Meet the 2019 Peak Pedalers

Kim Sharp-LeybaUncategorized

 2019 RTR Peak Pedalers

I am originally from Ireland having moved to the island of Jersey 32 years ago. Jersey is just off the north west coast of France and New Jersey owes its name to the island. There is an historical connection between the two places.

I am married with three children and my wife is American. As a family we spend extensive time in Colorado, we are lucky enough to have a second home in Breckenridge near Peak 8 base. We love Colorado summer and winter. I count as one of our most memorable trips a ski hike up to the Estin Hut …absolutely magical.

I have been passionate about cycling since watching my uncles race when I was 6 years old, in the era of woollen shorts and jerseys. The sound of tubs on the road even at that age inspired me. My uncles were responsible for me taking the sport up at 12, joining Orwell Wheelers in Dublin with a group of similar aged kids…including Stephen Roche who went on to win the Giro, TdF and world Road race championship in 1987. My last competitive race was …READ MORE

Max is my 17 year old son with Down Syndrome. He is a really wonderful and athletic young man. He is a great hiker, cyclist and skier. He also loves music and painting. In the winters he skies with Team San Juan his Special Olympic Ski Team with Telluride Adaptive Sport Program. I work there as a coach and adaptive ski instructor. We have always ridden a tandem together since he was 5 years old. As Max got bigger and heavier it became harder for us to get out and up hills and ride long distances. Faced with not being able to bike together anymore was very sad and overwhelming.

Then in 2015, we got into Ride the Rockies. This was a huge catalyst for change. I knew it would be impossible to be able to ride such long days independently. I still deeply wanted to participate and fulfill the dream of riding across Colorado with my son, despite his disability and my strength limitations of getting 350 plus pounds of tandem and riders up a hill!

The solution was having a pedal assist motor installed…READ MORE

Being asked to describe myself as an “inspiring” Peak Pedaler is somewhat of a misnomer from my point of view. I’m more of an advocate for cycling than an inspiration but, if at some point I have indeed inspired or can inspire anyone to begin or return to cycling, well, then I shall swell with pride knowing one more soul is living a healthy lifestyle among us.

I am 58 and a former smoker who grew up in the front range of Colorado. Favoring the mountains, I moved to the mountain community of Bailey.  It was here that I kicked the smoking habit and discovered the two loves of my life. The first knows who she is. The other was cycling. My life had changed forever. Feeling complete and energized, I heard details of a week-long tour through the mountains called Ride the Rockies. It was 1989 and the fourth year for the organized bike ride. Eager to test my newfound passion, I managed to gain entry (with thanks to Paul Balaguer) in the 361-mile event. The organization, comradery and scenery were all beyond expectation. I had never viewed my home state this way. I was hooked and having the time of my life…READ MORE

My name is Katrina Nowak and I am 16 years old. I live in Houston, TX – which isn’t the easiest place to train for riding over mountains! I chose to do Ride the Rockies because I love a challenge. This is my first time doing RTR and I am very excited, but also nervous. A ride this long initially sounded very intimidating. But my brother and sister have already done it. Why not me too?

I usually run varsity track and cross-country, so I have lots of endurance and power. How hard can it be? There was one small detail. I didn’t even have my own “teenager size” bike. I outgrew my kiddie bike a long time ago. My mom and I have done lots of rides on the tandem over the last 10 years, but I hadn’t actually been riding on my own.

It was the night of RTR 2018 registration. I heard my mom calling friends all over the country trying to see who might go with her this year. No luck. She sort of had that sad puppy dog face, contemplating a lonely ride or not going at all…READ MORE

Hello! My name is Kenyan Clarkson, I am a thirteen year old girl training for Ride The Rockies. I think I will be an inspiring Peak Pedaler because I would love to have this amazing experience as a journalist. Although I am planning on being a zoologist or a wildlife biologist in the future, having the experience as a blogger/ journalist is a good way for me to be more observant and admire the wildlife.

I love going on bike rides because I love to be in nature and in cool environments in general. I also love taking pictures. While training for Ride The Rockies, I have finally figured out what my favorite bird is, a magpie. My family loves training together because we are all bikers. My grandpa, all my uncles, my aunt, and my cousins all have done Ride The Rockies.

I am very excited for Ride The Rockies. Like I said before, I can’t wait to make new experiences and see new places. My family always talks about how fun it is and they tell lots of stories. I am though, extremely nervous. But hey, what do I have to lose…READ MORE

My name is Justin Christenson. I am a Colorado Native and currently work for Key Bank’s Business and Commercial Banking Team in down town Denver. My family currently resides in Highlands Ranch, & we love the Denver Metro Area. Bicycles have been a big part of our lives for about 10 years. I have mostly mountain biked on most of the trails in the Denver Area. Cycling is a great way to manage stress and my health…READ MORE

Hi! My name is Makenzie Christenson, and I’m so excited to be doing Ride the Rockies for the second time this year! I’ve been living in the Dominican Republic for the last year and a half, and although I loved running with an ocean view in the mornings, I was dying to get back into the mountains here- and Ride the Rockies is the best way to do it!

I’m 21 years old and will be starting my second year at BYU Provo. I took a two year break from school to go and serve in the Dominican Republic as an LDS missionary. Before my mission, I lived in Provo, Utah studying Dietetics, and am super excited to be going back to school in the fall…READ MORE

My name is Grant Christenson. I am the youngest and newest member of our family treo doing ride the Rockies. I am a very recent graduate of Highlands Ranch High School. I had a very busy final end to my high school experience that included Pole Vaulting on the Track team, RTR training rides, and finishing an Eagle Scout Project in May. It has been very busy indeed.

Throughout my teenage years, I have gathered a lot of outdoor experience. I have climbed several 14er peaks and descended into the Subway and the Narrows in Zions National Park. The hardest endeavor was my 50 mile hiking excursion into the Gore Range in Colorado. I ended that hike richly blessed and a changed person. Our family has a tradition of trying to do hard things. I would like to continue in that tradition in this year’s RTR outing.

This year will be my first Ride the Rockies. I have watched my father struggle and then succeed doing previous RTR trips. I am also looking forward to spending time with my Father and Sister…READ MORE