Mountain Biking in Steamboat Springs. Almost everyone does it. For the first two years that I lived here I was continually asked if I mountain biked. I defiantly answered no. My busy season at work is the summer and when I have free time I golf, a passion of mine. I didn’t need another activity to do when I rarely was able to golf anyway, nor did I want to deal with the expenses of beginning a new sport. The bike, shorts, helmet, shoes .. too much to even think about. However, I am sure you can see where this story is going.
This, my third, summer in the ‘Boat, a friend who had been telling me she was going to get me on a bike for over a year got me set up with a bike and all the gear one afternoon in July. She took both myself and another never-ever mountain biker on a ride. We headed up the Bluffs on Emerald Mountain. I quickly realized I was no sort of mountain biking shape with the first onslaught of up-hills. We took a few breaks here and there. I wasn’t sure what I thought about it on the way up but when we started to head down I finally understood why everyone in Steamboat mountain bikes. The rush of adrenaline you get when picking up speed and curling around tight corners reminds me of flying down the ski slopes. I was quite tentative on that first ride but loved the taste of mountain biking that I got.
Now the mountain biking season in Steamboat is coming to an end and I am so sad to see my bike hung up in the garage for the winter. I spent the last few months going on rides as much as possible. The up-hills on the Bluffs of Emerald that once made me question the sport are now old hat. Every time I go out on a ride I challenge myself to go up further on a hill I hadn’t made it up in the past or go down with more speed. The feeling of accomplishment with each improvement makes me want to ride every day to see what else I can do.
Needless to say, I am hooked on mountain biking! I encourage everyone of all athletic abilities to get out and bike. Biking in Steamboat Springs in the fall through golden-leafed aspens with views of snowcapped Mt. Werner is an experience I wish everyone could have. Now, it is time to count down to the first ride in 2011.