August 21, 2019
by David Newcomer / Customer Service Manager
This year’s inaugural SBT GRVL (Steamboat Gravel) did not disappoint. Steamboat Springs was host to an amazing addition to the gravel calendar and they pulled it off in style.
The morning start was a welcome and cool 43 degrees as we departed downtown in a neutral start north to Elk River Road. From there we started toward Clark and then onto a scenic climb to Steamboat Lake through county roads, private ranch roads and short sections of pavement. The pace was lively, lines were tight, and the spirit of gravel was at volume 11.
I’ve ridden many of the dirt roads in and around Steamboat. They offer a variety of challenges and conditions ranging from well-packed (and fast!) dirt, loose gravel, fine chalk dust, and more than a few sections of rocky trenches that threaten to throw you off your line with a moment’s inattention.
Ryan, our product developer, was kind enough to pull me along for a good part of the day. He claims I was “pacing him.” We’d recently ridden together at the Copper Triangle and found we were a good match in approach and ability.
But SBT GRVL is a race. And that was clear in the presence of teams, pros in the field, and the speeds at which the leaders took on at the front. The promoters made it a clear initiative to bring as many women to the field as possible. With the Colorado Classic starting in Steamboat the following weekend, and with some targeted offers to female athletes, they had a field with a female representation at 30%.
Pactimo athletes we support on the Colorado Proud CX team, Sunny Gilbert and Caroline Mani, had some good stories to share after the event. Sunny took 3rd in the Blue course (100 miles) and Caroline raced the Black (140 course). Both are ready to kick off cross season on August 31 at the Blue Ridge Go Cross in Roanoke, Virginia.
Despite the difference of this being a true race, Ryan and I agreed prior to the start to enjoy the day, take in the views, talk to people along the way, and do our best to hold a respectable pace. We achieved most of those. But finished with smiles just the same.
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About the Author
A lifelong commuter and amateur racer in road, CX and MTB, David Newcomer has experience with just about every aspect of our sport. A former race director of the Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb, and Executive Director of one of the largest cycling clubs in Colorado, he brings a wide range of experience to share with others. David is the Customer Service Manager at Pactimo and host of our podcast "On the Road with Pactimo." You can reach him directly at email@example.com
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