Our GrassMoots warrior David Gensch takes some time to raise some money, reflect on what its all about and take a ride with his dad. Does it really get much better than that? He writes in about his experience…..
Rising before dawn, my dad and I, suit up and head out to Leadville to start the 2011 Courage Classic with 5000 other riders. After our first sampling of catered food and the juice of life we call coffee, you can tell that the event is meticulously organized. With all of the fund raising going straight to the Children’s Hospital, the general vibe is about community involvement, support, and selflessness.
The ride Starts in Leadville and heads out over Tennessee pass to Minturn, and then on to Copper Mountain via Vail Pass. We chose to start early as to avoid the masses and the ever-present Colorado thundershowers. The morning was crisp, clear and perfect. With copious amounts of volunteers the aid stations were well stocked and the regularly positioned “cheerleaders” supported each passing rider with genuine enthusiasm. I road a Vamoots CR for the event and it effortlessly climbed up each pass and handled the rough road and frost breaks at high speed with ease.
Returning to Copper Mountain, I was meet by my wife and two boys at the finish line putting the icing on the cake to a great 65 miles. After some super fun family time, my wife and kids left to go back home. On my way back to our hotel, I was walking behind a woman wearing a jersey that read, “Alex’s Angles, In memory of my son Alex”. I did the math on his time here on earth and he was two days older than my ten month old when he left this world. With a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat, it quickly reminded me that we are here for so much more than a great ride in the mountains. Of the many people I spoke with there are so many success stories and works in progress, but when you see the dedication “in memory of” photos on the backs of parents it solidifies the importance of being present each day and being part of a community to support each other and our journeys. After dinner I move on to more trivial things like vicariously living through the drunken tour fan in a speedo as I ice my foot from a serious sprain two weeks ago, (see photo) and melt into the couch.
The weather is again perfect and route leads us down to Dillon and then west towards Kremling for the century ride. Ute pass was great as the Sunday vehicle traffic was vacant. However, that quickly changed on the way back to Dillon as large trucks with boats heading for the lake buzzed by close enough to force you look straight ahead and hope that every thing works out. It was down right sketchy and made high speed mountain biking in the tight trees and rocks feel as safe and soft as my sons blankie. A nice couple of climbs in and around Breckenridge lead us to lunch, which again was impressive and full of volunteers. Of the many things I love about riding a Moots bike and representing the company, are the conversations that arise simply because of my bike and clothes. On the way back to Copper, I ran into “Lou the box guy”. He is the man who makes the cardboard boxes that so perfectly cradle the seed of a dream that each Moots owner gets to open and plant.
He was riding with a women who’s son had been in treatment for years and was doing well in large part to the care he has received at Children’s.
Starting early again, my body hurts a bit more today with limiting riding of late due to my ankle sprain. I am again quickly reminded of real pain and struggles by the ongoing stories of the many children and their journeys. As we head over Fremont pass back to Leadville the sun splashes the high peaks and the bike pulls me over each summit with eagerness. Once in Leadville the route loops around Turquoise Lake, which is not only very scenic but what a great little loop that I could just do circles around. We finish at the starting point from three days ago and kids from the hospital handed each rider a medal of completion…what a great touch.
After this experience, I will continue to participate in this great event. This years ride raised just over 2.1million dollars for the Hospital and some earnings are still coming in. Many thanks to the volunteers from the medics and State patrol, to the aid stations and cheerleaders, you guys rock. I loved being able to share this time with my father and look forward to including my sons and wife more next year.
The Vamoots Cr covered the 235 miles and 14000 vert. with such ease and comfort yet negotiated my last minute twitches with absolute precision. Among the 10 or so riders that I saw and spoke with on Moots bikes the oldest frame was 18 years old and it was in great shape. The man said that he had gone through many groupos and wheels and had done nothing to the frame. Enough said…. Thanks Moots.