Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

STEAMBOAT IN THE NEWS

Steamboat Is Bike Town USA

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Long known as Ski Town USA, Steamboat Springs is working on a new moniker for summer.

With a world-class bike path, trail improvements, ride to work and school initiatives, BMX, pump and freeride options, a local race series, two bike manufacturers and more, the town’s Bike Town USA movement is rolling strong — enough that the League of American Bicyclists recently awarded Steamboat its Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

“Biking helps make Steamboat a year-round destination,” says Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association president Tom Kern, who hosted national bike media members here this summer. “It’s an integral part of our community.”

The movement has hosted two nationally recognized Bike Summit meetings, produces the annual Steamboat Springs Bike Guide, and helped attract the USA Pro Cycling Challenge to town in 2011. “People now come here from around the country just to go biking,” says Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare owner Harry Martin.

Like skiers, these visitors represent an affluent demographic, enjoying a higher-than-average median household income of $59,000.

“Biking is huge here,” says Honey Stinger founder Bill Gamber, who recently brought Lance Armstrong in as a partner. “There aren’t many communities this passionate about riding.”

This shows through in the town’s line-up of bike events and a seven-mile bike path through town to new signage and two marquee bike manufacturers, Kent Eriksen Cycles and Moots, calling Steamboat home. “Steamboat is all about outdoor recreation and biking is the summer anchor to this,” says Moots president Rob Mitchell. “We have the full breadth of riders here, from recreational to pros.”

The town’s access to riding, he adds, is what makes it unique. “Our access is exceptional, from Emerald Mountain downtown to great road loops and freeride trails,” he says. “We’re covered in all areas. We have all the right ingredients.”

Steamboat Cycling Events

Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series

Steamboat’s seven-event Town Challenge Race Series offers 24 different categories, from pro/open and three age groups for various men’s and women’s divisions to kids and single

speed. “It’s super fun and a great way to bring local riders together,” says series founder Gretchen Sehler, whose events draw up to 200 riders.

Tour de Steamboat

Thanks to local sponsorship from Prudential Steamboat Realty, local mountain bike hall of famer Kent Eriksen’s Tour de Steamboat draws up to 1,000 riders to benefit the Sunshine Kids Foundation. The noncompetitive event offers a 40-mile ride, family Core Trail ride and 110-mile Gore Gruel. “It’s a great event for a great cause,” says Eriksen.

‘Ride 4 Yellow

On the philanthropic front, few events rival the Ride 4 Yellow, a 26-mile mountain bike ride put on by the 4 Yellow Foundation to provide cancer support funding through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The event draws up to 200 cyclists of all abilities annually, including cycling legend Lance Armstrong, and this year raised more than $300,000.

Steamboat Stinger

Now entering its third year, the Steamboat Stinger draws 400 mountain bikers to town to race 50 miles up and over Emerald Mountain twice. Hosted by local energy food company Honey Stinger, the race lures the sport’s best and offers solo and duo divisions, as well as half and full marathon trail races. “Racing is in our DNA and this is a great way to showcase the great trails we have,” says company president Bill Gamber.

Steamboat Enduro

Steamboat is at the forefront of Enduro racing by hosting the Big Mountain Enduro Series by Yeti Cycles, which follows the 26-mile Continental Divide Trail from Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Ski Area. “They’re designed as backcountry experiences and set the stage for American Enduro racing,” says organizer Ketih Darner.

Steamboat Stage Race

Held every Labor Day weekend, the Steamboat Stage Race follows a similar format as the Tour de France, requiring racers to compete over three days. It offers 10 different categories, with equal prize money for the pro men and women’s fields, and is going stronger than ever. “It’s great to see pro riders racing alongside local racers,” says organizer Corey Piscopo, whose event draws 400 competitors to the streets of Steamboat.

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In The News