Steamboat Springs When Bridget Ross saw Ride the Rockies roll through Steamboat Springs in 2007, the thought hit her.
“When it did come through a couple years ago, when the girls were much younger, I wanted to participate in it with my children,” Ross said. “I thought it would be a fond memory.”
Ross will get her chance this year.
The annual Ride the Rockies biking event goes from Saturday to June 17, with riders spending a pair of nights in Steamboat.
The ride takes 2,000 cyclists through Colorado. It features 22,000 feet of vertical gain and more than 400 miles of riding. The route goes from Crested Butte to Buena Vista, Buena Vista to Edwards and Edwards to Steamboat.
Riders will spend June 14 in Steamboat, before doing the Steamboat Loop Ride on Twentymile Road.
Steamboat is the only stop where cyclists will spend two nights. It’s the ninth time in the 26-year history of the race that Steamboat has been chosen as an overnight host town and the first since 2007. It will be the first time the ride has done the Twentymile Road loop since 2004.
On June 16, riders go from Steamboat to Granby and then finish with a Granby to Georgetown ride.
For Ross, taking her two daughters, 17-year-old Katie and 13-year-old Shannon, on a tour of Colorado will leave a lasting memory.
“We’re all anxious about it,” she said. “We want to get together and have a neat experience. Really at this point in their lives I want them to appreciate the state of Colorado. I want to really spark with them the natural beauty of the state and what a privilege it is to live here.”
The Rosses will join a large contingent of Steamboat locals in this year’s ride.
After two years of tours to the southwestern parts of Colorado, Ride the Rockies directors moved the tour up state to one of its most popular routes.
Tour Director Chandler Smith said Steamboat was an obvious choice to spend two nights because of its ability to accommodate riders.
“It offered that nice optional loop,” he said. “It will give our cyclists an authentic mountain experience. There are lots of activities for our riders to do.”
For local cyclist Doug Warner, the ride’s Steamboat stops encouraged him to get back to Ride the Rockies.
Warner did the ride five years straight but then didn’t do it the past three years. With the ride’s return to Steamboat, he said he decided to give it another try.
“Of all the rides, it’s got to be the prettiest,” Warner said. “I’m glad to be back. I’ve been out of it for so long. It caught my eye coming through Steamboat. I saw the route and remembered it was such a beautiful ride.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com`