Tour de Steamboat back for 5th installment |

Tour de Steamboat back for 5th installment

Luke Graham

— The fifth annual Kent Eriksen Tour de Steamboat returns Saturday with two unique rides benefiting one great cause.

The tour features a 110-mile ride that climbs 6,000 feet on Rabbit Ears Pass on U.S. Highway 40 and Gore Pass on Colorado Highway 134, then finishes on Yellow Jacket Pass on Routt County Road 14.

There is also a 40-mile, out-and-back ride to Stagecoach.

Weather for the rides is expected to be pristine. Both rides start at Little Toot’s Park at 7 a.m. Saturday. The cost is $75 for the 110-mile ride and $45 for the 40-mile ride. Registration is available online at until Thursday.

All proceeds from the Tour de Steamboat benefit the Sunshine Kids Foundation, which provides children with cancer an opportunity to experience exciting group activities for free. For the past several years, the Sunshine Kids have come to Steamboat Springs for a week of food, skiing and other activities such as tubing and snowmobiling.

In addition to the ride, there is a benefit dinner and silent auction Friday at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. The dinner costs $25. Children 8 and younger get in free.

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The ticket deadline for the dinner is Thursday. Tickets can be purchased at Prudential Steamboat Reality or online at People also will be able to register for the ride at the benefit dinner from 4 to 7 p.m.

“It’s an amazing group of kids,” said Laura Cusenbary, who is organizing the benefit dinner. “Kids can be around other kids in their same situation. It’s what kids should be doing. You see a group of 30 kids not have to deal with hospitals or parents and they get to learn to ski and pick up a new hobby. You read thank you notes and it’s a no-brainer.”

The ride offers a little something of everything. The 110-mile ride is a tough route that climbs three of the more scenic passes in Colorado. Aid stations are at every 20 miles, and the Colorado State Patrol is on duty to make sure riders are safe.

“You’re going over Gore and Rabbit Ears passes,” ride organizer Brad Cusenbary said, noting the tour raised more than $20,000 for the Sunshine Kids last year. “It’s two of the most beautiful passes in Colorado.”

At the conclusion of Saturday’s ride, there will be live entertainment and a barbecue at Little Toot’s Park. Eriksen Cycles will be donating a road bike frame for a drawing. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Prudential Steamboat Realty or anytime during the festivities. The drawing takes place at 6:30 p.m. People don’t have to be present to win.

Anyone with questions can call 879-0480.

If you go

What: Friday night dinner and silent auction benefiting the Sunshine Kids Foundation

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel

Tickets: Available at Prudential Steamboat Reality or at http://www.tourdesteambo…

Price: $25, children 8 and younger get in free

Deadline to buy tickets: Thursday

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