Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flashback - Courage Classic 1998

Greetings Readers

Pictured is the first bike jersey that I bought at a bike tour event. The event was ten years ago. Wow. How times flies when you do not really pay attention. Ten years. The bike jersey is sort of cool these days, in my opinion - basically all white and a few logos and colors which makes the bike jersey alright. Though, at the time of purchase I thought that this was the most, as my ex-co-worker would say, "just so awesome" bike jersey.

I do not think that I have told you readers the story behind the purchase of this bike jersey. Or have I? This bike jersey was expensive, but at the time I wanted a bike jersey that looked like that. Also, at that particular time in history that was when I was rotating between the two solid yellow bike jerseys.

So this bike jersey is from the Courage Classic Bike Tour that is held in the Rocky Mountains over a three day period. The amount of mileage differs from year to year as well as location when I was an active rider in said tour.

Unfortunately, due to the Courage Classic Bike Tour upping their registration fee, applying a camping fee, a shower fee, and I think adding more meal plans the tour got too fucking expensive for me to really to participate and feel good about. Believe me I am all for helping out the Children's Hospital of Denver, but I need to make sure that I am not paying any more than I have to in order to enjoy the biking itself. Yet, when they started to add extra fees I got a chip on my shoulder and to this day that fucking chip is still there.

I forgot to mention that I pay for my own way into any bike event(s) I ride in. I do not believe in raising money for the event(s). I do not like the thought of going around and asking people to pledge money to help me. The way to look at it is basically you are asking money from people to help you to get to ride in the event. And me being me I hate asking for money. It hurts. Not only does it hurt I hate making people feel that they must give me money. Sorry readers when I type "give me" I really mean contribute/donate money to the charity itself. I do not want to make anyone feel that they must give me money or feel uncomfortable by saying no. If you say no then so be it, I am not going to hold that no to you nor will I remember and bring that up later in life and say "yeah that was the person who elected not to contribute to the Children's Hospital.

If I pay all the money myself then I am on top of the Earth. I know that by paying the entire amount myself I am content. I do not have to thank anyone for their contribution nor am I obligated to ride in said tour if someone contributed by assuming I was riding the tour for their contribution.

So, I think it was the second day of this bike tour when the route was staying around the Frisco, Breckenridge and Keystone area of the Rocky Mountains. Their was an option on the route and that was to go up Loveland pass. Loveland Pass. Wow, at that time the thought of climbing/riding up the Loveland Pass on a bike was something to brag about. Oh yes, readers I still brag about climbing Loveland Pass on a road bike anytime I get the opportunity to do so. I love showing my pictures that I have taken at the top of Loveland pass. I also like showing the picture of me standing next to the Loveland Pass sign that is the dividing line of the Continental Divide.

Pretty Cool.

So, when I approached the turn off section, option section, I thought right there that I was presented with a challenge. This is what separates the men from the boys and the girls from the women. To climb Loveland Pass would be something so fucking awesome to talk about after the bike event which was something that motivated me to take the option up Loveland Pass.

From my Spring training prior to the bike event I knew I trained, but the real question was did I train enough. Or more to the point - correctly. I self trained myself at that time and matter of fact I still self train myself.

I can not recollect the exact feeling or moments on that climb, but I remember the feeling of me actually riding up Loveland Pass. The Loveland Pass that is used when the Eisenhower Tunnel is closed and the only way to continue East or West is to take Loveland Pass.

I can not remember if the climb was truly hard or just something that was hard in general. I do remember that the number one goal was -NOT TO GET OFF THE BIKE AND WALK. That was the number one rule in my book and even today that is the cardinal rule not to break. Never, ever get off the bike and walk to the top of the mountain. Yet, I have walked my bike on some mountains so I have broken the rule a couple of times. I am human.

Present day - with my training I make sure that my hill climbing skills are superb. I never, ever want to walk my bike up a mountain. I want to ride smoothly and ride with style up a mountain. Again I think, I believe in my hill climbing skills. I often get cocky, I often joke and more importantly I make it a contest between me and other riders on a hill climb. I want to "shine." I get off being the guy who can take the mountain down and to leave riders in my wake.

Returning to the story, I made the bike ride to the top of Loveland Pass and the rest is history. From that moment on I knew my life was going to change - and change for the better.

The descent was fucking awesome. Who knew that I could get over 40/50 miles per hour on a bike. And at that time I had never crashed on a bike which meant I was fearless going down Loveland Pass on a bike. I was tucked in on my Motobecane and enjoying the descent into Keystone. I was holding onto dear life on the handlebars and I was enjoying the descent since I rode up Loveland Pass.

Fast forward - after the event I decided to go to the merchandise area and reward myself for climbing up Loveland Pass. I saw the bike jersey hanging on the tent wall and that my faithful readers is the story of the first official Bike Tour Jersey I bought for myself and how I think I got into buying the "cool" bike jerseys.

Presently, this particular bike jersey hardly ever gets worn anymore. It is dated and nowhere close to bike jersey designs these days. Yet, to me this bike jersey is "Old School". I decided to wear this bike jersey for old times sake and this was the first time in over a year that I have worn this bike jersey. I do have to admit that I wore my US Open White Bandanna with this bike jersey and changed the Oakleys lens to mirror black and I looked pretty decent. =).

I have fond memories of my first official bike event in my life and I remember reading the brochure that stated we riders have over 145 miles of biking in the Rocky Mountains. I remember thinking could I ride 145 miles in three days?

Now, I can do 150 miles in 10 hours on a bike event day. Now, that was something at the time I never thought of happening to me or even think of attempt to do. There was no try - either do or do not. And yes there is a bit of Yoda there.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

No comments: