If you have yet to try Steamboat's newly enhanced and expanded bike trails, then you need to get out there!
Fall colors are bursting with yellows and reds leaving an impressive backdrop to the Yampa Valley. I've always felt like mountain biking in the fall is the best time. The air is crisp and the trails are quiet and free for the taking.
As this year was the largest effort from Steamboat Ski Area to grow their existing trails and build an array of new ones, I thought I'd give these new trails a shot and a shout.
Starting with an old favorite, I made my way up Valley View. This trail always seems to kick my butt. The start of the trail picks up quickly. Nothing like an instant warm-up but, don't worry...the pain doesn't last long. Soon you are meandering through aspen groves, open spaces and criss-crossing the trails we normally arc down mid winter. It is a really cool experience to see the mountain in a whole new light. Winding your way up the mountain you quickly have the option to try a few of the new downhill specific trails.
(If you are looking for a shorter climb and instant thrills take Sitz trail down from the top of Christie. This fast downhill will bring you right down to the bottom of Rustler Ridge. From here you can give Buckin Bronc a try. Just a warning...this is an expert trail and proper knowledge and equipment is highly encouraged!)
I opt to continue my way up Valley View and give Rustler Ridge a whirl from the top. After approaching the Top of Thunderhead, I take a quick break. The views are gorgeous and I am always amazed by where I live.
Enough fluff, let's get down to business and rip through the woods. Rustler Ridge is AWESOME! The trail has banked turns, off camber switchbacks and small table-tops that offer air between my tires and the ground. Who knew there was so much distance to be had from top to bottom!? My twists and turns continue to the bottom of Christie where I opt for an easy finish on E-Z Rider. This is too much fun! Love it.
The feeling is quite similar to skiing and the endorphins are just as abuzz.
If you haven't gotten out there, you have a few more weeks for smiles and thrills before the snow takes over.
Enjoy and be safe!
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