Spoke Talk: Steamboat’s local tour takes stage next weekend
July 7, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Tour de France has nothing on us. Steamboat has its own Tour, and while it may not be an internationally acclaimed competitive race, it's a fantastic ride that yields positive results in our community.
We're less than two weeks out from the annual Eriksen Tour de Steamboat. Once again this year, all the pieces are falling into place to create a ride experience hard to match. It's not without effort.
The Tour de Steamboat is a fundraising ride that benefits four local nonprofits – Partners Mentoring Youth in Routt County, REPS (Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide), Routt County Riders and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. This year marks the third in a row that these four nonprofits have worked together with the Tour de Steamboat organizers to help ensure a successful event. Last year's event raised a record-breaking $72,000, giving each beneficiary $18,000 to assist with their community programming.
Here's a look at what they accomplish.
In a typical year Partners will serve 800-plus youth, providing 82 partnerships. It will work with nine Americorps school-based mentors, supporting 72 targeted students at seven schools.
Routt County Riders spends nearly 1,500 hours maintaining the bike park, BMX track and hundreds of miles of single track trail, sets up or supports three road rider rest stops and works with numerous agencies to advocate for safe and enjoyable cycling in the community.
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REPS handles 50 crisis hotline suicide intervention calls, provides beside support to 36 individuals, teaches 500 students its It Takes Courage bully prevention and trains 1,130 volunteers.
Yampa Valley Sustainability Council will sponsor 36 Zero Waste events attended by 44,800 people, and as a result, divert 95 percent of waste from those events from the landfill. Through its ReTree Steamboat program, it plants up to 1,200 trees annually.
As touted on the event's website, it is a unique multi-distances ride that is all for the cyclist and all for the chosen nonprofit organizations. In its 12th year, the Tour de Steamboat is professionally run by an all-volunteer staff. Additionally, each beneficiary provides volunteer organizers who spend many hours each week, several weeks each month, almost every month out of the year helping to plan and execute the event. But the paybacks are huge.
The Tour de Steamboat has become known as a premier event in Colorado, a favorite for residents and visitors alike. And of course, the $72,000 goes a long way to support the nonprofits that make our community roll.
Slots are available for all three rides — the 25-, 40- and 110-mile versions. A few chances remain for the Eriksen Bike Giveaway — a 1 in 400 chance to win a $7,500 custom-designed Eriksen road bike with Shimano parts, for $50.
Tickets also are available for the Wine Bottle/Trip Spin, where for $100, ticket holders are guaranteed a randomly selected bottle of fine wine and a chance to win a trip for two. Chances to win the trip are 1 in 100.
Routt County Riders is proud to be a beneficiary of and assist with the planning of the Tour. It is truly an event for the community — residents plan it, ride it and ultimately benefit from the funds the event raises. For more information, to register or volunteer, visit http://www.tourdesteamboat.com.
Wendy Tucciarone is a Routt County Riders member, volunteer and the club's administrator.