Pedaling through the past

Bike tour promises to be educational, aerobic

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— A 10-mile bike ride today will offer residents the chance to get a little exercise and learn a little history at the same time.

The city and the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission are sponsoring the free 10-mile bike tour of the city's historical spots beginning at 10 a.m. at Howelsen Hill. With frequent stops in Old Town Steamboat Springs and a ride to the city's Legacy Ranch at the corner of County Road 131 and U.S. 40, the tour will give participants a genuine workout while they engage in a narrated tour of Steamboat's storied past.

The bike ride is being held in conjunction with Colorado's Historic Preservation Month, which has been celebrated in Steamboat with a Historic Routt County awards ceremony at the Mesa Schoolhouse and the painting of the ranch house on the Legacy Ranch. On June 1, the city of Steamboat Springs and Historic Routt County will receive a Colorado Preservation Inc. award for establishing partnerships in preservation, said Laureen Schaffer, the city's historical preservation specialist.

The tour will begin at Howelsen Hill, the oldest continuously-operated ski mountain west of the Mississippi, with a presentation by Ski and Rodeo Director Jeff Nelson. Howelsen began to be used as a ski mountain in 1914 and is the site of numerous ski-jumping records.

From there, the tour will wind through Old Town, stopping at the historic Carver Power Plant and the newly designated 1910 Craig House, where Lara Craig will talk about the house she now owns. Craig is also on the city's Historic Preservation Advisory Commission.

Schaffer said she is grateful for all the volunteers who are giving presentations.

"The people who are going to speak are all very exciting," Schaffer said.

After visiting the Old Town sites, the tour group will head off on the Core Trail to the Legacy Ranch, where City Councilman Paul Strong will present the history and cultural importance of the property to the group.

Participants in the bike tour must wear helmets.

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