Sunday, November 3, 2013

Elevated Ambitions

 

During the past few weeks I have had a years drama fired at me.
Apart from being even less disposed to unnamed individuals and an enforced absence from cycling - I live to fight on!
One of the great thing that cycling can provide you is mental toughness, the knowledge that real adversity is never more than temporary, and at the end of every climb the pedalling gets easier
 
As the year draws to an end I am able to look over those personal gradients and see ones that are far more interesting.
 
Whilst riding the Tour of London this year I renewed my acquaintance with Rachel Simpson who I first met whilst completing the Tour de Pink in 2011.

There is nothing conventional about Rachel who is part Serbian, Romanian, and Yankton/Oglala Lakota (Native American) 

 
Living in Denver her cycling terrain starts at the same altitude as cruising Light aircraft and when she climbs, this Cat 4 rider regularly revisits the 14 k club.
That's vertical, not horizontal.
 
  
Having previously been a line out Jumper, playing second row for the University of Chicago Women's Rugby Team - she would be used to flinging herself to great heights.

 
As well as being an honouree American Mule, she also rides for the charity club side of the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda pro team.
Like the Mules,  charity riding is prominent in her repertoire and each year, their club side raises over $50,000 for a local children's Hospital.
 



Rachel spoke at length about cycling in the Rockies and I become all misty eyed when I heard her talk about such events as 'the triple bypass' and 'the double triple'.
From that moment ton the Rockies were definitely in my bucket list.
 
Recently, she made further contact to the Mules informing us a new mythical ride called Tour of the Moon.
 
 This is a yearly bicycle tour  organized by Icon Lasik and is held at the Colorado National Monument,Grand JunctionColorado
Held every October, the inaugural season took place on October 6, 2012 with two thousand cyclists taking part.
The route was formerly one of the premier stages of Coors Classic cycling race from 1980 to 1988. The Coors Classic cycling race was apparently one of the most famous cycling race in the world. 
Of course Rachel is used to dramatic countryside, but when she declared that some of the views reduced her to tears I simply taken in. I had no choice.
A  general 'Mule call' was required to  see if I could generate any interest, in participation, especially with my twin and regular benefactor Paddy. 
Rachel also suggested if we undertook this event we might also like to climb Mount Evans - The highest road in the United States at over 14,000.



The idea of cycling for 5 hours climbing to, and above 14,000 feet, in such spectacular surroundings....................
Then taking part in Tour de Moon in a landscape that befits any Hollywood western is just inspiring.
Although the actual ride and climb will be tougher than anything I have ever done, I have no fear..........after all I am already freewheeling down the other side.
 

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