Hey, Spike! follows an expert mountain biker’s trail | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! follows an expert mountain biker’s trail

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

It's often said you never forget your first date, prom, kiss — and the list goes on, as we all know.

Your first mountain bike should be included in this list of memories. And some cyclists still have theirs.

One such lady is Laura Rossetter, who lives over in Frisco's Bill's Ranch with just-retired airline pilot, husband Steve.

Hey, Spike! was going through an old box of photographs when up popped a black-and-white 8×10 of Laura riding her second mountain steed. She was easily recognizable because she looks just the same today — cute, petite and still the athlete.

Sharing the photo with Laura garnered this response:

"This was probably taken in 1992 and I believe was in the big meadow behind the new hospital and just above the bike path. I'm pretty sure Todd Powell was doing a photo shoot so I could get an author picture for the revised edition of my Summit County guidebook."

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Does she recall the bike brand?

"It's a Klein Pinnacle with first-generation front suspension (this bike has been repurposed as my 'townie' bike). This was my second mountain bike. I got my first one, a Specialized Rockhopper, in 1986."

What does she ride today?

"I am currently riding an Ibis Mojo SLR. I've had it a few years and it is probably considered outdated, but I love how it rides so, I still ride it. I also road bike some and I have Trek, but I can't tell you much about it. All things mountain biking will always be more a part of me."

Laura is an expert at riding and writing about the sport, enough so that she was a leader in the Summit Fat Tire Society (SFTS) for several years.

"Yes, the SFTS is still around and is still the same name and is still basically doing the same kind of trail advocacy, maintenance type stuff. I have not been actively involved in quite awhile; love just being part of the tribe instead of being in charge of it. While there are still some of the 'originals' that are very involved, it is great seeing some new blood providing energy and motivation to the organization, because their purpose is still greatly needed in the county," explains Laura.

"I was president for awhile — can't remember how long. There were several of us — Mike Zobbe comes to mind. He was involved before me and is still very active with the SFTS," she adds. "It was so rewarding being involved during the early stages when there was a great need for trail advocacy and many caring committed people showed up for trail projects, fundraisers and meetings, all in the name of trail preservation and improvement."

Armed with an elementary education degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Laura had landed in Denver, where she taught third through fifth grade at Cherry Creek School District.

Like many outdoorsy types living on the Front Range, just seeing the mountains was not enough.

"I came up to the mountains usually a couple times a month, so decided to move up here so we would drive less and be in the mountains instead of just near them," she comments. "When I moved up here in 1987, I substituted a lot for a few years."

She later published two mountain bike guides, "The Mountain Bike Guide to Summit County, Colorado," and "Mountain Biking Colorado's Historic Mining Districts," was a freelance writer and became a trail consultant, doing trail planning, design and construction.

Today, she's still involved in a variety of volunteer efforts.

"One of my current favorites is being on OSAC, the county's Open Space Advisory Council, which advises the county commissioners on open space purchases. The county has been enormously successful in protecting a lot of one-of-a-kind natural landscapes for wildlife habitat, watershed health, recreational opportunities, view corridors, etc. It is very rewarding to part of this extremely successful program," she says.

Pilot Steve recently retired after flying for 31 years, mainly with Continental Airlines and for a little while, with United Airlines (after the merger).

"Steve loved his job, and now he loves finally being a full-time resident of Summit County for the first time since moving here (after commuting for the majority of his career)," says Laura.

Home is now in Bill's Ranch, where they built a new house and also preserved the logs of one of the five original cabins in the neighborhood by making it into a garage, expanding and remodeling the old house starting in 2009.

From their rustic basecamp, just a short distance from the 1992 photo shoot, the Rossetters pursue all forms of skiing, windsurfing, whitewater and sea kayaking, hiking, backpacking and trail running, and, of course, any kind of fun related to bicycles.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com