Ride of Silence Report 2010

May 21st, 2010
Ride of Silence Colorado Springs 2010


Thanks to Mark for the Ride Video

Ride of Silence Colorado Springs 2010Wednesday evening was the Ride of Silence. There were 310 rides across the world. Here in Colorado Springs we a good turn out with about 30 riders. We rode from Old Town Bike shop to EJ and Jayson’s memorial on the westside.

Thanks to David Peal for printing up signs and getting them laminated so we could pin them to our backs. They said “Same Roads, Same Rights Same Rules”, “Ride of Silence” and “Share the Road”. Allen Beauchamp arranged to have a bagpipe player at EJ and Jayson’s memorial. Allen also helped out by contacting the police and letting them know we’d be riding.

Thanks to everyone who came out. I’d like to see our ride grow larger. If it gets much bigger, we’ll need police escort to stay safe and not have issues getting separated by traffic lights.

News First 5 had good coverage of the ride. Click the Video tab to see their on air report.

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Disappointed with Floyd Landis

May 20th, 2010

Floyd Landis and Dave Wiens at Leadville 100

In an interview with ESPN, Floyd Landis confirmed that emails the WSJ obtained to cycling officials and sponsors admitting to doping during his cycling career were his. He was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone. He still says that he didn’t take synthetic testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France. There was sloppy lab work but after spending $2 million he still lost his doping case.

Not only did Landis, admit to doping but accuses Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie and other top American cyclists of also doping. I’ve long believed that most if not all top Pro cyclist are doping to some extent so I don’t find his accusations surprising. The thing is he says he doesn’t have any evidence to prove they did.

It’s one thing if he wants to clear his conscience of what he did. It seems like he’s trying to get back at others with his accusations.

- UltraRob

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Riding 5,000 Miles to Raise Awareness of Poverty

May 19th, 2010
Jason Christensen to Bike for Change
Pikes Peak Sports Photo



This is a guest post by Tim Bergsten from Pikes Peak Sports. Pikes Peak Sports is a site for the outdoor community in the Pikes Peak Region. If you’re interested in guest posting on UltraRob, please contact me.

Jason Christensen shakes his head in disbelief when he considers the statistics: In the United States, 40 million people live in poverty and the number is increasing. In Colorado, 15 percent of the children live in poverty, and one in four people, at some point in their lives, has struggled to purchase food.

Two years ago in El Paso County in Colorado, one in 12 adults received food stamps. Last year that ratio changed to one in 10.

“What is the one thing that should unify us all? Care and concern for the poor,” Christensen said. “Whatever your politics, we should all see that in our nation of abundance, 40 million people should not be living in poverty.”

And so the CEO of Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs is going to do something about it. In about 30 days, he’ll swing a leg over his bicycle in Cape Flattery, Wash., and ride 5,000 miles to Key West, Fla., in the Cycling for Change bike ride.

Over 100 days, he and a team of 11 other riders, will pedal over mountain passes, pierce the nation’s heartland, and roll across the southern states. Along the way, they’ll carry this message from Catholic Charities USA: Businesses, faith-based organizations, governments and individuals must work together to reduce poverty in the U.S.

The organization has a goal of reducing the number of families living at or below the poverty line by 50 percent by 2020.

The money that Christensen raises – he is soliciting sponsorships – will go to the Marian House Soup Kitchen in Colorado Springs. (Click here to make a donation) A year ago, the Marian house served 9,000 meals to kids, more than twice as many than in previous years.

Christensen’s motivations are simple.

“There is no reason that a child should go hungry,” he said. “Every child should have something to eat.”

Christensen, 40, grew up in Pekin, Ill. He learned to love cycling while pedaling a “50-pound Schwinn” around the countryside with his schoolmates. He later graduated from Western Illinois University with degrees in Political Science and French.

These days he is happiest when he’s skating with his recreation-league hockey team. But he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend the summer riding across the country. It’s going to be a challenge. He is recovering from knee surgery. His recent bike rides have mostly been inside at Carmichael Training Systems. But he has done simulated rides of up to 100 miles.

He did receive a bit of a shock a year ago when he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. He is not insulin-dependent, but he does have to eat a healthful diet and exercise. It gave him to opportunity to look closely at his lifestyle.

“The thing about diabetes, you really need daily exercise,” Christensen said. “Playing hockey wasn’t going to be enough.”

In August he started a hard regimen of exercise. The results of his tough work came quickly.

“I lost 20 pounds,” Christensen said. “I didn’t feel so sluggish after eating. And my speed really picked up in hockey. It was a marked difference.”

And now he has 5,000 miles before him. The old Schwinn won’t make the trip. Christensen will ride a Roubaix Elite Specialized road bike.

“I guess you could say this is my way of acting out my mid-life crisis,” he said with a laugh.

As CEO of Catholic Charities, he oversees operation of the Marian House, but says the best thing about the job is sharing a meal with the guests, folks who have nowhere else to go for food.

“These people are struggling, but they are beautiful on the inside,” Christensen said. “For them, the prospect of living day to day, or hour to hour is real.”

And that thought will keep him moving when the miles grow long this summer.

“Those mountain passes in Idaho and the heat and the wind in Kansas will be tough,” Christensen said. “But it’ll be nothing compared to what these people living in poverty face every day.”

Read Christensen’s blog.

There will be a local ride connected to Cycling for Change. On July 7 about 200 riders will participate in the Freedom from Poverty Bike Ride, (read more here) cycling north to Castle Rock to meet up with Christensen and the Cycling for Change team. All the riders will return to Colorado Springs the next day where they’ll be welcomed at the Freedom from Poverty Community Celebration, 1 to 8 p.m. in America the Beautiful Park. There will be food and drink (beer and root beer from Bristol Brewing). Click here to register for the ride.

- Ultrarob

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Ride of Silence 2010

May 15th, 2010

This coming Wednesday, on May 19, 2010 the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for those who have been killed or injured.

The first ride of Silence was in 2003 in Dallas, Since then it has spread to hundreds of locations across the world. I’ve ridden the Ride of Silence in Colorado Springs 3 of the last 4 years and plan to again this year. If you’re local check out the info for this year’s Colorado Springs Ride of Silence and come join us.

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Parole Denied for Woman Who Killed Cyclists

May 12th, 2010
EJ and Jayson Ghost Bikes

The parole hearing for Barbara Thomas was today.  She killed two cyclist a couple years ago. See more about what happened here.

KKTV has reported that she was denied bail. Her lawyer argued for probation only because of his client’s age and poor health.

- UltraRob

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Felony Charge for Racing Leadville 100 Without Entry

May 10th, 2010
Leadville 100 Start

The Leadville 100 mountain bike race has long made it clear that entries are non-refundable and non-transferable. It’s one of a very few races where I’ve had to show my ID to pick up my race packet. Now race organizer, Ken Clouber, has made it clear just how seriously he takes racing with another person’s entry.

Last year Katie Brazelton was injured and unable to race. Rather than just lose her entry, she gave her entry to her friend Wendy Lyall. I’m not sure how that worked because of the required photo ID check. My guess is that Katie picked up the race packet herself.

During race check-in though they put on a bright green band that must be worn during the race and still be on to pick up awards. Although you have to give your race number to check in the morning of the race, they haven’t checked for my band. During the race I can’t tell that they look for the band so it may have not been noticed if Wendy wasn’t wearing one. In the photo with the Denver Post article there’s something green on her left wrist but it’s not clear enough to tell if it’s the required band.

The switch off may have gone unnoticed but Wendy finished in 9:53:27. That was fast enough to put her in 2nd place in the 40-49 age group even though she was 36. Ken Chlouber received an anonymous tip that it might not have been Katie Brazelton racing.

According to the Denver Post article Rachel Farrett, who finished 3rd didn’t recognize the woman who picked up the prize from the race the day before. Farrett remembers the woman who passed her on the race course had blond hair. The woman who accepted the trophy did not.

After being contacted by Ken and Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte, the women returned the belt buckle, pendant and necklace. Ken didn’t think that was enough since the true 2nd and 3rd place finishers didn’t get to enjoy their accomplishment. He also banned both women from ever competing in the Leadville 100 and now Katie and Wendy have been charged with criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony.

I think using someone else’s entry is a serious thing and it was much worse in this case because Wendy finished 2nd in an older age group. I’m not sure that USA Cycling has anything in the rules to deal with something like this other than suspending them from other races.

Filling felony charges does seem to be going a bit far. I’ve heard the race received well over 10,000 entries for this year’s race. Last year there were 1,400 entries accepted but I haven’t seen the number for this year yet but I hope it’s not higher. Maybe this case is more about deterring the thousands that didn’t make it in the race lottery from lining up on race day with Lance Armstrong than it is about 2 women from last year’s race.

- UltraRob

Update 5/13/10: More On Leadville 100 Felony Charges

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Possible Parole for Killer of Cyclists

May 9th, 2010
EJ and Jayson Ghost Bikes

I’ve tried writing this post over the last couple weeks and have struggled to write it. On August 6th, 2008, Barbara Thomas turned left in front of 30-year-old Edgar “E.J.” Juarez and 28-year-old Jayson Kilroy on 26th Street. They were both killed.

This was not just an accident. Thomas was taking prescription medications that required her not to drive while taking them. She also was not wearing her glasses required to drive. I’m sure if it was true but the rumor at least was she had just shop lifted at Safeway.

She was sentenced to only 3 years in prison. Now after 11 months she’s up for parole. If it was just an accident, I could maybe see some leniency since she’s 64 and on oxygen. But under the circumstances I don’t think she should be given parole. She could once again be a menace on the streets.

I’ve seen a few different dates but the most reliable seems to be that May 12th will be her parole hearing. It looks like today (Sunday, May 9th) is the final day to comment to the Parole Board. It seems strange for Sunday to be the last day but I’d still send an email or leave a voice message.

You can contact the Parole Board at:
Tim Hand, Deputy Director, Regional Operations
(303) 763-2420
tim.hand@doc.state.co.us

- UltraRob

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Future Plans

July 12th, 2006

Right now I’m thinking I’ll do the RMCC 200k on July 29th. They also have a 300k from Denver to Aspen the following weekend but that would mean a lot more driving and time away from home. I did both of them last year. The 300k is really a great ride and goes over Independence Pass which is one of my favorites in the state.

If my training goes well and my leg is recovered, I’d then like to do the Durango MTB 100. I finished 4th there in 2003 and 5th in 2004. I’ll have to feel like I’m riding well to go do it because it is a race that can really beat you up. It really makes the other 100 milers seem easy. There’s 18,000 feet of climbing with the high point being over 11,500 feet. In 2003 there were 70 starters and only 15 finishers. Part of it was the really muddy conditions but in 2004 the conditions were probably about as good as they’ll ever be and there were only 16 finishers. The number of starters for the 103 miles has dropped because they’re also offering a 50k and 100k.

I’d really like to be back at RAAM next year but don’t see how I can afford it or have enough vacation time. Of course if I had the money, I could take unpaid time off from work. If you know of any good sponsors or would like to sponsor me, please contact me. Of course if everybody that reads this blog would donate $10 and ask 10 of their friends to do the same, I’d have enough money for RAAM. The only problem is that sounds like those get rich scheme’s that are always filling up my inbox.

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Riding Harder Again

July 12th, 2006

The last couple weeks I’ve kept my rides an hour or less and at a recovery pace. Monday I rode an hour and 15 minutes and my left leg was only a little tighter after the ride.

Yesterday 5 of us from work went out at lunch. I’m lucky to work with several good riders. James won the 24 Hours of EROCK the beginning of June even though he did a fair amount of it without a crew. Last year he finished the Leadville 100 in under 8 hours which is something very few people have done. Bob was also on the ride. He was on was on the 4 person team that finished 3rd overall at the 24 Hours of Steamboat this year. John is a Sport mountain bike racer and we also had Daryle, my 2nd level manager, who is a strong recreational rider. We also have a few other strong recreational riders that weren’t on yesterday’s ride.

We went out into Black Forest which has lots of rollers. At least that’s what we call them although people from other places don’t agree. I was riding with Mike Enfield from Arizona at last years RMCC 200k and he insisted they were climbs instead of rollers. James was pushing what seemed like a hard pace but I haven’t done any intensity for nearly a month and a half. I managed to hang on even though Daryle and John got dropped. Bob also looked like he was working hard to stay on so I think I haven’t lost as much speed as I thought I might have. I had some pain in my left leg and hip but not nearly bad enough to affect my riding. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before everything is back to normal.

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Surgery

April 26th, 2006

On Monday I had surgery to remove a lipoma on my forearm. It was just done in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. I had debated about having it done for a couple weeks because there’s always the chance of infection and with RAAM less than 7 weeks away I don’t want anything to go wrong. I probably wouldn’t have done it except that I had a much larger one removed last year that was a bit complicated to get out and it wasn’t sore more than a couple days.

It was very small compared to several others that I have but it’s right at the edge of the armrest of my aero bars and has been red and sore after long rides. I figured that I’d get a couple days into RAAM and it would be too sore to use my aero bars. I’ve been going to Strode Family Practice for over 10 years. I used to see Dr. Strode and really liked him but it started getting hard to get appointments with him. When I needed to get in once they said they could get me in right away with Dr. Carter who was a new doctor with the practice. He’s about my age and has been very active outdoors and although he still thinks I’m a bit crazy he understands what I do. He always tries treating me so that I can continue training. When he stitched up my arm, he did it so that it could take some abuse so I wouldn’t have to worry about it while riding.

Monday night I woke up a couple times because I was putting pressure on it. Yesterday I rode on the bike path and barely felt it. Today I went mountain biking and could hardly feel it. Yesterday I got a pneumonia vaccine and I felt it a lot more when I was riding than I did where the lipoma was removed.

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