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We were honored and delighted by our interview with Corey Rose on 9 News last Tuesday, not to mention the outpour of love from all of you. It was a real privilege to be able to talk about the team, Trevor, $6,000,000 and the impact this team has on The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Sometimes, there are pivotal moments in your life that lighting strikes and you’re on a new path. The obvious one on this team, is when you hear your loved one has cancer. But, a second, more positive moment was when I participated in my first Courage Classic. Like many of you, I was “talked into it”, I didn’t own a bicycle. I would not have described myself as an athlete (nor would I now), but it sounded like a grueling, and fun weekend activity. I came to watch my brother 13 years ago, suffer from Leadville to Copper (the route was different then) and the absolute heart and soul he put into attempting the ride. Like many of us, he didn’t finish the “whole thing” back then, it was 3 days, he was on an ancient mountain bike that had never seek chain lube or a reasonable fit. Somehow, after all that pain, the next year he talked Dad and Dr. Mike Kent into riding alongside. And… like many of us… they finished dead last. Arriving at aid stations with half an orange left and desperate for fluids, escorted into Copper by the Highway State Patrol. Yet, still, the next year he bought me a $150 bike on Amazon and Brad, Bridget and I joined the suffering.. I mean team..
The Courage Classic is not a race.
The event is fueled by heart, and love, and quads and hamstrings. My first year was a 56 mile route on day one and suffice it to say, I was not ready. It was the longest bike ride I had ever been on in my entire life. My dad continued to tell me this was the last hill… it wasn’t. I had decided I was not going to ride the 4 miles from Frisco to Copper at the end, we were staying in Frisco, I didn’t need it. Or more aptly put, F-that.
Then that afternoon, Jessa Salvador spoke, and told us of her fight with Leukemia, of her relapses, of her treatment. And so I got back on the bike.
I don’t share this in an effort to scare anyone off, this is just my journey into the Courage Classic. I am a different person because of the Wheels team and the event. I am healthier than I could have hoped to be at this age, I am constantly pushing my limits, I rode 53 miles with 5,600 ft of elevation gain by choice yesterday for training. I never would have done this 10 years ago. In fact, it took me 10 years to even attempt the Big Kahuna ride.
I love the Courage Classic. I suppose, I better. But, when I look around the room next Saturday and see all your pretty faces… I will not see a bunch of non-caring cutthroat athletes. I see family and friends, adult summer camp, a reunion of hearts and bonds. In this world of bad news, I see 250 people working together, riding to their limit (whatever limit that is, is for you to decide) and raising SO MUCH MONEY.
And a few things to note for you first year riders;
When you see a Wheels Jersey - Say hello! Or Go Wheels!
This is the best supported ride in the country, do not let distance, mechanics, or nutrition and hydration deter you. There are aid stations every 10 miles and they are stocked like a grocery store! Band-Aids, sunscreen, medics, they got it! There are SAG Wagons passing by at all times and other cyclists will help you! There are mechanics in Copper and at the aid stations, you need something, they will get it for you!
There is no shame in Sagging!! I rode the Amber 66 mile loop for 7 years. I set out for the 80, I sagged at the last possible option in Vail and rode down. It’s a delightful ride and if you know me, you know I hate out and backs… I highly recommend this route if Vail is deterring you.
HAVE FUN! This is a volunteer ride, and volunteer staffed event and the main goal is to raise $3.5M annually for Children’s Hospital Colorado. The second is to have the best weekend of your year!
If you have any questions, big or small, please reach out!
See you soon,