Saturday, October 22, 2011
Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by Joel here.
Steamboat Springs Moots now has been responsible for two memorable “Welcome to Steamboat” moments for me.
The first came soon after I moved to town. I had decided my $100 junker of a mountain bike purchased at a K-Mart going-out-of-business sale wasn’t going to cut it here in the mountains. Something about the brakes not working made descents terrifying, and something about the gears not working made my ascents impossible.
So, I had my eyes peeled for a better option, and when there was a bike propped up on the driveway at a garage sale across the street from my apartment, I thought I had found it.
The bike was a Moots. It cost $1,000, and I thought that was insane. A grand for a used bike? What part of “garage sale” did this guy not understand? I tried to barter, but he made it clear that he wasn’t going to budge.
I was so amazed by the whole thing that I called home to tell a friend.
Now, nearly four years later, I know I was the only fool that day. I figured that much out a few weeks later when I got serious about buying a bike and ended up dropping nearly $1,000 on a machine far inferior to what I had seen at the garage sale.
Working this week on a story about Moots’ latest offering, the FrosTi snow bike, my stupidity was reinforced, and I once again was shocked by what I learned about Steamboat Springs.
I’ve loved discovering all the crazy things people here do, and I’ve loved the way those things, in my eyes, have gone from jaw-dropping to commonplace.
No longer does gelande ski flying seem crazy. I can wrap my head around people skinning up the slopes of the ski area, yearning for 100 days on the mountain and logging hundreds of miles on singletrack each summer.
But snow biking? Really? People really were looking for a way to ride mountain bike trails in Steamboat Springs in January?
That revelation provided yet another shock to my system.
As it turns out, it’s real, and it’s not just one or two people, either. Moots is betting there are a significant number of riders willing to drop nearly $4,000 on a snow bike frame just so they can hit the trails while the days still are short and the temperatures are freezing.
That’s the kind of nuts I’m going to tell friends back home about when I try to describe what people are like here in Steamboat Springs. But here’s the thing: If my first four years have been any indication, I’ll be shocked about this today, but by next month I’ll be testing a snow bike myself, and I’ll consider the whole thing downright sane by next year.
Then, just as assuredly, something else that’s crazy will come along and once again remind me that people here never stop dreaming.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com