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  • Dylan Anderson

Routt Commissioners to consider permit for 3,000 rider SBT GRVL bike race on Tuesday

Dozens of residents have signed a petition asking Commissioners to “relocate” the race in new process created after complaints of last year’s race.

One of Routt County’s largest summer events — August’s 3,000-rider SBT GRVL bike race — will go before the Routt County Commissioners on Tuesday in part of a new special event permitting process that was put in place in response to complaints about last year’s race.


The new policy requires events to obtain commissioner approval based on the miles of county roads used, the number of participants or a combination of the two. SBT GRVL is subject to the policy by having more than 1,000 participants and because it intends to use more than 100 miles of county roads. The new policy caps events at 3,000 participants.


The race is scheduled for Aug. 18 and includes four courses ranging from 36 to 125 miles on a dozen different county roads. Documents in the permit application also detail various rides in the days leading up to the race, which SBT GRVL says will include a range from 75 to 800 riders.


“The SBT GRVL team is committed to making a positive impact on all members of Routt County,” race organizers wrote in a community impact narrative, a part of the permit application required in the new policy.


“The SBT GRVL team has dedicated our time and resources to listening and learning to feedback about the impacts of SBT GRVL to our rural community,” the narrative continues. “We have developed an action plan addressing the feedback that we have gathered and believe that the proposed changes will have a positive impact on everyone involved.”


Also included in the packet for Tuesday’s public hearing is a petition with roughly 65 signatures asking commissioners to require race organizers to change the currently proposed routes for the race. Republican Commissioner candidate Brent Romick is among the names on the petition.


“The proposed route, which cuts through Northwest Routt County, poses significant challenges and disruptions to our community,” the petition reads. “We propose that the race be relocated to an area that would minimize disruptions to hunting activities, agriculture, wildlife and our rural lifestyle.”


The petition does not ask commissioners to deny the permit.


The bike race will be the second event to go through the new permitting process. Commissioners approved a permit for the Steamboat Marathon in April, which has 1,225 participants, uses more than 20 miles of county roads and is scheduled for Sunday.


The permit consideration is scheduled to take nearly two hours on Tuesday morning, starting just after 10 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Hearing Room at the Historic Routt County Courthouse in Steamboat.



Caption: This map shows roads that are part of the four proposed race courses for this years SBT GRVL bike race. (SBT GRVL/Screenshot)


Changes to the race for this year include the elimination of bidirectional traffic on courses, new routes drawn to limit the number of impacted residents and consolidated start times to shorten the time riders will be on County Road 44. SBT GRVL also intends to hire the Colorado State Patrol to lead the front group of cyclists, increase the number of race marshals on motorcycles and coordinate safety meetings with law enforcement.


The packet for the public hearing includes nearly two dozen documents about the race, including route layouts, a traffic plan, and insurance documents. These documents include estimates of when riders will be at various parts of the four courses on race day, example signage the event will use and a detailed plan of how SBT GRVL will communicate information about the race to the public in the weeks leading up to the event.


Event organizers identified 362 residences along the four race routes and the communication plan says each of them will be sent two mailers leading up to race day. These mailers will include “dates, key information, what to expect and important announcements,” according to the plan.


Plans also outlines three “SBT GRVL Oaths” that riders agreed to when they signed up for the race. These oaths include obeying traffic laws, using designated portable toilets along the course and asking riders to “purposefully practice kindness to others on and off the bike.”


“SBT GRVL has increased messaging to riders about expectations, accountability and repercussions of not following the SBT GRVL Oaths,” the event’s impact narrative says. “We will enforce the Oaths with our riders and anyone who is witnessed disobeying the rules will have their race plate number recorded and will not be allowed to participate in SBT GRVL in the future.”


Roads impacted by the bike race include CR 129, 44, 46, 80, 56, 37, 52, 179, 43, 45, 33, and 29.


Top Photo Caption: SBT GRVL has 3,000 riders and plans to use more than 100 miles of Routt County Roads. (Routt County/Courtesy)

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