Spin Your Wheels
● By Christina Freeman
Top cyclists from around the world compete in the USA Pro Challenge. Photo by Aryeh Copa.
Explore mile upon mile of ranching countryside and spectacular mountain vistas from the saddle of a road bike. Follow undulating paved roads or climb a steep mountain pass. Local riders have several favorites, including Routt County Road 14 or River Road, so named because it follows the meandering Yampa River. Twentymile Road is a less trafficked option with several climbs and gentle rolling hills. Parts of the road are open range so be cautious of cattle in the way. Arguably the most scenic ride is up Elk River Road and along Seedhouse Road, which should include a stop at the historic Clark Store for a refreshment. Increase the ride considerably by continuing from Clark on County Road 129 over Willow Creek Pass through Hahn's Peak Village and Steamboat Lake, turning back at Columbine.
BMX and Pump Tracks
The BMX Track
Located near the base of Howelsen Hill, the track is free and suitable for all ages and abilities. The 950-foot track was professionally designed, with rollers, mounds and berms, looping back on its self with four straight shots.
The Pump Track
Close to the base of the ski area, the pump track is a banked track open to riders of all abilities. Coast the whole course without pedaling, by combining a pumping motion with gravity and momentum. Track is free to users.
The Bear River Bike Park
Steamboat's newest pump track is located by the Yampa River on the west side of town. Small, medium and large jump lines are built in a progressive format, allowing riders to work up from small tabletops to big air grabs. The park is also home to the Bear River Skate Park with easy access from the Core Trail.
Steamboat Springs Bike Park
The ski area boasts over 50 miles of mixed terrain trails for varying ability levels. Take a ride up the gondola or make your own ascent. Trails are clearly marked with signs rating course difficulty: green circles for beginners, blue squares for intermediate and black diamonds for experts.
Green Circle Option: Why Not is a great choice for a beginner ride. The cross country trail meanders down the mountain with a gradual slope and scenic terrain. Blue Square Option: Five-mile-long Rustlers Ridge is a challenging mix of drops, berms, rollers and sweeping turns. The trail begins on the south side of the gondola building. Black Diamond Option: The toughest trail on the mountain, Rawhide is all about classic technical descending. Slow speed technical sections blend with sweeping turns and heart stopping drops.
Emerald Mountain and Howelsen Hill
Easily accessible from downtown, Emerald Mountain offers miles of connected single tracks over 4,000 acres of public land. Bike through wildflower meadows and aspen groves with views along the way. Front-side trails start from three places: Sombrero Stables, Howelsen Lodge and Blackmere Road. Backside trails can be accessed from front-side trails or on Cow Creek (Routt County Road 45).
Rotary Trail is designed for all abilities. Park off Cow Creek and take Ridge Trail for 0.65 miles; the Rotary Trail splits off to the left. The loop has wide, smooth trails with large berms and dirt rollers. Stinger Loop is a challenging route that incorporates 25 miles of Emerald Mountain, starting and finishing at the base of Howelsen Hill. Beall Trail is a non-technical single track with a gentle grade, taking riders through meadows, forests and aspen groves. It can be accessed from Cow Creek or the top of Emerald Mountain.
Adaptive Biking Located at the base of Mount Werner, Steamboat Stars offers adaptive bikes for rental, including youth and adult hand cycles plus buddy bikes. Reservations are advised. www.steamboatstars.com
Bike Week Kick off the biking season with a week-long festival including races, rides, clinics and entertainment. Highlights include the Jump, Jam and Photo Shootout, tours of the Moots factory, free music and a bike-in movie. Wednesday-Sunday, June 10-14 www.steamboatbiketown.com
Second Annual Moots Colorado Ranch Rally Support the Agriculture Alliance in a 50-mile ride on pavement, dirt and gravel roads connecting historic ranches of Routt County. Proceeds from the non-timed, non-competitive ride benefits the alliance. Entrants have a chance of winning a Moots Routt frame. Saturday, June 13. Register at www.moots.com
The Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series combines hill climbs, cross country and downhill terrain in seven races with multiple age and abilities categories. Races are held on Wednesday evenings, June 10–Sept. 2, at various scenic locations. www.townchallenge.com
A weekly BMX Series features races for all ages on a USA BMX sanctioned track at Howelsen Parkway. Thursdays . Registration starts at 4.30 p.m. and races begin at 6 p.m.
The 12th Annual Eriksen Tour de Steamboat is an annual non-competitive bicycle event offering 25-, 40- and 110-mile rides. Over 1,000 road bikers gather for a one-day ride through northern Colorado. Thirty volunteers assist with this fundraising event. Saturday, July 18. www.tourdesteamboat.com
The Fifth Annual Steamboat Stinger combines biking and running. Mountain bikers may enter as individuals or as a two-person team and cover 50 miles, up and over Emerald Mountain twice. A 26.2-mile trail marathon follows the next day. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 14-16. www.honeystinger.com
USA Pro Challenge
Watch top cyclists from all over the world start the fifth annual USA Pro Challenge race in Steamboat. Participants compete in a circuit race, marking the first stage of the event on Monday. On Tuesday, Stage Two takes riders from Steamboat to Arapahoe Basin. Friday-Tuesday, Aug. 14-18 www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com
The Enduro X Races take place on trails at Steamboat Bike Park and through U.S. Forest Service lands, some of the longest enduro courses in the world, including descents over 2,000 vertical feet. Participants must complete each stage to progress through the race. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 22-23. www.enduro-xrace.com
Fifth annual STARS Biking the Boat offers a 5-mile, all abilities ride, plus 26, 55 and 75-mile road rides. This fun event with its après ride party and prizes is a fundraiser for the adaptive sports nonprofit organization, Steamboat STARS. Saturday, Aug. 22. www.steamboatstars.com
Seventh Annual Steamboat Stage Race
Racers from all over come together in a Tour de France style race over three days. Ten racing categories are open to men and women based on age and ability with equal prize money. Saturday-Monday, Sept. 5-7 www.bikesteamboat.com