Wednesday, March 24, 2010
At Home, Spring 2010
This story appears in the Spring 2010 edition of At Home in Steamboat Springs magazine. Find the magazine in racks across Steamboat.
View the online edition of the magazine here.
I bought a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo mountain bike just before the start of my freshman year at the University of Colorado. New to Colorado and thrilled to have the Rocky Mountains as my backyard, I envisioned myself quickly adopting the increasingly popular sport of mountain biking.
Four years later, the bulk of the miles racked up on my Fisher were nothing more than commuter trips back and forth to campus. Only a few times did I venture onto some of Boulder County’s fantastic singletrack.
Mountain biking wasn’t part of the equation when I decided to move to Steamboat Springs in the winter of 2002. The job was what lured me; the idea of living in a ski town where I could snowboard 30 or 40 days a winter was what sold me. And when I packed up the U-Haul truck and headed west on Interstate 70, my aging Fisher came along, too. For the first couple of years I lived here, the bike did little more than take up space in my already crowded apartment. Then things changed.
A close friend from childhood moved to Steamboat a couple of summers later, and he brought with him his love of cycling — both the road and mountain varieties. He soon was dragging me along on rides up Mount Werner and Emerald Mountain. I went reluctantly at first, knowing I needed the exercise but not necessarily thrilled about the means of accomplishing it.
Before long I was hooked by the adrenaline of flying down singletrack through Steamboat’s unbeatable aspen forests. And the heart-pumping rides up the mountain were invigorating for my mind and body.
I’ve twice raced — for fun — in the 24 Hours of Moab. I’m not a very good rider, and I’m never in the physical shape I should be in. Nonetheless, I’m contemplating entering some of the Town Challenge mountain bike races this summer.
But there’s a more important ride already scheduled on my summer 2010 calendar. In mid-March I registered to be one of the 200 riders who will take part in the Aug. 8 Ride4yellow Continental Divide trail ride in Steamboat. Not only is the 30-plus-mile trail leading from Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass to the backside of Mount Werner one of my favorites in Northwest Colorado, but this one will be for a wonderful cause. Each rider is asked to raise $500 for cancer research and efforts. Half of the money will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation; the other half will go to local cancer initiatives.
Like many riders, this one will be special to me. I’ve lost two grandparents and an uncle to cancer, not to mention the extended relatives who have suffered the effects of this terrible disease. Sadly, I know my life will be touched again by cancer, as will many of yours.
The Ride4yellow event is representative not only of the increasing popularity of mountain biking here in Routt County, but of how our favorite activities can be put to good use. I, for one, will do what I can to help the sport of cycling grow in Steamboat Springs in the coming years and decades. That participating can do good for others makes it that much better.
— Brent Boyer