Ride the Rockies

"a long time ago"
25 years 
June 29th-July 4th
when i was 32


Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs – 90 miles
Glenwood Springs to Aspen – 42 miles
Aspen to Leadville – 59 miles, Independence Pass – 12,095 feet
Leadville to Frisco – 40 miles, Fremont Pass – 11,318 feet
Frisco to Idaho Springs – 37 miles, Loveland Pass – 11,992 feet
Idaho Springs to Denver – 37 miles

i rode the Rockies
with 1500 others
in six days
on a ten speed bicycle
crossing the continental divide three times

this ride was sponsored by THE DENVER POST
first year ever
a sag wagon hauled our gear from stop to stop

each night pitching a tent
one night we slept in a school gym
always rising before the sun

first day riding 90 miles
some wanted to make it 100
kept riding around town
not me
90 was plenty

 i flew down the mountains
high high speeds
crouching low
leaning into the turns

it rained
it poured
i went down on the railroad tracks
tire hitting the ruts weird
the rain hid my tears
and embarrassment 

some days were windy
the sun beat hot
then drafting behind an older gentleman

training meant early morning rides
no later than five-thirty
most days of the week
conditioning hands, shoulders, and seat

there was road rash
a result from clumsy spills
drafting gone wrong
not releasing feet from the clips

i over trained
sore knees
a cough
excited to ride
but subpar 

i had six children at home

the youngest still a baby
david boy
daddy brought the children mid-trip
it was davey's birthday
we put a candle on a cupcake
sang to our baby turning one

that little baby reached for the candle
getting burned
he cried.
i felt stupid.
and sad.

katie and alison were super curious
naked women
showering together
modesty tossed out the window
except for me
only the first riders to arrive
get hot water

soon that "a long time ago" baby
will be a daddy
his son coming in July
25 years 

continually blessed

riding buddies...sherrie spencer, ron vanwagonen, wayne carwin


Melissa: said…
amazing. amazing to do that PLUS do it with six little kids, including a brand new baby.

i never cease to be amazed by you!
S. Etole said…
what a ride that must have been ...
alison said…
thank you for recording this!! so inspiring. i'm glad you recorded the showering memory . . . i was thinking about that before i read it. i remember how sore your knees were when we came to visit you. . . you were worried you might not be able to keep going. You are a strong woman . . . i admire you so much:) i love you.

i'm pretty sure we have some pictures in our family albums of this.
cristie said…
i don't know how to scan pictures.
when your dad gets back in town i'll add some. xox
Unknown said…
are you serious?? who are you my cristie!!

this is absolutely incredible.
I did a grueling 10k trail run yesterday and thought I was a rock star.

I bow in your direction my fascinating friend. You should write about this adventure. Really.

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