Steamboat Springs The dog days of summer have arrived for Steamboat Springs Town Challenge mountain bike racers.
With separate age categories for men and women in four skill-level groups, tonight's cross-country race event, called "Dogs Days of Summer," begins with the children's divisions at 5:30 p.m. at Howelsen Hill.
Unlike last week's rescheduled series race at Howelsen, Town Challenge series director Gretchen Sehler said this week's cross-country courses will be slightly shorter and much more rolling.
"They'll be going just a little higher than the pond, but never higher than the quarry," Sehler said about the basic layout of the cross-county courses, which will have bikers crossing the forest traverses on Howelsen, riding down the T-bar line, and then, depending on their age/skill groups, heading back up various distances on the Lupine trails before returning on the Bluffs Trail to the Howelsen Lodge finish line.
"With the rain and the dust powder from the horses, the Bluffs trail has settled in," Sehler said. "The trails are in amazingly good shape. They haven't been riding this well in years."
Registration is open today near the starting area, from 5 p.m. until the start of the race. The race costs $16 for adults and $11 for children.
Children's divisions start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the pro/semi-pro open division starting at 6 p.m. The men's and women's expert, sport and novice divisions will have staggered starts until 6:44 p.m.
Ski Haus is sponsoring the event, and Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill will host the after party.