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 the 1981 International Ras Tailteann which is a 9 day stage race around Ireland. While my results were great, I realized that racing was not going to be my future…I put the bike aside and focused on progressing my professional career, but I always had a passion for cycling.
I have fulfilled my passion in recent years by doing cyclosportifs in France, some with my daughter on our tandem. I have also done a few multiday rides in Colorado, The Rocky Mountain Bike Tour. Absolutely stunning scenery…I will never forget riding up Mount Evans in 2010. In 2014, looking for a way to blend my passion for cycling with a way of raising funds for a charity that we are really close to, Room to Read (http://www.roomtoread.org/), I entered the Haute Route Pyrenees. I am still seeking a way in which I can blend my passion for the sport with purposeful giving.
By good fortune the Ride the Rockies happens to start in Breck the week after I had arranged to show my sister and her family what a great time is to be had in Breck. It prompted me to get back on the bike and I am so grateful that this event has inspired me to start getting ‘somewhat’ fit again. My longest ride this year has been 45 miles…so I am hoping that age will help my endurance. Ever an optimist!
The island of Jersey is 9 miles by 5 miles, a very unique landscape and extremely bike friendly. Short sharp climbs on the north of the island with fantastic coastal roads to take in the sea views and France in the distance. With a population of 100,000 and 500 miles of roads there is plenty of opportunity to ride with the hassle of traffic.
I feel so lucky to be able to ride this event and my desire is to enjoy the surroundings and not take things too seriously, embracing all that the unique Colorado scenery and the kindness of the people that we always meet in Colorado.