If you haven’t heard the news already, there’s an exciting new Gravel Event coming to Steamboat Springs, Colorado next year (although Registration opens December 4th). Consisting of 141, 100, and 37 mile routes, the SBT Gravel Weekend is looking to serve all levels of rider as you snake around the quiet dirt roads of this Ski-Resort town.
Join Athlinks and SBT Gravel for your choice of 3 sinuous routes on pristine Steamboat Spring roads.
To learn a bit more, we sat down with the creator of the SBT Gravel Race, Mark Satkiewicz (a name familiar to many in the bike industry).
Tell us a little about yourself
I am Mark Satkiewicz and I am a long time Steamboat resident, life long outdoor athlete, a father of 2 girls a lab Ollie and a pug George, husband of 20 years to Amy and now a partner @ SBT GRVL. I did have a long career in consumer products with brands like NIKE, Smartwool and TOMS as well.
How did you get into cycling? Are there any other endurance sports you participate in?
I got into cycling in college as a fun way to be outside with my friends. I was a team sport athlete in high school (baseball, basketball and golf) and was looking for a way to compete and stay active. Initially I rode mountain bikes and the first bike I had was a Specialized Hard Rock that took a beating as my bike handling skills were less than stellar. That was the launch of the next 30 years into endurance sports. Since then I have spent a lot of time trying different sports including running, swimming, triathlon and most recently a lot of emphasis on road and gravel riding. As I have gotten older I have found with cycling I can still push myself without as many injuries and I can always find a group of friends to go explore on gravel bikes which is really fun.
For you personally, what makes Steamboat the best location for an epic gravel experience?
Steamboat is just a fantastic place overall but when it comes to gravel riding it is really great because it is one of the few places where you have this amazing combination of high alpine mountains and endless gravel roads that support the surrounding community. In addition all of the gravel roads connect together somewhere and allow for endless options for routes and adventures with your friends. Most days you see more wildlife than cars when you are out there and it is really a special experience to ride a bike in that setting.
What was the inspiration, and when did you come up with the idea for the SBTGravel?
The inspiration for SBT GRVL came from a few directions. First we wanted to share what we have here with a lot more people and get to ride these beautiful gravel roads and routes with them. Steamboat is a great place to visit with your friends and families for a lot of reasons but the gravel riding has been a bit under the radar. In addition we believed that the Rocky Mountain region didn’t have that many options for gravel enthusiasts and we thought Steamboat was the perfect place to get this community together for a weekend to have a lot of fun. We also felt that because of the many activity options Steamboat offers for non cyclists, it was a great place for a racer to travel with their families and friends as there is something here for everyone. Another motivation was we wanted to put on a race that we would want to do. One that was held in a beautiful place, offered a challenge but was really well supported fro every angle, allowed us to travel with our families and not alone and make it a weekend experience not just a race were you arrive late at night, do the race and then leave when you are finished. This was really important and also important to our community and our partners we are working with.
I’m a first-time gravel racer, what is your best piece of advice for me?
If you are a first time racer, no matter the distance, my advice is to have a ton of fun, don’t go out too hard and over everything else look around while you are on the course. You will be riding through areas that are not traveled normally via a car and what you can see is truly amazing.
Inside Baseball, where is the best burger in Steamboat?
The best burger in Steamboat as a non paid endorser can be found at Back Door Grill on Oak street downtown Steamboat. Go Dave!