My poor, blue antique Cannondale SR400 was stored away and had so much dust I needed a snow shovel to excavate it. When Cascade bicycle shop tuned it up they said, nicely, that it was rideable but not if I wanted a comfortable six-day tour. I said: I’ll put in a few miles first and see, which meant I’d have to get my ancient body hoisted “back in the #saddle again,” as Gene Autry would say (esp. with the hashtag symbol). The first worry was that my out of shape legs, when I got on the bike again, were going to snap like a brittle turkey wishbone. Time to cowboy up.

Back in the SaddleThere was a time when I did have an ounce of fitness about me, way back in the early 90’s in the flat Midwest landscape of Chicago. Grand times riding with my brother and searching for hills to challenge us. Now in the peaceful farming town Olathe, Colorado I have plenty of straight up and down mountain walls of suffering to choose from, yet I haven’t ridden much for a decade. What to do? Aye, let’s sign up for the longest tour around!

 Ride The Rockies is a solvable problem though. I’ve survived before in road races (just pedal) and criteriums (pedal even faster), and time trials and triathlons (pedal to the floor, with no drafting). So this charity ride for The Denver Post Community Foundation will simply be: just more pedaling. Drafting optional. Sightseeing, also optional. Overeating and then hitting a tough climb – mandatory (bike club rule: no hurling allowed).

I love to eat. Exercise with a side of food, what could be better? That is partially why I’m doing this ride. Also for the health benefits, but that will be continued in the next post – stay tuned!