Ride the Rockies
Summer is in full swing and Steamboat Springs is buzzing with activity. This coming weekend is packed with activities and events that cater to people of all ages and interests.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
This weekend, Steamboat will host the 30th Annual Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup. More than 450 Mustang owners will convene to participate in a variety of events. Participants will enjoy scenic driving tours, auto cross, and the always popular Saturday Show N’ Shine on Lincoln Avenue.
Eight Second Ride
In addition to the Mustang Roundup, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series kicks off their season at Brent Romick Arena with events on Friday and Saturday. The rodeo is a great way to get a taste of Steamboat’s ranching heritage, and features bull and bronc riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing. Arrive early to take advantage of the delicious Western BBQ dinner and to sign your kids up for the lamb and calf scramble.
Emerald Mountain Miles
The Steamboat Springs Running Series will host their first trail race of the season at Howelsen Hill, the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market will be in full swing on Saturday, and the Yampa River has officially opened for commercial tubing.
Although the majority of the action in Steamboat takes place on the weekends, there is always something entertaining going on during the week. Case in point, the Ride The Rockies event this past Monday and Tuesday.
Ride The Rockies
Earlier this week, Steamboat had the privilege of hosting the Ride The Rockies bike tour. Now in its 33rd year, this multi-day cycling tour is a huge draw for cycling enthusiasts. Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event open to cyclists of all ages and ability levels. The route changes each year, but always climbs a number of challenging mountain passes and showcases the state’s spectacular scenery. Each day can be as short as 45 miles, or as long at 100 miles, but generally averages 65-75 miles. The ride includes participants from all 50 states and 18 foreign countries.
En Route to Steamboat Springs
This year’s loop started on Sunday in Breckenridge, CO. During the first day, riders traveled over several major mountain passes, including Fremont Pass and Tennessee Pass, on their way to Edwards, CO. On the second day, riders traveled 80 miles along Highway 131 on their way to Steamboat Springs.
Rider Headquarters and Tent City
Prior to the riders arrival, nothing short of a small city descended on Howelsen Hill Park in downtown Steamboat Springs. The amount of organization and infrastructure required to support this large group of nomadic riders, was extensive and quite impressive. After 33 years, this event is a well-oiled machine, and in the blink of an eye, the park was transformed into rider headquarters, complete with food and vendor tents, medical facility, beer garden, mobile showers, gear storage, and campsites.
They Have Arrived
As mid-morning approached on Monday, so did a sea of riders. The early birds arrived by 10:00 a.m., and a steady stream of bikes continued to flow into downtown throughout the remainder of the day. As day turned into night, most of the riders settled into their campsites, showered, and proceeded downtown for dinner at one of the many delicious restaurants. Other riders hung out at Howelsen Hill to take in the free concert and rider expo. The expo included a panel discussion titled “Grit, Motivation & Stories from Steamboat’s Female Cycling Heroes”, and riders rocked out to local band Throwdown at the free concert.
Most of the stops during Ride The Rockies are one day, but Steamboat was lucky enough to host for two days, giving riders some extra time to take in the sights. Those who wanted to explore beyond town had the opportunity to go on a supported day-loop ride along the back roads of Routt County. The almost 50 mile loop took riders on a scenic tour past green pastures, through the neighboring town of Oak Creek, then back to Steamboat Springs via picturesque 20 Mile Road. Those who decided to take a rest day had the opportunity to go shopping on Lincoln Avenue, or go for a short hike at Fish Creek Falls.
Yampa Street Festival
The party shifted across the river on Tuesday evening to Yampa Street. Riders enjoyed live music from Buffalo Commons, while exploring the numerous vendor and food tents. It was early to bed for most participants, as Wednesday would bring a new destination and another full day of riding.
After two festive days in Steamboat Springs, Ride The Rockies was gone as quickly as they arrived. Riders departed Wednesday morning, climbing out of the Yampa Valley via Rabbit Ears Pass, on their 94 mile route to Grand Lake.
Having the tour in town definitely made for a fun and festive week. Now we get to carry that energy into another fun-filled weekend of events, activities and adventure in Steamboat Springs.
Emily Hines is the marketing and special events coordinator for the City of Steamboat Springs. Emily was born and raised in the Yampa Valley and attended the University of Oregon, where she received a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in marketing and sports business. In 2013, after seven years working on the East Coast for a lifestyle and sports marketing agency, she found her way back home to Steamboat. She loves the outdoors and enjoys sharing her adventures and all that Steamboat has to offer.
Read more from Emily here.
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