The next time you pack the car for a vacation to Steamboat, be sure you pack a bike for your toddlers. On the west side of town (where the Yampa River Core Trail ends) there is an incredible spot for learning to ride. It’s called the Bear River Bike Park.

Our son almost exclusively learned how to ride here. In particular, he learned on the pump track. The idea is you pump your bike to propel yourself around. It’s easy, but requires a lot of effort. Pump tracks are also fantastic learning tools because there are several small hills and humps that little riders can use for practice. My son (21 months old) has ridden here about five times and loves it!

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Helmet and gloves are a really good idea. The dirt is soft, but there are lot of tiny rocks.

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The little humps are perfect for practicing starting, coasting and stopping. Every time I’ve been here, there has been a family letting the kids ride around. The parking lot is a dead-end street, so the cars aren’t speeding by.

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The hills range from tiny to medium. Beginners can pick something they’re comfortable with and move up from there.

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After warming up on the small rollers, it was time to move on to the bigger hills.

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We aren’t ready for these yet. Probably soon.

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All smiles! He loves riding here. He calls it the “Big Hill.”

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After you’re done riding, there are plenty of great spots to go hang out by the river. The pump track is free to use, and it’s maintained by volunteers. More information on the Bear River Bike Park can be found here.

Here is a link to the map of the Core Trail. On this map, the pump track is located in the same area as the skate park.

Mike McCoy, Downhill Mountain Biker

Biking the Boat archives

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