Riders hand out honors


The Routt County Riders announced that club president Pete Wither, mountain bike pioneer Kent Eriksen and newly crowned national champion Bo Randolph have won season-long honors from the club.

"It was a surprise when they called me and told me that I had won," Wither said. "I know that there were a lot of other good people to choose from, and I'm just honored that they picked me."

The club's 100 members voted Wither the winner of the "Volunteer of the Year" this season for his work with the club organizing races and his dedication to the sport for more than a decade.

Wither has acted as the club's president for the past 12 years and often helps produce and support many bike races each season.

Other winners included Kent Eriksen, who developed the Moots bicycle and helped found two of Steamboat's most recognizable biking institutions -- Moots and the Sore Saddle Cyclery.

"He defines the mountain biking industry in this town," Larry Johnson said. Johnson was in charge of organizing, tallying and presenting this year's Routt County Riders Season Awards.

The final winner was a young rider who is a promising product of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's cycling program. In August, Randolph won the Colorado Junior State Criterium time trials held in Denver, and this fall he has been named the "Racer of the Year" by the Routt County Riders.

This is the second time Routt County Riders has named season winners. In 2003, Marc and Gretchen Sehler took home awards for volunteer and industry person of the year. Senior road racer Jim Meyers was honored as "Racer of the Year" by the organization.

Johnson said the nomination process began in August when club members were asked to e-mail their nominations to the awards committee. Voting was open to all Routt County Rider members and winners were announced at the final Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race of the season earlier this month.

Johnson said the goal of the awards is to recognize some of Steamboat's most important cycling figures and he hopes the awards will grow even more prestigious in the future.

"I'm very honored to have won this year," Wither said. "It's nice to be recognized by your peers."

Wither said the club started handing out the awards in an effort to keep the club, cycling and cyclists in the public eye.

The club has grown from roughly 20 people to more than 100 in the past year.

Wither said the growth was because of the efforts of current members getting the word out to other cyclists and the club's increased visibility in the community.

The Routt County Riders support and organize bike races and rides, support youth cyclists and stand up for biker's rights in Routt County. New memberships are available for $15 for the year.

Last year, the team sent a group of six young mountain bikers to the 24 Hours of Moab and to the high school and middle school state championships.

This year, the club plans to send a similar group, including riders Ana Anderson, Jamie Gay, Wiley Thayer, Brock Gordon, Sam Chovan, Adam Peters and Randolph, to the state championships again.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com


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