Monday, July 8, 2002
Steamboat Springs It's not the longest race in the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series, but this week's cross-country course will offer enough mileage to test even the most accomplished cyclist.
"This race is just a lot of fun," director Gretchen Sehler said. "It uses Blackmer Drive and a lot of single track. We've tried to link the trails together in a way that will challenge local riders."
The nine-mile course (for the open and expert divisions) will begin and end in front of the Howelsen Hill ski jumps.
But between those two points riders will cover most of Howelsen Hill's trail system including a demanding single track that leads through Orton Meadows and the Upper Meadow.
Sehler said there are two races in the series that are a little bit longer, but this cross country is fun because it focuses on a trail system that most local riders know very well and use throughout the summer.
It also gives local spectators a chance to get out on the course and experience the slopes of Howelsen Hill without the snow.
"There have been a lot of spectators at the last couple of races," Sehler said. "It's neat to have them out there ringing cowbells and cheering.
"The support from the spectators has been great."
This is the fourth race of the local Town Challenge race series. It marks the halfway point for the 8-week season. Sehler said the course is slightly different than last season and she encourages riders to pick up maps at the Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Offices prior to the race.
Riders can also go online at www.steamboat-springs.net for race details and a detailed map. There are also race descriptions for all the different classes. Courses in this event vary widely from group-to-group.
Sehler said the course was marked on Saturday and is open if riders want to pre-ride the trails before Wednesday's big race.
The event will open with children's divisions at 5:30 p.m.
The lower level adult classes will begin at 6 p.m., while the upper level divisions will hit the trails at 6:30 p.m.
Sehler is hoping the split starting times will help reduce t the traffic on the course and help all the riders enjoy the experience more