Brian Fitzgerald: Grooming Emerald for fat tire biking

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One of the newest and fastest-growing outdoor winter activities in Steamboat is fat tire biking.

You may have seen these pregnant-wheeled behemoths on the Core Trail and city streets. But they are really more suited to off-road riding on groomed trails, rather than competing with motor vehicle traffic. Unfortunately, the City Parks and Recreation Department has advised that it has not budgeted for and does not have the funds to groom single-track riding on Emerald Mountain.  

Never fear, it is Routt County Riders to the rescue. RCR is purchasing the necessary equipment and is undertaking the single-track trail winter grooming on Emerald yet again. The snowmobiles you see dragging groomers on Emerald are RCR’s equipment operated by RCR volunteers and employees.

This winter, RCR wants to groom NPR, Prayer Flag Road and other challenging single track on Emerald, despite the lack of funding from the city. Keeping up with the snowfall can be challenging at times, but RCR is dedicated to maintaining the winter trails on Emerald for use by the Steamboat cycling community and visitors alike.

Speaking of challenges, RCR needs support from the cycling community to match a winter grooming challenge grant from Yampa Valley Bank. The bank has generously offered to match funds contributed for winter grooming on Emerald, up to $2,088. This matching funds challenge ends at midnight Monday.

So far, RCR has raised a third of the matching amount. So, pony up, fat tire bikers and supporters, to keep the riding on Emerald available this winter.

You can do your part by contributing funds to the Yampa Valley Gives link on the RCR website at routtcountyriders.com. Your contributions this winter will be used by RCR to match the Yampa Valley Bank grant and keep the single-track grooming going on Emerald.

We hope fat tire riders in the Steamboat community will continue to have the excitement and adventure available on Emerald Mountain single track this winter and all the winters to come.  After all, we are a biking town and a winter sports capital.  Get out there and stay fit and healthy riding Emerald.

Brian Fitzgerald

Steamboat Springs

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