It's April, and Routt County Riders president Brad Cusenbary is torn between the slopes and the desert.
"You have to take advantage of this time of year," Cusenbary said Thursday after returning to work from a powder day. "If I was really into it, I would ski here (today) and then go down and ride my bike in Fruita."
Instead, he will just head to the desert today and begin preparing for a busy spring and summer for himself and the Routt County Riders.
The cycling season kicks off with the annual RCR Bike Swap from 9 a.m. to noon April 9 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center next to Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Anything cycling related can be bought or sold at the swap. For a nominal fee, independent bike owners and sports equipment stores can set up a booth for prospective shoppers. Registration forms are available at Orange Peel Bike Shop and Ski Haus or electronically through bike swap coordinator Katie Lindquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bike corral also will be set up outside the Community Center for those looking to sell or buy a bike. For $5, people can look through the merchandise with the hopes of finding something to fit their budgets and needs.
The bike swap costs $5 for all non-RCR members and is free to RCR members. Registration for the RCR is $15 for the year. Before last year's swap, the RCR had between 25 and 30 members. Last year's membership numbers soared to more than 100.
"We need that type of support when we try to get new trails built and in making Steamboat a bike-friendly community," Cusenbary said.
In short, RCR members serve as local cycling advocates in everything including making area roads safe and getting new mountain bike trails built.
The April 9 bike swap is a fund-raiser for the RCR, and the club is off to a good start, with Ski Haus donating proceeds from its bike night to the Routt County Riders.
In addition to the bike swap, area cyclists need to clear their calendars for two summer events: the second annual The Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat in June and the Kent Eriksen Tour de Steamboat in August.
Registration is open for both events, and Cusenbary, who works with Lindquist and Gretchen Sehler at Rocky Peak Productions, said the 24-hour mountain bike race is filling up quickly.
Last year, about 250 riders took part in the race staged at Steamboat Ski Area. This year, organizers are capping the June 11 and 12 event at 500 participants. Teams already have signed up and reserved camping spots. The race also is open to individual riders.
New this summer is the Tour de Steamboat, a century ride over Rabbit Ears, Gore and Yellow Jacket passes August 12 and 13. Riders will leave Steamboat and return via the Stagecoach area.
"It's called the Gore Gruel by locals," Cusenbary said.
Included with the Tour de Steamboat is a pre-race pasta dinner with guest speaker Andy Hampsten, a six-time Tour de France participant. Cusenbary said a post-race barbeque is scheduled tentatively, as well.
Registration information and more information about the specific events can be accessed through the www.rockypeakproductions Web site.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com