Spring on Wheels
By Dan Greeson
Olympian Justin Reiter rides down Emerald Mountain in June as the wildflowers start to bloom. Photo by Noah Wetzel.
Pedal along the Yampa River Core Trail, stopping along the way at Rotary Park, Yampa River Botanic Park, downtown or Bud Werner Memorial Library. The 7.5-mile paved pathway connects Steamboat Springs from East U.S. 40 to the west side of town with plenty of sights to keep little bikers amused.
Opt for a short spin or a full-day cycle, traveling along miles of scenic road across Routt County. Find locals every day cruising Routt County Road 14, or River Road, which travels south through ranching countryside, past Stagecoach Reservoir and on to Oak Creek. Head north on Elk River Road (Routt County Road 129) to view peaks and panoramas. Refuel with a stop at the historic Clark Store.
Good things come to those who wait as the snow melts over Steamboat’s hilly terrain. Early season enthusiasts head for Mad Creek Trail and the Hot Springs Trail. Both single tracks are accessed from Elk River Road (Routt County Road 129). After trails dry out, zip up, over and across Emerald Mountain – a bikers’ playground that rises up from the heart of downtown. Take the ultimate vertical challenge, maneuvering up and down 50-plus miles of intermediate and expert terrain at the Steamboat Bike Park at the Steamboat Ski Area. Bikers can buy a gondola ticket for a fast track to the summit.
It’s all about skids and skills at the 950-foot BMX track at the bottom of Howelsen Hill, Ski Time Square’s pump track or Bear River Bike Park at the west end of the Yampa River Core Trail. Parks are free.
Kick off bike season at the fourth annual Steamboat Bike Week, Wednesday-Sunday, June 15-19. Clinics, races and the Moots Ranch Rally, a 50-mile group gravel and dirt road ride benefiting the Community Agriculture Alliance set the tone for a summer in Bike Town USA. Entertainment includes live music, Moots factory tour, a bike-in movie, bike park jump jam and fun for the whole family.