Our final ride of the Courage Tour of Colorado was on Saturday, July 19. We had planned this ride to not only coincide with the 25th Annual Courage Classic—benefitting Children's Hospital Colorado—but to ride across that finish line on Day 1 as the top fundraiser for 2014. Happily, we accomplished that goal for the second year in a row!
The day started in Dillion as we gathered the Team for the easy 12 mile route to Copper Mountain. We were joined by many riders that had rode with us on previous rides, and they have truly become "family" to us by their continuing outpouring of love and support.
Speaking of family, we were joined by the Whitson Family—Greg, Susie, and sons Ethan & Reed. This was Ethan's second ride for us, as he also rode on Day 3, Longmont to Ft. Collins. We were glad to have him back with us on this special day.
Once we were assembled and ready, we hit the Summit County Bike Trail to Silverthorne, past Lake Dillion and on into Frisco. It was another spectacular, sunny day in the mountains—so the riding was not only easy, but a lot of fun as well. Just outside Copper Mountain, we came across several more members of the Pink Lightning Team. They had been around the various routes of the Courage Classic and rode up to show support and ride across the finish line en masse.
Like the thousands of other CC riders, we rode into Copper Mountain Village amid the sound of cow bells. music, the encouragement of the volunteers and the roar of the crowd. We crossed the finish line—with Bryan and his father Steve, leading the team. It was a magical moment.
We had done it! 1,056 miles around the state of Colorado in 43 days. The emotions ran high as Bryan was congratulated by his family and friends. The team was in great spirits and congregated with other riders and teams that make the Courage Classic such a special event. There are a thousand stories among the participants and all of them are special in their own way. In fact, we had a special story amongst the team—and it wasn't just Bryan this time.
Steve Roy—a dear friend and an avid cyclist—who had ridden several legs with us previously, brought his 12 year old son Christian, along for the ride. Before our ride that morning, Steve and Christian went from Copper to Vail and then back to Copper over Vail Pass. What made this amazing is it was Christian's first time on a road bike! What an accomplishment for this future Pro Cyclist!
The team celebrated Bryan's successes and had a great time among the festivites. There was a tinge of sadness though, now that the Courage Tour of Colorado was over. But a new challenge is on the horizon for Bryan. His aunt Nancy presented him with a USA Olympic Hockey jersey, sparking his dream to be the first person with cystic fibrosis to compete in the Olympics. With hockey season right around the corner, Bryan will trade in his wheels for skates—and defend his title as the best goalie in the state of Colorado for his age. Go, Bryan Go!
His dream of riding around the state has come true. May the next dream come true as well. Congratulations, Bryan! You earned this.
Thanks to these riders:
- Laura Barton
- Chris Callow
- Lane Callow
- Brenda Kirwood
- Jim DeLapp
- Mike Rasser
- Robin Rasser
- Steve Roy
- Christian Roy
- Steve Warnecke
- Ethan Whitson
And another Thanks to those who showed up in support:
Jake Warnecke, Wendy Warnecke, Yvette Torrise, Madison Torrise, Nancy Holmes, Keith Holmes, Casey Holmes and Ellie Newman