Winter. Bikes languish in the garage as we keep an eye out for the next blower storm and deluge of Steamboat’s legendary Champagne Powder ©.
Even in an excellent ski year, you may notice packed single track on Emerald Mountain, or a knobby track snaking up Why Not. There is still biking to be had, and a new generation of machines make it not only possible, but fun.
Fat bikes and their clownish tires open up incredible new terrain to the intrepid cyclist, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable introductions to the sport may be had at the Lake Catamount Touring Center (970) 871-6667. A short drive from town, Catamount has gently rolling terrain and many kilometers of groomed track for Nordic skiing and Fat Biking.
Plan a morning trip, as the trails will be firm and fast, and dress well – you’ll want windproof layers and good gloves. Neoprene wading socks, from the fly shop, will make your feet a lot more comfortable, especially paired with a wool sock.
Start your adventure by checking in with Dave or Mark at the Nordic Center. They’ll equip you with an excellent rental bike and helmet, along with a trail map.
Head out to the “Connector Trail” to access the rolling terrain and two specially groomed, bikes only, single-track trails (demarked by blue poles). Five loops branch off the “Connector Trail,” and it is your fastest way home if you get tired or cold. Be sure to follow good etiquette and ride to the side of the trails.
Consider stopping in at the Lake House Restaurant for a gourmet lunch and stay for an afternoon Nordic ski if you still have energy to burn.
Loved your ride? Consider renting a bike in town and exploring the Nordic and single-track on Emerald – strength and balance required.