Steamboat Springs Lousiville, Kentucky, rider Doug Bodhain’s first ride in Steamboat Springs couldn’t have gone much better.
And as a whole, organizers of the first Moots Ranch Rally along county roads just north of town echoed Bodhain’s assessment of the charity ride — it was about as perfect an event can be expected to be in its first go around.
Roughly 90 riders took to the 50-mile ride Saturday morning that knifed through the Steamboat ranching community’s sprawling vistas and dirt roads that could go on forever. Many were locals, cruising on familiar grey-and-white Moots bikes, and a good chunk came from elsewhere in the state, places like the Front Range. And Kentucky.
Bodhain said his favorite local bike shop in Louisville began carrying Moots models a few years back. The shop’s owner started mentioning something about a Ranch Rally all the way out in Steamboat Springs, a non-competitive ride to benefit the Community Agriculture Alliance.
Bodhain phoned a close friend he knew from his few years spent living in Fruita — the friend now works in Boulder — and the Kentucky resident used his free flights through his job at UPS to come out and step foot in Steamboat for the first time.
“It was absolutely gorgous,” Bodhain said about the views and the cruising format of Saturday’s ride. “It’s great because the race mentality wasn’t there this morning. We were doing a nice pace and the scenery was just beautiful with very few cars.”
It’s a gift, really, Moots marketing manager Jon Cariveau said, that the somewhat-hidden county roads outside of town are there for riding, and that the partnership with the agriculture community and avid cyclists is strong and growing stronger with events like the Ranch Rally.
“The folks from out of town, they were like, ‘You guys are so blessed for having all of this,’” Cariveau said. “Especially the Front Range people, they said it’s basically impossible to go out on a weekend day and enjoy a road ride, because of the traffic and craziness.”
The pack took off from the Moots factory near Elk River Road at about 9 a.m. Saturday, then forked off onto Routt County Road 44 for a twisting, up-and-down loop that wrapped around Sleeping Giant and traversed a number of operating ranches.
The group then reconvened at the Rocking C Bar Ranch along C.R. 44 at noon for lunch, hosted by active Ag Alliance ranchers Doc and Marsha Daughenbaugh. From 4 to 7 p.m., the bike company hosted a social and factory tour, raffling off a Moots frame at the end.
Cariveau said the inaugural ride was so well-received that he is certain Moots will host another one next year.
With all proceeds from the event benefiting the Community Agriculture Alliance, Cariveau estimated they would be able to cut a check between $500 and $1,000 for the organization — a thank you for allowing the ride to stab through the ranchers’ often unridden land, and another step toward forging a strong bond between the two community groups with Routt County stakeholders.
And it will stay relatively small, he said, in order to leave a smaller footprint and keep the ride non-competitive.
“We’re not thinking of blowing this thing up to 500 riders or anything,” Cariveau said. “That wouldn’t make friends out there around the ranches.”
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll