Bike series jump-starts with party | SteamboatToday.com
Melinda Mawdsley

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Bike series jump-starts with party

Town Challenge races offer cyclists competition, social scene

Jo Richards has gone from a novice mountain biker to an expert mountain biker in a matter of several summers.

The Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series has played a major role in her progression.

“It’s good motivation to go and ride in the middle of the week,” Richards said. “You tend to keep an eye on people in your class, and you know how much the competition is training.”

Tonight, the Town Challenge series kicks off with an early registration party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. Adults can purchase a season pass to all eight races for $80. Youths (younger than 18) can register for $40.

The eight-race series takes mountain bikers on all levels of terrain on Emerald Mountain, Howelsen Hill, Mount Werner and Buffalo Pass.

Gretchen Sehler, director of the popular local series, has the series divided into ability levels, as well as age levels, giving anyone interested in competing and challenging himself or herself the opportunity to do so.

Richards began at the novice, or beginner, level and has since moved up to the women’s expert division.

“I want a longer course,” she said. “And most of the women I competed against are moving up, as well.”

The social aspect of the series is another appealing draw for competitors year after year. Although a majority of the racers are from the Routt County area, people travel from Craig or the Front Range to compete.

Those not interested in pre-registering for the season can sign up at a later date. Registration is accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation offices on Howelsen Parkway. Early registration for each race is $11 and $6 for youths.

On race day, on-site registration is $15 for adults and $10 for youth. For more information on the series, log on to http://www.steamboat-springs.net/recreation and link to the series site.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com