This time of year finds many of us scrambling to get ready for winter. We’re putting away summer toys, getting our snowblowers ready and digging out gloves and skis for when the snow flies. Another thing we tend to do is ride bikes — and ride them as much as possible before the snow sets in.

Riding this time of year comes with 20 degree temps in the mornings and early sunsets in the evenings. So what to do? Grab a light and head to Emerald for some night riding.

Set in the shadow of Mount Werner is a network of flowy singletrack that winds through mature aspens and open fields of tall grasses. All trails lead to the top and provide panoramic views of Steamboat Springs and the ski slopes that we’ll all be on in about a month.

Emerald singletrack is not that technical and not that steep. A few exceptions to this are the Angry Grouse climb, Little Moab and the infamous Lane of Pain. Larry’s, Morning Gloria, Blair Witch and Quarry Mountain are a few of my favorites. All of these are accessed on the main trail just to the left of the horse stables at the base of historic Howelsen Hill.

You’ll find riders at all times of the day out on the trails from cold pre-work hustles to quick lunch rides and, my favorite, fall night rides. Bike lights extend your day — it can be midnight and you’re still out riding dirt with friends.

When you work up an appetite, there are numerous options for tasty food and cold drinks right next to the Yampa River and only a few pedal strokes from the horse stables.

The snow is flying this morning, so your riding days are limited unless you have a fat bike. If that’s the case, visit us anytime this winter, and we’ll show you where and when to ride.

Snow Cam, 10/21/17, 7:30am

Garett Mariano, Alpine skier, cyclist

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