Joel Reichenberger: Marabou is a treat
June 13, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Marabou reminds me of Disney World. Anything seems possible out there, and my favorite story of why occurred when I was covering my very first Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race.
In town just a few months at that point, I had little idea what to expect as I pulled into the massive ranch-themed housing development.
I had no idea the lengths to which the developers had gone to make everything there perfect.
From the beautiful rail fences that look like they were built 125 years ago to the gorgeous barn that sat near the headquarters of the race and the string of trout fishing ponds, I got the idea that this place was special.
Something after the race really sold me. I was walking through the lodge and walked by an open cooler filled with beer. Among the collection was my very favorite, Boulevard Pale Ale.
Boulevard is brewed in Kansas City. At the time, it wasn't distributed in Colorado, so I bought as much as I could reasonably pack when I drove to my new home.
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And there it was, a beer that, as far as I could tell, someone had to drive at least eight hours to pick up, sitting in a cooler at Marabou. I wondered then if the cooler — and Marabou itself — was like the Room of Requirement in the Harry Potter books (yeah, so?), which when opened was stocked with whatever was needed.
Boulevard eventually extended its distribution to Colorado, so the thrill of finding one in the area went away. The magical feeling around Marabou didn't, however, and it was most recently sparked by my first real ride on the ranch's trails.
Marabou typically opens its miles of singletrack to the public for about two weeks every year. If you're even remotely into mountain biking, and you didn't make it, you did yourself a great disservice.
To many in Steamboat, riding Marabou is great because it's new and different terrain for people who munch Yampa Valley singletrack like powerful college athletic conferences munch the hopes and dreams of small-school fans.
To me, it was an opportunity to tackle terrain that didn't require me to stop every 100 yards like pushing up Mount Werner or Emerald Mountain does.
Marabou is rolling and smooth. There are no great inclines and no terrifying drops.
Steamboat needs more terrain like Marabou's. Our town is striving to become the cycling answer to everyone's desires. We have great mountain singletrack, and we have great road riding.
But there is a glaring deficiency at the bottom of the biking skill spectrum. There is little that fits between a lazy cruise on the Yampa River Core Trail and the steep tracks of Emerald Mountain.
That's too bad because it took just one day of riding on Marabou's magical trails to make me really wish we had more similar options in what we hope becomes America's bike town.