Solace of the open road |

Solace of the open road

Cyclists seek peace, pancakes during 25th annual “Where the Hell’s Maybell?” bike ride

A peloton of cyclists from Steamboat Springs hustle westward Saturday during the 25th annual “Where the Hell’s Maybell?” bike ride.

Ben McCanna

Thirty miles of highway lies between Craig and Maybell. The road is often straight and the landscape is often empty.

For cyclists like Craig resident Tony Tennyson, who pedaled between the two locations Saturday, the vast open space doesn’t offer a lot to look at or think about.

“Not much, and that’s why I do it,” Tennyson said.

“It’s relaxing.”

Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, about 175 cyclists departed Craig at the start of the 25th annual “Where the Hell’s Maybell?” bike ride.

Weather conditions were fair, but bracing at the start of the non-competitive fun ride. It was 45 degrees.

At a free refreshment stand at the ride’s midpoint in Lay, riders pulled over to partake in Gatorade and orange slices and warm up their hands. Steamboat resident Jerry Spring summed up the feelings of many chilled participants.

“If someone would sell hot chocolate for $5, they’d make a million,” he said.

Spring was one of 12 Steamboat Springs residents who rode together in a group Saturday. The group was organized by Dave Deverell.

“I put together a little e-mail, and a whole bunch of them said, ‘Sure. Let’s go do it.’ What the hell was I thinking?” he joked.

The group began riding toward Maybell sooner than the official start time, Bob Schuellein said.

“We left early (from Steamboat Springs) because we weren’t sure how long it would take us to drive,” he said. “And, when we got there (to Craig), it was so cold that we just started riding.

“We were afraid we’d freeze to death.”

Deverell disputed the reason for the early departure.

“We didn’t want to get to Maybell and have all the pancakes be gone,” he said.

At the town park in Maybell, several members of Bear River Young Life were busy cooking pancakes and breakfast meat on a griddle. Caroline Dotson, a volunteer leader of the group, said they were prepared to feed 200 people for $6 per meal.

“We hope to raise money for camp,” she said.

On the long open road between Lay and Maybell, Steamboat Springs cyclist Mark McCrann said the ride wasn’t an opportunity to clear his mind. Rather, he concentrated on his riding.

“I think about how I’m pedaling, and how many RPMs I’m getting,” he said. “I focus on things like that, and the road.

“It’s not good to hit anything when you’re doing 25 or 30 miles an hour. With these skinny tires, it’s not fun to hit anything.”

Craig resident Chris Kling, 14, said he thinks the annual fun ride is satisfying for the mental break.

“I kind of zone out,” he said. “That’s what I like about it.”

Deverell’s group was one of the first to arrive in Maybell. He had high praise for the pancakes.

“They’re wonderful,” he said.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 875-1793 or

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