Cycle Town: John Dyas rides in the inaugural Ride 4 Yellow event in 2010 in Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Cycle Town: John Dyas rides in the inaugural Ride 4 Yellow event in 2010 in Steamboat Springs.

At Home: Steamboat Springs is becoming a cycling mecca

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Upcoming events

■ July 16: Seventh annual Eriksen Cycles Tour de Steamboat. Noncompetitive road cycling event and fundraiser, featuring a 110-mile Gore Gruel, 40-mile Stagecoach ride and 25-mile Sydney Peak ride. More info at www.tourdesteamboat.com.

■ July 24: Inaugural Steamboat Stinger. Fifty-mile singletrack race includes duo and solo categories. More info at www.honeystinger.com.

■ Aug. 7: Second annual Ride 4 Yellow. Benefitting global and local cancer initiatives and featuring a 25-mile mountain bike ride along the Continental Divide Trail. More info at www.ride4yellow.com.

■ Aug. 26 and 27: Inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Steamboat stop on a seven-day, 600-mile stage race, drawing 128 of the world’s best racers. More info at www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com.

■ Sept. 2 to 5: Third annual Steamboat Springs Stage Race. Four-day event including time trial, circuit race, road race and criterium. More info at www.bikesteamboat.com.

— Marketing pundits can tout the ski area’s slopes all they want. But Ski Town USA might soon have to make room for a new moniker revolving around bicycling.

With more than 575 miles of trails and swaths of smooth, hilly roads, Steamboat is fast evolving into a world-class arena for bicycling. With even more new trails and events in store, this summer is shaping up to put it on the map for good. “I can’t remember there ever being this much energy around cycling,” says Harry Martin, owner of Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare. “It seems like everything is aligning for it to really take off.”

Consider the facts: Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. is investing in downhill mountain bike trails on Mount Werner, the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs and Routt County Riders are continuing to add trails on the backside of Emerald Mountain and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge comes to town Aug. 26 and 27, bringing with it 128 of the world’s best riders. Add to that an assortment of Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series events, Tour de Steamboat, Ride 4 Yellow and stage races and the result is a cycling calendar as packed as gear cogs after a muddy ride.

And it might only get better. The city is applying for an $11 million grant through the Regional Tourism Act that would earmark a slice of Colorado sales tax revenue for even more local cycling initiatives.

There’s a lot at stake with this emphasis on spokes. A survey from Whistler, British Columbia, estimates that cyclists spend $140 per day on vacation. And Steamboat is well-poised to capitalize on that.

“There’s a lot of momentum right now around cycling in Steamboat,” says Michael Loomis, president of Routt County Riders, which this year published the first Steamboat Springs Bike Guide. “As well there should be — it’s a great place for it.”

Steamboat Stinger

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge isn’t the only new bicycling event in town. Local energy food company Honey Stinger announced it will host the first Steamboat Stinger on July 24, a 50-mile “singletrack-a-palooza” designed to rival such events as the Firecracker 50, Gunnison Growler and Laramie Enduro. The event will include three duo and seven solo categories, with competitors racing two 25-mile loops that are “90 percent singletrack.”

“For years, we’ve been talking about a backcountry race that showcases our world-class riding and community,” says Honey Stinger’s Nate Bird, a favorite in the race. “This should do that, with a race vibe that’s distinctly Steamboat.”

Comments

beentheredonethat 2 years, 9 months ago

Please spare us the constant use of the phrase "world class" when describing an activity as common as riding a bike.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

good god. I'm with you beenhere.

this BS makes me laugh.

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JustSomeJoe 2 years, 9 months ago

obviously neither of you have been on any of the single track on Emerald or Mt Werner or North Routt, or anywhere else to compare it. Today's conditions are definitely world class, tacky, great trails, cool weather. give it a try.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

i biked emerald this morning. probably going to colton creek this weekend. but thanks for the advice!!!!

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

opps.. I shouldn't have said that....someone will decide to have a stage race there.

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Kristen Feiges 2 years, 9 months ago

Posting without a hint of sarcasm - Where are these 575 miles of trails? I can't even come close to that number counting all those I know. Please help!

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Cooke 2 years, 9 months ago

What a bunch of grumpy asses. If it is so bad in Steamboat...leave. All you do is complain and gripe 1999.

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Glenn Little II 2 years, 9 months ago

We should call it chumpboat Usa because everyone like to talk about bike trails.. Why don't you go build some sweet bike trails for you and your friends to ride on and stop complaining !!!!

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