itself on serving affordable, rustic mountain fare, with a great happy hour from 4-5:30 p.m. Try the pork tenderloin or fried avocado app. Tuesday through Saturday. 970761-2586, 700 Yampa St.
Sunpies Bistro Riverside, outdoor seating and straight from New Orleans Hurricanes that should be consumed with caution. 970-870-3360, 735 Yampa St. Sweet Pea Café Healthy, hearty salads and homespun sandwiches, with the roar of the river as a backdrop. Sweet Pea is your spot. 970-879-1221, 729 Yampa St. Yama For some sushi, sake and Sapporo after cycling head to newly opened Yama on the west end of Yampa, directly across from the river. 970-761-2087, 1110 Yampa St.
Cheers to gears! Celebrate your ride at one of countless bars and breweries downtown.
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Breweries in the ‘Boat What better way to top off your ride than to hit up one of four breweries calling Steamboat home, all offering a great way to sample suds after your ride. Most offer inside-outside imbibing, with fill-your-own growlers, mug clubs, tasting rooms and more. Your aprésride won’t get any better. Mountain Tap Brewery Owned by Wendy and Rich Tucciarone (previously vice president of brewery operations at Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co.), Mountain Tap Brewery, at 910 Yampa Street, offers hand-crafted pizza and homemade beers, enjoyed from a patio across the street from the river. Try its biker-friendly Passionate Pedal, its most popular summertime beer (a passionfruit wheat ale), which is known as “Steamboat Gatorade.” “We offer a nice, shady, cool place to check out the trails you just rode on our trail map-adorned loft walls,” Wendy says. With plenty of bike racks surrounding the patio, Mountain Tap also supports Steamboat’s cycling organizations through its Token Tuesday program, where customers get to donate $1 from each beer to the nonprofit of their choice. The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund is the beneficiary in April and May, and Routt County Riders in July. “We’re also planning some beer and energy bar pairing events, as well as bike maintenance clinics on our patio,” Wendy says. Info: www.mountaintapbrewery.com Butcherknife Brewing Co. Butcherknife Brewing Co. operates a 4,000-square-foot brewery with tap room — complete with tasting room and steamboatbiketown.com
Replenish your riding carbs at one of Steamboat’s four breweries.
two garage doors opening to a patio — at 2875 Elk River Road, and prides itself on catering to bikers. It offers $1 off each pint to customers who arrive by bike, and this summer it’s making basic maintenance tools available, including compressed air and a hose for when bikes come back dirty from up north. “We love hosting riders and want to make it easy for them visit us,” says coowner Mark Fitzgerald. The brewery prides itself on its recipes (try the Best of the Boat-winning Amputator), attention to detail and good ol’ Steamboat water. “It’s the best water in Colorado, straight from the Continental Divide” adds Fitzgerald. “It’s the perfect place to stop after your ride.” Info: www.butcherknifebrewing.com Storm Peak Brewing Co. Entering its fourth year of operations, Storm Peak Brewing Co. moved into a bigger, better and more bike-friendly headquarters this spring at 1885 Elk River Plaza, complete with indoor/outdoor tasting room. It offers $1 off your first pint if you show up on bike, a nice incentive if you ride the 3,832 vertical feet from its namesake peak to the tasting room. Everything it makes — from crisp Golden Ale to darker Black Ale and seasonal styles in between — is sold on premises, meaning you can’t find it anywhere else.
“We’re focused on tap room sales and creating an atmosphere where people can enjoy our product,” says co-founder Wyatt Patterson. The brewery’s new 20-barrel brewhouse is three times bigger than before, with a cellar capacity of 200 barrels. “It’s a pretty big step up from the old system,” says Patterson. “We’re proud to call Steamboat home and love sharing our passion for beer.” Info: www.stormpeakbrewing.com Mahogany Ridge Brewery “Race ya’ to Mahogany!” Don’t be surprised to hear that on your ride down Emerald Mountain, as Mahogany Ridge at 435 Lincoln Ave. downtown offers some of the closest homemade microbrews you’ll find to any trail in town (look for the giant bike rack out front). It offers seven handcrafted beers on tap, including its famous Alpenglow, Uncle Daryl’s Dunkleweizen, and a variety of light, wheat, brown ale, IPA and other recipes. “We’re a brew pub versus a micro-brewery,” says owner Charlie Noble, touting its taster sampler. “Brewing is where my passion is, and all our offerings are great.” Mahogany’s happy hour is also a local favorite, letting you sample a taster tray of eight, four-ounce beers alongside the best and most affordable tapas menu in town. Info: www.mahoganyridgesteamboat.com 2017 Bike Guide | 59
Steamboatbiketown.com Find everything you need to get the most out of Bike Town USA A visit to Bike Town USA’s refreshed and expanded website at www.steamboatbiketown. com makes it easier than ever to learn everything about riding in Steamboat. The site is filled with maps, event calendars and photos, as well as lodging, dining and aprèsbike information. It also features an online ride guide offering descriptions, directions and difficulty ratings for road, trail and leisure rides throughout the Yampa Valley. Whether you’re headed out for a cruiser ride with the family, an adrenaline-filled downhill, a smooth cross-country jaunt, or a meandering road ride, you will find everything you need to get started here. “Steamboatbiketown.com is a great goto resource for planning your next cycling adventure,” says Bike Town USA Director Amy Stern. “Come on up and bike the ‘Boat.” Info: www.steamboatbiketown.com
Tail Blazers Pet Grooming
A SPA TREATMENT LIKE NO OTHER! Certified Master Groomer Donna Lewis handles every dog like they were her own.... 60 | 2017 Bike Guide
by appointment only 2538 Copper Ridge Drive Suite 9A Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 www.tailblazerspetgrooming.com
Spoke talk Catching up with Moots owner Brent Whittington focused on carbon. Therefore, consumers are always presented with carbon as the material of choice. When we have the opportunity to get customers on our bikes and they experience the feel of a Moots, we have success. Our customers tell me all the time that their Moots is their favorite bike in the garage, despite the fact that many of them also have high end carbon models as well. Bike Guide: Planning any changes at all? Whittington: I haven’t had to do anything dramatic. It’s already a great brand and business, with an absolutely tremendous team in place. They’re unbelievably talented workers and bicyclists, and all great people. One thing we are working on is some of our finish options and the strategy to start selling more complete bicycles instead of just components.
Whether he’s riding local trails or riding herd at the office, Moots owner Brent Whittington is smitten with Steamboat.
In 2015, just a year shy of the company’s 35th anniversary, local titanium bike manufacturer Moots was purchased by former telecommunications executive and avid bicyclist Brent Whittington. While he still makes his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, he ventures to Steamboat whenever possible to help run the business and, of course, break out his bike to ride in Routt County. And he has no plans to change the company’s successful, award-winning formula. Bike Guide: What interested you in buying Moots? Whittington: My passion for cycling and the opportunity to join the industry by owning a really unique and tremendous brand. On my second visit here, in the summer of 2014, I went on a Moots factory tour that I learned about from the Chamber, and remember thinking, ‘Good God, what a tremendous business opportunity.” I bought the company six months later. Bike Guide: What challenges does Moots face in today’s market? Whittington: The biggest challenge is the fact that the industry is dominated by larger companies steamboatbiketown.com
Bike Guide: How long have you been riding and what type do you like best? Whittington: I started riding as a kid and really never grew out of it. Mountain biking is definitely my favorite, but a great week is when I can ride my mountain, road, cross and commuter bike.
December 2014, a year before I bought the business. I came back with my family — including daughter Makenna, 15, and son Nash, 13—that next summer, and fell in love with it even more. The fact Moots was based here was a huge bonus. We pretty much spend most of our summers here now. I also ski every chance I get. I almost consider myself a local now and feel part of the community. Bike Guide: What do you think of the riding options here? Whittington: They’re outstanding. There’s so much you can ride right from your front door. The hard part is making the choice for the day—whether you’re on your mountain, cross or road bike. Bike Guide: What’s your favorite road and trail ride here? Whittington: My favorite mountain bike ride is the loop up and over Emerald Mountain. The descent on Ridge and the climb up Beall is awesome. Perhaps the biggest surprise I’ve found here is the gravel riding around here; it’s awesome and I just love it. The Ranch Rally loop—the course for the event we host—is my favorite. For road biking, no question: the coal mine loop, with the extension to Stagecoach.
Bike Guide: How do you like Steamboat so far? Whittington: I fell in love with Steamboat when I came to visit a friend on my first trip here, in 2017 Bike Guide | 61
Where Olympians Ride Steamboat is home to more winter Olympians than any other town in the country. But once the snow melts, where do they like to ride?
Johnny Spillane, four-time Olympian (three silver medals, 2010), Nordic combined “I love heading up on Emerald, either from home or work, because it’s just so easy right from town. It doesn’t matter where; it’s all super awesome wherever you go. You just get on and ride.”
Courtesy Chad Fleischer
Chad Fleischer, Olympian, President, Fleischer Sport “I like the Divide Trail starting from Dumont Lake on top of Rabbit Ears Pass. It has all the elements of a fantastic ride — scenery, little traffic, rolling terrain, limited climbing, singletrack and a few easy technical aspects. You can ride it fast and go for it or take it easy with a lakeside lunch stop along the way.”
Courtesy Nelson Carmichael
Courtesy Caroline Lalive
Caroline Lalive, two-time Downhill/SuperG Olympian “Larry’s Trail on Emerald Mountain, finishing with a quick trip across Prayer Flag Meadow. It reminds of a giant slalom ski race, with its sweeping, banked turns. The meadow feels like my own private oasis. I often stop and marvel at this hidden spot in the middle of town. It’s one of my favorite places in Steamboat.” 62 | 2017 Bike Guide
Deb Armstrong, Gold medalist, GS, 1984 “Morning Gloria. It’s just such a classic. It’s the perfect length, not too steep, has a fun variety of terrain, and a lot of great vistas. It requires you to remain mentally alert, but you’re never gripped. It’s just plain fun!”
Nelson Carmichael, Bronze medalist, Moguls, 1992 “The climb up Mt. Werner. It’s a beast, but in the best possible way. From the ski area base, ride up Zig Zag to Pioneer near the Creekside trail. Continue up Pioneer all the way to Chisholm trail road, turning left. Then right onto Sunshine and across to Cathy’s Cutoff, named after our neighbor. From there, turn left up Pete’s Wicked Trail to the summit. For an added bonus, continue straight up the ridge to the radio towers and 10,568 feet. For the decent, I like going back the same way until Chisholm trail road intersects with Elkhead Loop. steamboatbiketown.com
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SHARE THE ROAD Safe Bike Riding Tips Preparing to ride Choose the route with the fewest streets to cross, even if it’s longer. Wear brightly colored clothes. Tie your shoes and secure long laces and loose pants. Don’t wear headphones.
• Wear a properly fitted helmet (no more than two fingers between chin and chin strap). • Check that tires are firm and brakes work. • Ride a bike that fits (when straddling, both feet should be firmly planted on the ground; when seated, hands should reach the handlebars). • Don’t carry anyone else on your bike, or anything in your hands (use a backpack or basket). • If riding in the dark, use headlights, tail lights and reflectors and wear bright clothing with reflective material. Riding awareness and safety
• Before entering a street, look for other vehicles to the left, right, in front and behind. • Pay attention to your surroundings. Watch for other vehicles and hazards, such as potholes and parked cars. • Watch for vehicles turning into or exiting driveways. • Watch for parked vehicles that may back up, pull forward or open a door. • Ride in a straight line with two hands on the handlebars unless signaling. • Before changing lanes or turning, always check in front and behind for traffic. • On sidewalks or paths, ride slowly and be prepared to stop quickly. Pedestrians have the right-of-way. Dismount if crossing at a stop light crosswalk.
Safe Routes To School Nearing the end of a recently procured $24,000 state grant, Steamboat’s Safe Routes to School program is a communitywide effort aimed at making it easy and safe for kids to commute by bike or foot. Recently awarded an additional $10,000 grant from CDOT, the program will continue through at least the next two school years. Yampa Valley Electric Association, Rotary Club of Steamboat, Walmart, Routt County Riders and Bike Town USA have also contributed community matching funds to support Safe Routes to School. The program is administered by Bike Town USA in partnership with the Steamboat Springs School District. In the past few years the program has organized safety and skills rallies, produced promotional materials (including a Safe Routes to School map), and staffed volunteer cross walk patrols. “It’s a great way to get kids ready for riding around town,” says coordinator Sally Cariveau. In addition, the program’s Hike and Bike to School Challenge, held Friday mornings in fall and spring, is now finishing its second year, awarding elementary school students who commute five times or more with prizes (kids who ride the bus can get off at the high school and walk Butcher Knife trail). The top two commuters in each grade receive a T-shirt and a random grand prize is awarded at each school. The bike rodeo program also remains popular, teaching never-ever riders skills and stunts, trail riding and street smarts.
A bike lane is a travel lane, meaning you should always turn from the lane closest to the curb. To make a right turn, any vehicle (bike, car, truck, etc.) should be as far to the right as practicable. When turning right, a motor vehicle needs to safely merge into the bike lane (yielding to any traffic already in that bike lane), before making the turn (that’s why bike lanes are dashed when approaching an intersection). Dashed lanes encourage drivers to merge before turning right. If you are a cyclist riding in a bike lane and a car pulls into the lane with its right blinker on, wait behind the car until it makes its turn or merge into the adjacent general-purpose lane, assuming there’s room, and ride in that lane.
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Bike Shop Roundup Orange Peel Bicycle Service
Founded in 1999, Orange Peel, located downtown at 1136 Yampa Street, is Steamboat’s only year round, bikes-only bike shop. A small shop with a big regional presence, it was voted 2016’s Best of the Rockies bike shop by Elevation Outdoors magazine. “That’s what differentiates us,” says owner Brock Webster. “We focus solely on bikes.” The full service shop offers retail sales, parts, accessories, rentals (highend demos, cruisers, kids bikes, trailers and more), carrying such lines as Moots, Pivot, Transition, Kona, Salsa, Parlee and Orbea — brands Webster maintains are perfect for the “enthusiast” rider. It also sponsors local events, such as the Town Challenge series, Moots Ranch Rally and Bike Town USA initiative, as well as such national programs as IMBA and Bikes Belong. “Bike service will always be our number one priority and passion,” says Webster, adding the store also donates to the local trail maintenance fund. “It’s the engine that keeps things rolling around here.” Info:1136 Yampa St., 970-879-2957, www.orangepeelbikes.com.
town. “They know how to fix anything.” Bestsellers on the retail side include Trek and Giant, with the store also recently picking up Ibis and Intense. With 20 employees in peak riding season, it offers rentals (high-end demos, hybrid road bikes, mountain bikes, child bikes, tag-a-longs, trailers and more), retail and repairs, catering to locals as much as visitors. As well as sponsoring the Town Challenge series, Steamboat Stage Race, Bike to Work Week, Bike Town USA and more, the store also hosts women’s clinics and rides, as well as a bike repair clinic the second Tuesday of every month. It also donates $1 from every rental to town’s trail maintenance fund. “Our staff is very passionate about riding,” adds Martin, who heads out on his backyard Emerald Mountain trails as often as he can. “Steamboat’s a fantastic bike town.” Info:442 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-9144, www.steamboatskiandbike.com.
Challenge series to Tour de Steamboat and Steamboat Stage Race, the store strives to offer something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros. It will also pick you up at your condo if you need a ride to the store. “Biking is definitely the majority of our summer business,” says Selleck, whose store also carries a full line of apparel, backpacking and camping gear. Locals tip: Visit when the Specialized and Rocky Mountain demo vans visit. Info: 1457 Pine Grove Road, 970-8790385, www.skihaussteamboat.com.
Wheels Bike Shop Wheels is a small, independently owned and operated bike shop located along the Yampa River downtown, specializing in tunes and sales. “We gain our clients by friendly customer Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare
Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare Located at 442 Lincoln Ave., with another storefront on the mountain, Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, now entering its 22nd year, has been voted town’s Best Bike Shop a whopping five years in a row. “Our bike mechanics are some of the best in the business,” says owner Harry Martin, whose store is the only factory service suspension shop in 66 | 2017 Bike Guide
Ski Haus With some Ski Haus bike technicians working there for four decades, store manager Murray Selleck credits their success to a staff that’s passionate about riding. Carrying such brands as Servelo, Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz, Juliana and more, the store prides itself on sales and service, and a friendly staff happy to catch you up on local trail conditions. Come summer, the store’s basement is a beehive of bike activity, offering rentals (mountain bikes, road bikes, e-bikes, cruisers, child bikes, tandems, trailers, tag-a-longs and more), repairs and retail, with garage doors opening up outside. Supporting everything from the local Town steamboatbiketown.com
service, word-of-mouth referrals and our knowledge of bikes,” says owner Chris Johns, a former competitive rider. Wheels is Steamboat’s Yeti Cycles dealership, happily bringing customers into the folds of the “Tribe.” It services bikes of all walks — including mountain, racing road, freeriding, downhill, townie and more — and offers a complete rental (cruisers, mountain and road) and demo line as well. It also prides itself on giving back to the community, supporting such organizations as the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and the “Giving Bikes Back” refurbishing and donation program. 841 Yampa St., 970-870-1974, www.wheelssteamboat.com. Steamboat Bike Shop The Steamboat Bike Shop is the one-stop shop for your rental, gear and pass needs when riding the Steamboat Bike Park. With an expanded Demo and Premium rental line that now includes GIANT bikes, top-of-the-line rental options are available with the latest components and downhill technology. 2305 Mt. Werner Circle, 970-879-6111, www.steamboat.com Classic Crank Repairs, rentals, restoration, retail. That’s the tagline for Steamboat’s
newest “bicycle shoppe,” founded by avid rider John Weinman. The fullservice shop located in the heart of downtown provides expert repairs, pre-owned classic bicycles for sale, restorations for those ‘barn finds,’ new clothing and accessories and a rental fleet unlike any other. It all comes with classic customer service trademark of Weinman, who started his business in his garage (“Think of all the good things that have come from garages,” he says) and turned it into a thriving mom and pop bike shop just steps from the Yampa River Core Trail. On the retail front, it offers townies, classics and more, as well as a full line of “vintage cycling jerseys and parts.” Keeping riding going year-round, it also entered into a recent partnership with Haymaker Nordic Center to offer groomed singletrack fat tire trails over the winter. 653 Lincoln Ave, 970-846-5112, www. theclassiccrank.com Pedego Pedego is Steamboat’s new electric bike shop, offering rentals, sales and more. Capable of reaching speeds up to 20 mph via hand throttle or pedal assist, the bikes will have you grinning and spinning all over Steamboat, from county roads to Fish Creek Falls. With
Pedego 15 bikes in its fleet, a variety of styles exist for all walks, from the Stretch, which handles 400 pounds of cargo, to tandem models, beach cruisers and the fat Trail Tracker, opening a new realm of riding for the whole family. “Don’t think of it as replacing your bike,” says co-owner Linda John, an avid road and mountain biker as well. “Think of it as replacing your car. It’s a lot more fun than people expect.” 345 Lincoln Ave., 970-761-5312, www.pedegosteamboat.com.
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Local Bike Builders Moots Moots has been handcrafting highperformance titanium road, mountain and cyclocross bikes in Steamboat Springs for more than 35 years. “We’re fortunate to be surrounded by incredible singletrack and great, scenic roadways,” says marketing manager Jon Cariveau, crediting the company’s success to its designs and a staff that lives and breathes cycling. “Our employees take advantage of the riding every day.” To celebrate its 35th year, last year Moots rolled out a 35th anniversary Vamoots RSL road bike, joining such other new rides as its Mountaineer and Vamoots Disc RSL. It will also again sponsor its annual Moots Ranch Rally ride June 17, and plans to build upon its ample awards, including being a 2014 Wright Awards finalist for companies celebrating Colorado’s culture; a Colorado Company to Watch by the State Office of Economic Development; a Sustainable Business of the Year in Steamboat; and one of the “Perk”iest Companies in Colorado by ColoradoBiz Magazine. Supporting the town it loves, Moots sponsors numerous community and industry advocacy movements, from local trail work days to the SSWSC’s Cycling Team, and employs a cuttingedge recycling program and solar system to power its manufacturing. “We strive to design and build the most innovative, high-performance titanium bikes in the industry,” says
Cariveau. “We’re proud of our bikes, our team and the town we call home.” Moots offers guided factory tours Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10 a.m. Info: www.moots.com, 970879-1676 Kent Eriksen Cycles Tip your helmet to another titanium titan, Kent Eriksen, for building great bikes and helping introduce mountain biking to Steamboat and the entire country. As the owner of Sore Saddle Cyclery in the 1970s, Eriksen produced the region’s first cycling map before founding Moots in 1981. Elected into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1996, he then founded Kent Eriksen Cycles in 2005, which he sold in 2016 to former pro rider and Moots employee Brad Bingham while remaining on board as an employee, along with his wife and business partner Katie Lindquist. “I’ve worked with Kent for the past four years, with the idea of taking the reins at some point,” Bingham says. “Together, we’ve had some great successes both building and riding bikes; we’ve won eight Blue Ribbons from the North American Handbuilt Bike Show for best Tig welding, and best Road bike/Gravel Grinder and Tandem. Kent and Katie have continued to set records at the Leadville 100 on their tandem and I’ve been lucky enough to race all over the country on bikes we built right here in Steamboat.” The company produces about 1500 bikes per year and makes bikes of all
styles — road, mountain, cross and touring. It specializes in custom cycles, measuring down to the millimeter as part of the process. It also hosts the annual Tour de Steamboat, raising funds for local nonprofits. “I’m extremely excited about the future of cycling as well as my small part in its success,” Bingham says. “I have a small team of talented employees and we will continue to build beautiful custom titanium bicycles right here at 1136 Yampa for a long time.”Info: www.kenteriksen. com, 970-879-8484
Other Rental Locations
Boomerang Sports Exchange Buying and selling used mountain, road and cruiser bikes, with sales and rentals of Jamis mountain bikes, and sales of Nirve cruisers, bike accessories and kids’ bikes downtown. 1125 Lincoln Ave.,970-870-3050, www.boomerangexchange.com
Christy Sports Trek full- and front-suspension mountain bike rentals. Child bikes and trailers also available. Helmets included. 1835 Central Park Plaza, Steamboat, 970-879-1250, www.christysports.com.
One Stop Ski Shop Rentals of mountain bikes, as well as rechargeable electric bikes. 35 11th St # 130, 970-8794754, www.onestopskishop.net
Steamboat Bike Shop The most convenient location to the Steamboat Bike Park. Fleet includes full-suspension, downhill mountain bikes from Specialized and more. Rentals include a full face helmet, shin and elbow pads and bike gloves. Cruisers also available, as well as gondola tickets, bike park passes, lessons and guided tours. 970-871-5348, www.steamboat.com
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STARS Adaptive Cycling Buddy bikes. “The Yampa River Core trail is great for adaptive cycling,” says executive director Julie Taulman. “Biking is an inclusive activity that people can do with friends and family, and our programs enable people with disabilities to get out there and get active.”
The stars have aligned for people with disabilities to cycle in Steamboat. Locally based STARS (Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports) provides recreational opportunities for people with disabilities for empowerment and enriching their quality of life. With a large amount of programming involving cycling, the Disabled Sports USA chapter and U.S. Paralympic Sportclub also rents hand cycles, recumbent bikes and
“The Yampa River trail is great for adaptive cycling.” — Julie Taulman, STARS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Offering cycling and other activities, STARS’ Summer Adventure Camp runs June 12-Aug. 17 for Teens (middle school and high school) on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a youth program (K-5th grade) on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. The Trail Blazers Camp (for adults) is on Wednesdays and run for three three-week sessions beginning June 28-Sept. 13. Riders can also join the 6th Annual Biking the Boat Charity Ride on Aug. 26, choosing between 26-, 52- or 75-mile rides, or the 5-mile All Abilities ride. Info: www. steamboatstars.com.
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Women’s riding programs Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare Women’s Clinics and Rides
Dates May 30 – Clinic Trail Etiquette and Body Position June 6 – Ride night June 13 – Clinic Climbing June 20 – Ride Night June 27 – Clinic Descending July – 4th – HOLIDAY!! July 11 – Ride Night July 18 – Clinic Cornering and Braking July 25 – Ride Night
Women wanting to ride with other women in Steamboat have several great options, from formalized clinics and camps to fun, low-key group rides. “A large percentage of women in Steamboat ride mountain bikes, and it continues to grow every year,” says Jody Corey, who organizes the free Women’s Mountain Bike Clinics and Ride Nights through Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare every Tuesday. “During a typical summer at our clinics, we see about 20 women who are completely new to the sport.” Grinta Cycling Camp for Women: Led by former pro riders Amy Charity and Lisa Renee Tumminello, and catering to all abilities, Grinta Cycling Camps this year offers its Women’s 4-day Cycling Retreat July 19-23 as a chance for ladies to get away from their busy lives by spending time in the mountains getting fit, soaking in the hot springs, learning health and wellness strategies, and enjoying a meal and glass of wine with other women. “As avid cyclists, we feel fortunate to have Steamboat as our training ground, and this is a great camp for women to ride and bond together,” says Charity. Info: www.grintacamps.com
It’s a Girl Thing: The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hosts this program for girls ages 6th grade and up. Designed to teach middle and high school girls the skills
and fun of mountain biking by riding with their peers, the six-week program is held Monday and Thursday mornings from June 20 - Aug. 8. “Participation has grown each year we’ve offered it,” says program director Blair Seymour. “We get more and more girls interested every summer.” Info: sswsc.org Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare Women’s Clinics and Ride Nights: This program is held throughout the summer every Tuesday (except July 4) from May 30-Aug. 22, with alternating weeks of clinics and open ride nights. Women of all levels are invited to meet at 5:45 pm at the courthouse lawn with their mountain bike, water and trail tools. The free clinics focus on different skills each time, from descending to climbing and body position. The group ride nights are non-guided, with the girls in each group deciding the route. “The best part of the clinics is learning the skills in a supportive environment,” says Corey. “Women can gain confidence and try various trail obstacles without pressure. We also divide the women up into various groups depending on their level, and the coaches rotate so everyone gets different perspectives on biking. “Another benefit,” she adds, “is meeting other women of the same riding ability and forming friendships with new riding partners. You can also pick nights that work with your schedule.” Info: www.steamboatskiandbike.com
Aug 1 – Clinic Obstacles Aug 8 – Ride Night Aug 15 – Clinic OPEN Forum
Aug 22 – End of Season PARTY! Info: steamboatskiandbike.com 70 | 2017 Bike Guide
Gravel riding going gangbusters New website touts region’s dirt road rides Forget Steamboat’s great road riding and mountain biking for a second; the region is also getting known for a combo of the two—called cross, or gravel, riding—taking advantage of the area’s vast network of well-maintained, dirt county roads. “Cross riding here is gaining huge momentum,” says Moots marketing director Jon Cariveau. “The roads we have are great for it; they’re smooth with little traffic and can really take you out there. You’re starting to see way more cross bikes around town.” It’s gained such a following, in fact, that two locals, former pro mountain bikers J.R. Thompson and Doug Demuez, have launched a new website (www.thedirtyroads.com) as a resource
The reason cross riding has gained such a strong local following is it offers everything road riding does, including vistas of ranches and rolling hills, without the traffic. Thompson says he can knock off a 50-mile ride and only see a handful of cars. “It’s the road bike experience, without the traffic,” he says. And the two are so smitten with it they want to make it easier for others to experience as well. “We just want people to get out and see some of it,” says Thompson, adding the site’s motto is “If You Only Had One Day to Ride.” “And we’re only putting the top rides on it; we don’t want to waste people’s time. The rides we list are all little treasures and are pretty special.”
Moots Ranch Rally One event celebrating this category of riding is the annual Moots Ranch Rally, a 50-mile group gravel and dirt road ride showcasing area ranches while benefitting the Community Agriculture Alliance. The non-competitive event draws 150 riders to Routt County’s rural roads in a route connecting historical ranches and farms. This year’s ride is slated for June 17. Info: www.moots.com.
“The roads we have are great for it; they’re smooth with little traffic and can really take you out there. You’re starting to see way more cross bikes around town.” — Jon Cariveau, Moots marketing director
for those looking for gravel rides. “It’s a free resource for the gravel/ dirt road crowd that starts in northwest Colorado, including Steamboat, Hayden, Craig and Maybell, and will eventually expand through Colorado,” says Thompson. As for the Steamboat area’s position in the echelon of dirt road riding, he adds it’s near the top. “The Steamboat area has to be in the conversation for offering some of the most premier dirt roads in the state,” he says. “Hayden could well be the dirt road capital of Colorado.” steamboatbiketown.com
Gravel riding: the best of road and mountain biking.
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5 Minutes With…. Steamboat Bike Park Manager Trevyn Newpher This allows you to basically turn your long-travel enduro bike into a hardtail instantly. My enduro bike is the Genius LT Plus, a 160mm travel 29er, which is a super capable and versatile ride. For downhill I’m on the Gambler, a full-on World Cup race bike built for gnarly terrain.
An Elite racer since 2005, Steamboat Bike Park manager Trevyn Newpher, 35, has always loved bikes, from riding BMX growing up outside Cleveland to a seventh-place finish at the 2013 U.S. National Downhill Championships in New Mexico. With more than a decade of coaching under his belt, you’ll find him maintaining the well-groomed trails of the Steamboat Bike Park for Steamboat Ski Area, when not sampling them himself. What do you like about the Steamboat Bike Park? It’s the complete package — a diverse network of trails from beginner flow to advanced jump and tech, a big vertical drop, a great instructional program, an array of events, an awesome rental shop and a great après bike scene. Our diversity sets us apart; our terrain and lower elevation allows for some unique experiences you won’t find many other places.
Any competitive goals this year? I still have some racing ambitions, but nothing over the top— mostly some regional enduros. I have my eyes set on a few downhill events in the Northwest including a national ProGRT. I’ve checked off most of my major boxes relative to racing, though I still love to test myself and stay sharp. What keeps you here in Steamboat? Its world-class skiing in the winter and world-class mountain biking in the summer. You’d be hard pressed to find a better mountain town to call home. Do you have a favorite place to ride? In terms of bike parks, there are so many developing now that it’s hard to pick just one. However, Whistler, British Columbia, takes top honors as the Mecca of all bike parks. Luckily, the same people who built
the Whistler park are building ours. How about your favorite ride here? My favorite trail at the Bike Park is Flying Diamond. I love tech trail and grew up riding it, but I love soaring through the air on a perfectly sculpted jump trail. This style of trail is the result of extensive building experience, perfected design elements and skilled operators, all coming together in a trail that flows well and utilizes the terrain to its full capacity. To me it’s all about flow — a trail that almost rides itself, requiring little to no braking, pedaling or major efforts to connect take offs to landings. The physics just work. What do you do when you aren’t riding? I stay pretty busy with the bike park operations here — teaching lessons, patrolling trails, and testing trails and features for quality control. I’m pretty fortunate that my job involves being on a bike. I usually spend my spring mud season in Hood River where I can get a moto, mountain bike and kite session in all in the same day. What would people never guess about you? I have an addiction to dark chocolate and coconut water.
How popular is the park becoming? It’s getting busier and busier each summer. This summer we’re rebuilding a number of the base area trails to accommodate the new mountain coaster and mini-golf offerings. We’re seeing some big investments in the summer mountain experience. What do you ride? The past two years I‘ve switched to SCOTT bikes and love them. Their Twin Lock system is super versatile; it allows you to adjust the travel and lock-out the suspension on the fly from the handlebar. 72 | 2017 Bike Guide
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Saturday, May 6th
Hayden Cog Run 8.4M, 5K and Fun Run Saturday, May 20th
Sunday, August 13th
Steamboat Stinger 26.2M and 13.1M Saturday, August 26th
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Continental Divide Trail Run 16M and 50K
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Howelsen Hill Trail Run 8M and 4M Saturday, July 1st
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Oak Creek No Fun Run 3.5M & 7M Fri. & Sat., September 8-9th
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