It was a cold and rainy night in a town built for speed…slipping and sliding wasn’t just a verb…it was an adjective…describing the games people play in the town of the Rich and out-of-touch…’ Aspen Colorado was alive with the dead-pan banter of those wanting and those pretending to have it. High rollers never flaunt, unless they’re toying with their prey…and tonight it was a venerable Toys-R-Us.’
Okay, since this is my last blog …I thought I would let you know that I’ve always wanted to be a cheap, Dime Book Detective writer…but with cheesy opening lines like that one…I probably need to go to a technical school and get a trade. At least that’s what my father always told me. He meant well, he was a 30-year career Marine. So eye-to-eye wasn’t a vision that we shared. Back to back was more like it. Good guy…he just saw a rock a lot of times where I saw a rose. It happens.
People crossing the Denver Post’s Ride the Rockies finish line today saw a Rose where there was a Thorn. That thorn being a host of mental walls that told them they could never ride 80 miles in a day …let alone 380 in less than a week in Colorado! Crossing that line today for some of the RTR riders was probably the hardest thing they have ever done in their lives. Here are two of my favorite quotes on Achievement one by a basketball coach and another by an actor and American Icon. John Wooden said “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” And Will Rogers said “ Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
The point is …life is about living and action. We can all say we want to achieve something…but if all you do is talk, you’re just that annoying person in the office or in the family that people have learned to tune out because your words have no weight. I have found that it is easier to ‘do’…than make excuses ‘not to do.’ Do you get me?
If you want inspiration you only need go as far as watching an 83 year-old lady riding her bike across Colorado. Need more? How ‘bout a paraplegic using his hands and back and Cranking his way, just inches off the highway, across mountain passes and smiling the whole way? Need more? How bout just the ‘average Joe’ trying to make a change in his life and commits to a 380 mile race 6 months ago and actually follows through? What will that do for his Psyche in all other aspects of his life? Family? Job? He might be a better person and realize he’s more than just the guy in Cubicle ‘3’.
It was inspiring, funny, heartfelt and just good to be across that finish line today and to turn and just watch people smiling and crying and laughing and hugging. The week-long event of riding and camaraderie and vacations and meeting new people is over. And what’s left are the memories and of course the aches and pains and let’s not forget the ‘tooshie’ issues. That tends to stick with people days after the ride is over. Let’s just call that the RTR ‘afterglow!’ Okay that’s my mooshie and reflective take on what I saw this week. Now here’s the “straight dope!”
It was a quick and eye candy-licious day from Aspen down to the Springs! The weather was amazing and the trail? That is something I plan to ride on a lot more this summer, so nice. I had a little stop in Carbondale for coffee. And really before I knew it…I was in Glenwood Springs. Very Quick and Downhill finish to the 24th RTR.
Time Check: left at 8:33 in at 10:24. 40 miles. I think.
So many interesting stories and people. Not a lot of talk of religion or politics. Just riding. Quick Facts about this years RTR:
1. Biked to Six Colorado towns, over 3 passes, the highest being 12095 ft.
2. At least one rider from every state was in the RTR. Riders from 8 countries also enjoying the Ride.
3. Did not rain on the Ride itself. Although there was smattering of Snow on Independence pass yesterday.
4. 80-plus volunteers.
5. State Troopers were awesome and great Harleys! (why are their Harley’s so quiet? Sneaky Troopers? Or that’s how they come out of the factory?)
6. I’m addicted ….to smoothies!
7. I think this is right? Over half the refuge created by the riders is being recycled.
8. Told by a lot of veterans that this was the most picturesque RTR so far. Black Canyon was Fly! (I think that means stunning!)
9. People seem to be curious about this: We stayed at middle schools and High Schools in each town and all the people we so nice to open up their facilities for the riders…who did spend a little money in each town. Win win!
10. A lot of people from Grand Junction were in the RTR. Saw faces didn’t know names. But I’m sure I’ve seen them at Wal-Mart!
11. Not all people stayed at the Schools. Some stayed in B&B’s and hotels and with friends.
12. I tented it. Which was great way to go. Lets just say if I had an option of a B& B…C’Mon!
13. I still have a ‘Crush’ on Colorado.
14. Yes, I would do it again.
15. Youngest rider? 7 year-old kid on the back of a tandem with his dad. I think I have a picture of him on the blog.
16. Best Memory? Lady putting herself on sprinklers going off in Salida trying to save the tents from getting wet! So Funny.
17. Best Line: “I have a whole new appreciation for riders” & “ sometimes you just have to thrash yourself…that’s why I do it.”
18. Interesting Rider: The guy who wore the same clothes for the entire 6 days and slept with only a trash bag for a cover in the Gyms. I know!
19. Biggest Surprise: None really …but watching some of these people …my faith is renewed in the spirit and drive of individuals.
20. Worst and Best innovations: Spandex is amazing in it’s ability to control: Velcro is amazing in it’s ability to rip your expensive spandex! I am boycotting Velcro!
21. Biggest surprise #2: That my butt is not sore? Once again. I know!
22. Take that! moments: Me riding my Univega Bike passing all these micro fiber graphite space age technology bikers. Who paid more for their bikes than I have ever paid for a car! You might say I’m jealous…no …just envious! Ha ha!
23. I was kind of sad it was over today. Just say’in.
24. The staff was informative and so helpful. Kudos to the Denver Post for a Great Event. Chandler Smith is one “sick” Dude! Thanks Chandler!
25. I will never get used to cold showers. And I worked in Alaska!
Okay here are the Pictures from today:
1. Jim Harris got big hugs form his daughters Sara & Mimi while wife Gigi watched. The Wells Fargo Banker lost 30 pounds in preparation for the ride says his health was the ‘wake-up call’ and maybe just these two little cuties, his daughters, were motivation.
2. Cameron Law of Grand Junction and his 18 year-old son, Eric, rode together this year. Cameron is an amazing musician and pretty good rider.
3. Penny Polowchena of Glenwood Springs says she has a whole new appreciation for biking and the strength of bikers. An IT professional at Valley View Hospital tackled her first ride by not riding. Something she might change if she does the ride again. She was greeted with flowers and the “stud woman” sign by her co-workers! She said this biking thing was a “big learning curve”.
4. Didn’t get this ‘Big guy’s’ name with the shark hat holding up his bike. But he was so excited to finish…he lifted his bike over his head and the water bottle was pouring some Gatorade on his face. Everybody was cheering.
5. And of course this is me! Completing my Goals today! My First RTR! So cool!
6. A picture of bikers on the Path down to Glenwood Springs. So Nice!
Well I’ve rambled enough all week and it’s time to say goodbye. My advice to you and what I got out of the RTR is this. Life has to be a constant challenge. You have to get out of your routine in order stimulate and create for your body and mind. What does that mean? We get stale in our day to day lives. And in order to grow we need to bring new experiences to the table. If you’re doing the same thing with the same people everyday. Going to bed at the same time and eating at the same restaurant. You’re scope of thinking becomes narrow and growth becomes secondary to routine. Man is this heavy or what.? The bottom line Whether it’s riding across the state on a bike or coaching a little league team or volunteering somewhere. Even when you don’t think you have time. You will be amazed at what you get by giving. This is coming from me! I’m glad I did it. I enjoyed it and I recommend it for anybody and everybody. I am so fortunate.
Need to thank some people! Stay with me!
First… Nancy Lofholm of the Denver Post. She was a friend first before I even knew what she did for a living. I just knew she had a good sense of humor and is a snappy dresser…oh… and she’s faster than her boyfriend Paul on the bike…that’s pretty cool. Nancy was the one who told me about the RTR and got me motivated to do it. So Thank You! Others…want to thank The Bike Shop and Ashley Jordan! Kept me looking good and feeling Good throughout the Ride. Ashley’s a funny guy! Also thanks to Chris Brown of Brown’s Cycles. A Big, huge 7-11 Slurpee Hug and thanks to Charlie Nardi, my partner and friend …of Allgood & Nardi in the Mornings on ‘The Vault 92.3′ and Robert and Libby on the The Moose 100.7 for having me on.
Also kudos to Karla and Dylan at KJCT News 8 for allowing me to SKYPE my way across Colorado and learn new things! And finally a big Thanks to The Daily Sentinel and Duffy Hayes and all the people I haven’t met at the paper for allowing me to post my thoughts and pictures in my first ever Blog! I had a great time. One more…I do have to truly thank my good friend and boss at the MBC Grand Radio Stations, Robert St. John …Thanks for taking a chance on me 2 years ago out of rehab…I am truly grateful… So …Thanks Man. So there! If I missed somebody, You know Im thankful! And to all of you who checked in? Thank YOU so much! I looked forward to talking to you everyday. It was a lot of fun…Let’s do it again some time.
Challenge yourself…juggle chainsaws!Add a comment