A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ride the Rockies Registration Closes Today!

Registration for Ride the Rockies 2009 officially closes today. Our team envelope is being hand-delivered by Kris (with a "K") as I write and includes registrations from me, Patty, Karen, Kent, Big Dave, Little Nitin, and a first-time rider, Chris (with a "Ch"). RTR typically receives more than 3,000 entries but only 2,000 riders will be picked in the lottery. We're hoping Kris' karma once again pays off and our envelope gets drawn!

I got to reminiscing about past Ride the Rockies this week and loaded a bunch of photos into a slide show (above). This got me thinking about how I got hooked up with this motley crew...

Big Dave (at left) and I met Kris and Patty when we showed up in Grand Junction for the start of Ride the Rockies 2005. Doing the Ride was Dave's idea. We were neighbors in KC and had talked about doing a week-long ride like RAGBRAI or Bike Across Kansas. But then Dave moved to Denver and I figured it would never happen until one day he calls and says he's thinking about doing Ride the Rockies. I immediately said, "I'm in" but secretely hoped we wouldn't get picked. After all, I thought riding up "puke hill" outside of KC was tough!

Then one day I got an letter in the mail and when I opened it the first word I saw was "Congratulations!" We were in. I started training as best I could on the hills around KC. Then, two weeks before the ride, Dave calls to tell me he was not going to be able to ride. He had been riding one Sunday morning and his heart rate got stuck bouncing around 180-200 beats per minute. After a visit to the ER, the doctors were able to bring his heart rate back down but encouraged him not to test it on Ride the Rockies! He was, however, gracious enough to pick me up at the airport and drive me to Grand Junction, which brings us back to Kris and Patty.

Dave hung out for the opening ceremonies in Grand Junction and that night we ran into Kris and Patty (at left with me in Leadville with Mt. Massive in the background) in a bar covered in temporary tattoos and stickers that read "Team DFL." So I bit on the hook and said, "What does DFL* stand for?" And the rest is history. We became fast friends and I have ridden with Team DFL every year since.

The following year Dave moved to Texas but came back to ride with Team DFL and brought his friend Nitin (at left) from Kansas City. Nitin is a big talker in a small package. For example, in a recent e-mail he said, "I have decided to commit to this year's RTR, work schedule be damned. Let me know who else is up for it. I am nursing an IT band injury and a hamstring injury, so some of you might be able to keep up with me (yes, that is an old fashioned diss and a challenge). The Ghetto part of your brain should be screaming - 'Oh No, He Didnnn't.'" Oh yes he did!

Somewhere along the way Kris and Patty picked up Karen and Kent (whose 2007 ride ended on day one when he got right-hooked by a car while riding down Rabbit Ears Pass into Steamboat Springs on a loaner Serotta). The next year Kent won the grand prize Serotta given away at the end of the ride. Coincidence or karma?
By the way, Patty won a bike in 2007, so I guess it's either Kris or Dave or my turn this year (unless the newbie, Chris, wins!).

Chris and I are old friends from Kansas City who met while riding in the Kansas City MS150 back in 2001 (or was it 2002, Chris?) and later rode from Kansas City to St. Louis in four days (400 miles). We called it "Ride MO for the Cure" and raised $16,820 between the two of us for breast cancer research (which we donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation). My mom and Chris' step-mom and mother-in-law are survivors of breast cancer and we both have young daughters, so it was a personal mission to do our part to put an end to this insidious disease. We had big dreams of turning it into an annual event. But, oddly, we couldn't really get the KC Komen chapter interested in what we were doing (until we presented them with a check for $16,820!). So Chris and I share the honor of being the only two riders on the first (and last) annual Ride Mo.

So that's the team for this year, that is if we get picked. We will receive notification one week from today. Stay tuned...

Ride on!


*I can tell you that DFL does not refer to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party nor is it text-speak for "dying from laughing." Hint: DFL refers to the last place finisher in a sporting event.


  1. Hi,
    We hope to see you on this year’s ride along the way!
    I have a list of cycling Blogs I am trying to grow on my website http://incoloradonow.com/.
    We also have a rider forum there as well that I am trying to spread the word on if RTR has no ride forum posted on their site.
    Please look, add your Blog, look at/post in our forum and see you in June!
    Team Twin

  2. Ok, so you know how something sounds like a FANTASTIC idea, then when you look into the details you pee like a little girl? Well, that's me after looking at Mt. Evans (and the rest of the range just west of Denver) and then studying this years route. My wife's uncle said "OH MY GOD..." when he saw the route. Time to get on the bike!

    Nice writeup on Ride MO. I'd have to say that the Komen folks were some of the rudest I've met for people that just got handed almost $17 large. "Need some promotional support? Um, no. "Want to use our logo?" We need to approve every last aspect of your product first. Oh well, it will always be the highlight of my cycling "career". You left out the part about how Missouri hills can be freakishly challenging because they come at you like a sine wave in electronics class -- again and again and again.

    All right, I gotta hop on the trainer and put some miles in my legs!

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your blog. I stumbled onto your blog looking for a picture of a Sports Authority uniform.


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