Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ride the Rockies 2009 - Check In Day

Greetings Readers

Registration Day - No riding, just check in at the Ride the Rockies. I will be busy all day and on the road so I doubt I will be able to post something at all. I did a scheduled posting just in case

Update 6/22/09 @ 12.20 P.M. Here is the full re-cap (below) of the first day of the Ride the Rockies Event (Registration Day - No ride day) -

Greetings Readers

Dream crusher

I am a Dream crusher. I crushed a lot of Ride the Rockies lottery applications that perhaps wanted to ride the 24th Ride the Rockies this year since the route was going over Independence Pass. Selfish of me. I never made it a secret to you Readers why I put in my application to Ride the Rockies.

What was that reason? Really Readers? You cannot remember what that reason was?

To show off my HED. rims. That’s all. I got my rims late last year; well late last biking season so I had no events to enter to show off my rims. Then it was either my friend or myself brought up the Ride the Rockies earlier this year and the rest is history.

How many riders’ dreams did I crush by getting picked for the sakes of showing off my rims? It only happens every once in a great while that the Ride the Rockies will take the route over Independence Pass. Now, I am not saying that is every biker’s dream to bike up and over Independence Pass, but riding over Independence Pass on a bike was one yearning of mine. Yet, that was secondary to just showing off my rims.

Flashback 6 hours or so – This was Andrea at the RTD bus stops on my way to the Light rail Station and then meet up with Nick, the person who was giving me a ride up to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Present - I was sitting on the luscious green grass of Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs having a Sunshine bee from Fat Tire, listening the to the live music of a band on the park’s only stage and coping with the wind that was blowing pretty hard in the evening when it hit me I probably crushed someone’s dream to bike over Independence Pass. What if that dream was a dream that one rider was waiting for the opportunity to present itself. Now, that rider will have to wait years before another time the Ride the Rockies route will cross over Independence Pass.

I got a bit sad thinking about that. I know I am selfish, but not all the time. Unfortunately, this time I really was. It is not a reason to list, but to me showing off those HED. rims was something I desired to do since obtaining the HED. rims last year.

I glanced at my left wrist / arm and within three hours of arriving in Glenwood Springs I had three different wrist bands – The Ride the Rockies band, The Sherpa Packer Band and the Beer drinking band.

Up until this week I had not done any research on the route of the Ride the Rockies. I did not know the towns that the route was standing on. I did not know the mileage of each day or the total mileage of the Ride the Rockies. I did not train for Ride the Rockies. I did not make travel arrangements. I did not make lodging arrangements. I had not even downloaded the Ride the Rockies Bike Tour manual. Hell, up until this week I was not even excited to go.

Only until this past Tuesday was when I had to get my ass in gear and start to make travel arrangements. I called a vendor, Sherpa Packer, mentioned in the Ride the Rockies to see if they had tents available to rent. I also posted on the Ride the Rockies website that I needed to catch a ride to Glenwood Springs and then back to Denver after the Ride the Rockies was over. I did not pack nor even think about what to bring to the Ride the Rockies until this past week.

Does that sound like someone looking forward to the Ride the Rockies? Does it sound like I was even excited for the Ride the Rockies? I did not even train for the Ride the Rockies – not that I needed to.

By the time Friday came around I was able to secure a ride to and back from Glenwood Springs. I was also able to talk to the Sherpa packer about securing a tent for the ride. And then I was able to pack my biking / camping gear on Thursday night. Everything I needed to do was done within days before the Ride the Rockies 2009.

Talking to my friends they seemed more excited for me about to ride in the Ride the Rockies than I was. Hell, I know they were, but just more excited than I thought they should be. I was not excited – meaning bragging, cheering, joking, talking smack, etc. as if I was I was going to better than my friends after this event. I just was not feeling that sort of emotion.

I was not having the same attitude I have had for the Ride the Rockies for the past 23 years or so. I was actually being non-bias and was going to give the Ride the Rockies event a chance. It is a week of being on the bike and I know from personal experience if I go into the event with a bad attitude I was going to have that bad attitude throughout the event and I also knew that I was going to affect other riders about how I feel – whether directly or indirectly.

After having my Sunshine I then headed back to the High School where the Sherpa packer tent site was located. Before that I made a slight detour. I saw and headed towards a strip mall Italian shop – Spagrolo’s. I could smell pizza and at that moment that is what I wanted to eat. I wanted a piece of pizza regardless of eating something more that would benefit me – meaning carbo-loading.

50 minutes later after ordering my two slices of pizza I was stilling waiting. I was inpatient, but I knew that I was not the only person in the store that was eating. The store was packed and I knew that accounted for my order probably being delayed.

I then saw the lady that took my order and asked where my piece of pizza was. She asked me – “You still have not gotten yet? I will be right back.”

About five minutes later she came back with my meal and then cookies and a piece of pie for my inconvenience. Sort of a sorry we forgot you gift. I was not mad, but I did keep any emotion(s) in check. I woofed down my pizza and cookie and then left.

By that time it was getting dark and I needed to get ready for sleeping out under the stars in the Rocky Mountains and try to get some sleep before the first day of riding. And you know what Readers I still did not know what the name of the town where our stopping point was for tomorrow.

I knew that there was going to be our first Mountain Pass and that there was going to be an 80-mile day, but other than that I did not know what to expect.

Inside my tent that I was going to call home for next seven days I started to lie out my biking gear for tomorrow’s ride. I was going to wear the first South park bike jersey and I was also going to where my Nautica pull over underneath my bike jersey. I knew that the morning was going to be cold in the shade, until the sun made an appearance. I did take my purple windbreaker and got that out to put in my bike bag I was going to attach to my handlebars.

After I arranged my gear I pulled out the PSP since I was not tired and needed to something for a bit to ease my uneasiness I was feeling. On Friday evening I bought a used PSP game Lemmings since it is strategic thinking game. These types of games put me at ease and relaxes me. As oppose to other people who get frustrated or worked up with these types of games. Granted, I too get fed up, but it takes a much high threshold for a game to start making me say cuss words and getting pissed off.

The Sherpa Packer – Theo was the person I called up from the Ride the Rockies Tour manual that I downloaded and actually read for the first time on Tuesday. The Sherpa Packer is a tent service run by him and I think is daughter or sister in law – I cannot recall. Here is Theo's website -

Theo provides full tent service –meaning a 7x7 or 9x9 tent with an air mattress, sleeping bag, a fleece liner and a chair to relax in after a day of riding. He also provides early morning coffee, hot water, oatmeal, breakfast burritos and towels.

Ashley provides a bare minimum service – basically the tent. I do not know if the air mattress and sleeping bag are provided.

I chose the full service tent and Theo did give the full tent service at a price that was a bit lower than advertised.

What I wanted to avoid by choosing this tent service was being inside a gymnasium were there would be other people in the same place. Not to mention that the gym could echo with sound. There could be a light or two on even when the lights are turned off for the night. What if I was sleeping under that one light that was one? What if there is more than one person who snores – will that snore echo loudly? What if other riders are taking a short cut through the gymnasium and not being quiet? How much soundless sleep will I actually get?

With all those questions that formulated in my head, I decided to go with the Sherpa Packer.

P.S. I saw Susie Wargin (Channel 9) at the same place Italian place I dined at and I have to say what a "bitchy attitude" I witnessed while she was on the cell phone outside the establishment while the guy she was with was in line waiting their turn to order. She is no fucking Ed Sardella (retired from Channel 9) I can tell you Readers that.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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