Chris Johns works to repair a bike Wednesday at his Wheels Bike Shop in Steamboat Springs. Wheels will join with the other three local bike shops May 8 to host bike safety and skills booths at the Bike Fest in Steamboat.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Chris Johns works to repair a bike Wednesday at his Wheels Bike Shop in Steamboat Springs. Wheels will join with the other three local bike shops May 8 to host bike safety and skills booths at the Bike Fest in Steamboat.

Spring Bike Fest rolls closer in Steamboat Springs

Annual event to start riding season expands from Bike Swap

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If you go

What: Routt County Riders’ Spring Bike Fest

When: May 7 and 8. “Follow Me” movie showing is at 8 p.m. May 7, and the bike swap and skills clinics will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 8.

Where: “Follow Me” will cost $10 and be shown at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. The May 8 activities will be at Olympian Hall at the base of Howelsen Hill.

■ Tickets for “Follow Me” are available at local bike shops. For more information or to help with the May 8 activities, contact coordinator Katie Lindquist at 846-9206 or Katie@kenteriksen...

— Mountain biking in Steamboat Springs has long been popular, but the sport is entering this summer with all the downhill momentum of a, well, mountain bike. That energy could be evident again next weekend as the long-standing spring Bike Swap gets upgraded to Steamboat’s first Spring Bike Fest.

“We are improving it,” event organizer Katie Lindquist said. “We have had incredible community response to this. We want it to be the event that kicks off the cycling season.”

A bike swap will still be at the heart of the activities, which start at 8 p.m. May 7 with a showing of the movie “Follow Me” at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

That event will cost $10 and will raise funds for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Gravity Team downhill mountain biking program.

The festivities will continue with the swap, which starts at 9 a.m. May 8.

As in previous years, the weekend is meant to raise money for Routt County Riders. Unlike previous years, however, that effort won’t come from charging sellers and potential buyers. This year’s swap will be free for customers and those looking to unload a bike.

“We just ask that you show up in the morning with the bike and hang around so the sellers and buyers can do the dealing,” Lindquist said.

While riders haggle over bikes, all the local bike shops will be providing a new service to the annual event. Each of the town’s four shops will host a booth that will feature activities focusing on riding in Steamboat and bicycle safety.

“This will help attract people down there that aren’t so much just interested in buying a bike or selling a bike,” said Chris Johns, owner of Wheels Bike Shop in Steamboat. “People that want to tune up on their skills will be interested in this.”

Johns’ shop will offer a cycling skills clinic meant to help make riding Steamboat easier and safer.

Orange Peel’s booth will focus on bicycle commuting, Ski Haus will address road and trail riding skills, and Ski and Bike Kare will deal with on-trail and roadside fixes and safety.

“Our clinic will be skills, but not so much stuff like jumping,” Johns said. “We will show people how to balance their bikes better and how to ride over rough terrain and stay on a mountain bike. We will teach them how to balance on top on flat ground, and we will have an employee show how to balance on a road bike, say at a stop sign.”

The event will run until 1 p.m. It will include live music, door prizes and a membership drive by the swiftly expanding Routt County Riders.

There will be live auctions for used bikes and a new frame from Ski and Bike Kare, lactate threshold testing, bike fitting from Sports Med and adaptive riding opportunities from Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports.

“This year it’s all just bigger, better and improved,” Lindquist said.

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