Perla Nunez rides her bike in front of her father, Roberto Nunez, on the Yampa River Core Trail in downtown Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs Bike Summit, set for Oct. 21 to 23, is meant to appeal to Core Trail regulars and downhill diehards. The event will feature lectures with many top cycling proponents from across the nation.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Perla Nunez rides her bike in front of her father, Roberto Nunez, on the Yampa River Core Trail in downtown Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon. The Steamboat Springs Bike Summit, set for Oct. 21 to 23, is meant to appeal to Core Trail regulars and downhill diehards. The event will feature lectures with many top cycling proponents from across the nation.

Bike summit in Steamboat nears

Organizers say support for inaugural event strong

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Bike Summit online

Check out Steamboat Springs Bike Town USA Initiative's Bike Summit website at www.steamboatbikesummit.com.

— Pressed for an anecdote about the community support for the Steamboat Springs Bike Summit that Grant Fenton said has been overwhelming, he faltered momentarily.

“Just look at the fact that I don’t get any work done anymore,” said Fenton, who said the volunteer hours have piled up as the summit, scheduled for Oct. 21 to 23, has drawn near and interest has poured in from across the city, state and country.

“We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of support,” he said. “I can’t explain my day anymore, and we even hired someone to do this. Her day is even crazier.”

Fenton and the rest of the Steamboat Springs Bike Town USA Initiative members are hoping nearly a year’s worth of hard work and big progress can be put on display and offered up for public comment at next month’s free three-day event at The Steamboat Grand.

The goal will be to allow a wealth of experts from across the United States and specializing in all sorts of cycling issues to help paint the picture of what bicycling could become in the near future for Steamboat.

Renowned bike-friendly town Boulder will be represented to talk about the city’s transportation systems and the increased quality of life possible with extensive biking initiates.

Jackson, Wyo., representatives will speak about their city’s extensive and well-connected system of biking and hiking trails and paths.

The freeride-trail-building gurus from Gravity Logic will be on hand to talk about the freeride bike park they’ve been working on at Steamboat Ski Area.

Local mountain biking pioneer Kent Eriksen will tell of the history of his sport.

Even Fort Collins brewing bigwig New Belgium will be there to talk about the benefits it has reaped by being one of the nation’s four platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Businesses.

“One of the greatest opportunities is that there will be not only a national perspective — Tim Blumenthal, of Bikes Belong, will speak — and a regional perspective with people from Jackson and Boulder,” said Lane Malone, who stepped in Sept. 1 as the initiative’s first employee. “This summit will have balanced attention on all different kinds of cycling opportunities, so it’s for everyone from people that are die-hard road bikers who never want to get on a mountain bike to people who are really fired up about the downhill trails that are being proposed at the ski area.”

A keynote presentation will kick off the summit Oct. 21 and will be followed Oct. 22 by a wealth of speakers meant to appeal to all aspects of Steamboat’s community, from bikers wondering how things might get better to businesses wondering how they can catch on. Even nonbikers will be encouraged to attend and take part because changes in the community that will be discussed should make roads, trails and paths safer for everyone, no matter their method of transportation.

“This is an opportunity to share the vision of where we think we should be going,” said Robin Craigen, a member of the initiative and president of Routt County Riders. “We want to showcase all the different benefits of being a better biking community. There are lifestyle, health and economic development pieces to this.”

The weekend’s festivities will wrap up Oct. 23 with an expo featuring bike-related business, organizations and efforts. It also will feature safety workshops for families and children and, weather permitting, guided mountain bike rides on area trails.

“It’s a big opportunity,” Craigen said. “Bike Town USA is nothing more than a vision at this point, not a marketing gimmick. It’s a vision of Steamboat Springs as the ultimate destination for biking experiences. We want to be able to show people what that means to you.”

The group also has launched a website for the summit, www.steamboatbikesummit.com.

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