Happy 4th of July. July is my favourite month because it’s tour season. Tour de France, Ride the Rockies, Triple Bypass …. the list goes on but my personal favourite is the Tour de Steamboat. Why? Well because it is a local non-profit event that donates all it’s proceeds directly to Routt County beneficiaries. And because it focuses on the amazing place in which we all live. Steamboat Springs, the Yampa Valley and Routt County are showcased throughout the ride.
The Tour de Steamboat is an annual bicycle event that brings together 1,000 road cyclists from all over the USA. We recruit over 100 state-wide volunteers to help and support riders as they explore the beautiful Yampa Valley. I think last year our youngest volunteer was 9, and our oldest about 89!
The 116-mile ride directs participants over Rabbit Ears Pass, Gore Pass and Yellow Jacket Pass, incorporating over 8,000 feet of climbing. My legs hurt just thinking about it – there is a reason I volunteer to put the event together!!! The 66-mile ride is new this year and encompasses the little towns of Yampa and Oak Creek, still with a pleasant 3,100 feet of climbing. And for those who are just starting out on the road riding adventure, there are 46-mile ride and a 26-miles ride that both have decent amounts of climbing and plenty of spectacular scenery.
The ride is gorgeous, fun, challenging and worth every bit of dripping sweat, but I must admit that the highlight of the event for me is the copious amounts of food I get to munch on while putting together the aid station boxes. Mmmm, M & Ms, Pringles, Oreos!!! The riders who complete the event burn between 3,000 and 5,000 calories while this director manages to put on about 5 pounds!!!
So come one, come all but please come to Steamboat Springs and play with us at the Tour de Steamboat.
Bike Girl in Bike Town is a Steamboat local (ubiquitous yet anonymous) cycling enthusiast, rider and coach. Check back here each month for more of her insightful biking tips and first-hand tales from the trail…and the road.