It was only by chance that I ended up at Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had originally planned to travel to another Colorado location but was convinced at the 11th hour to head to Steamboat instead.
I can recall it vividly; I was having lunch with a sales rep in Park City, Utah and he was describing his sales route. A dream job of frequently travelling to some of the best riding locations in the USA – from Moab in Utah, across the western Rockies and all the way up to Idaho and Wyoming. I asked where he might go for a week of riding, if he had to choose, and rather than spitting out the obvious, he started to talk about Steamboat. I was instantly hooked because of his description of the town, not just the trails.
I love a town that embraces bikes and loves bikes and biker riders as much as me. There have been times where I have ridden some amazing trails but then left a little short of that “feeling” at the end of the day when I returned to town. Like there was always a sense of warmth and genuineness missing. Steamboat, my sales rep friend detailed, was a place that makes you feel at home on a bike, a town that lives for it, and a town that wants bikes to be number one. I was heading there.
And he was right. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is that perfect bike town, and it’s funny as that’s what they call it too. Welcome to Bike Town USA.
“Bike Town USA” Initiative is a community movement with a vision for Steamboat: The Ultimate Destination For Cycling Experiences. Chatting with the local community revealed a crew who are passionate about their very ambitious goals of improving safety, building the community, and providing economic development through cycling.
Initiatives and ideas like this do take more than human spirit and the “Bike Town USA” group was lobbying to divert hotel tax revenue into cycling infrastructure, facilities and programs. As you can imagine, diverting such large amounts of money into bicycling would be a hot issue in any community with other user groups also wanting the same resources. It’s such a hot topic in fact that the community is voting on the proposal this month.
Removing myself from the politics of the moment, my personal experience from spending a week in Steamboat showed that even at this early stage, the ideas and the community feel are already working. With over 500 miles of trails in the area, a lifted gravity park, a thriving local cycling industry including being the home of Moots and Stinger, and just a sense of mountain biking being front and centre.
Steamboat Springs has to be one of only a handful of mountain bike destinations in the world where you feel at home and welcomed from the moment you arrive. Although it is a long way from Australia I highly recommend that you add this town, and this experience, to your wish list. It’s not very often that as a mountain biker you are welcomed into a community with such open arms.