Christine Pietras rides Howelsen Hill with her dog, Pancho, on Tuesday. Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race series organizers had to cobble together a blend of trails dry enough for today’s race.

Jay Kinghorn/courtesy

Christine Pietras rides Howelsen Hill with her dog, Pancho, on Tuesday. Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race series organizers had to cobble together a blend of trails dry enough for today’s race.

Town Challenge bicycle race opens today

Race director pieced together open trails for Howelsen Cross-Country

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series: Howelsen Cross-Country

Where: The race starts behind Howelsen Lodge

When: Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. today. Children’s races at 5:30 p.m. with adult races beginning at 6:05 p.m.

Cost: Day-of registration is $30 for adults, $20 for children

Online: www.townchallenge.com

Past Event

Town Challenge: Howelsen mountain bike race

  • Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
  • Howelsen Hill, 845 Howelsen Parkway, Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / $10 - $30

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— Gretchen Sehler wouldn’t call herself a trail surgeon.

But the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series race director and trails coordinator for Routt County Riders did her best knife job this past week in preparation for the opening of the 2011 series.

Sehler spent most of last week finding ridable trails on Howelsen. The 2011 Town Challenge Series will open today with the Howelsen Cross-Country.

“We’ve never done this much last minute,” said Sehler, after the series was delayed a couple of weeks because trails were still wet. “But it’s what I love to do.”

Children’s races begin at 5:30 p.m., with the women’s novice division set to go at 5:45 p.m. The pro/open races begin at 6:05 p.m., with other divisions going off in one- or two-minute intervals.

For those who haven’t yet registered, day-of registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. behind Howelsen Lodge. The cost is $20 for children and $30 for adults.

In a process that resembled doing a puzzle, Sehler managed to put together another top-notch course.

The course, except for children and women’s novice, will wind its way for 9.5 miles on all the trails Sehler could get open. She and her husband, Marc, spent most of last week working Lupine, Larry’s and the Bluffs in getting the course ready.

“The trails are looking pretty nice,” she said. “We’ve managed to get several open, and it’s exciting.”

The ride will begin behind Howelsen Lodge and start up Robbie’s Cut to Mile Run. It will then go through Orton Meadow, up MGM, down Larry’s, up Blackmer Drive and down Lupine. From there it goes to the upper leg of the Bluffs Trail down to the lower leg onto the Overlook Trail before returning to Howelsen Lodge.

“It will be shorter for the pros and a touch longer for men’s novice,” Sehler said. “You climb up, go down, climb up and go down. I used everything I could to link all the open trails. It’s definitely pieced together with what we have open to make a 9.5-mile loop.”

For more information or complete course maps, visit www.townchallenge.com.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

steamboatsprings 3 years, 6 months ago

Great job and many thanks to everyone that worked to get the trails open!

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