Ride the Rockies Rider Q&A | PostIndependent.com

Ride the Rockies Rider Q&A

Age: 51Hometown: CarbondaleOccupation: president, Schmueser Gordon Meyer Engineers & Surveyors

Age: 23Hometown: Glenwood SpringsOccupation: Bike mechanic, Sunlight Mountain Ski & Bike Shop

With the 22nd annual Ride the Rockies bicycle tour rolling through Garfield County, including overnight stops in Rifle and Glenwood, we decided to feature a few local riders in a short Q&A. Look for more rider Q&A’s throughout the week.The 422-mile tour started in Frisco on June 17 and ends back in Frisco on June 23.Thursday’s ride, 42 milesGlenwood Springs to AspenMost memorable part of Thursday’s ride:Louis: I think it was the most relaxed, casual ride (of the tour) because you’re mostly on trails and you can’t really crank it because there’s too many people, so you just ride at a steady pace and you talk to people. Most of these folks are from out of state. They were just really impressed that a valley could put that many trails in. Riding on a smooth trail today as opposed to the chip-sealed roads in Garfield County (Wednesday) was a big break.Evan: For me it’s that good new section of the bike path between Catherine Store Road and Emma. It’s real beautiful, real flat. You feel like for once on a road bike, you’re away from the road.Did you meet anyone special while riding today?Louis: I had a long chat with a guy from Denver who’s a school teacher and he was really impressed with the valley and was thinking he might want to move up here and of course was concerned about the housing situation, but he’s going to check it out. I’ve talked to probably four or five people who were like that. … I’m not sure they understand the cost of living here yet.Evan: No, it’s more that I kind of made some connections with some people I was doing the ride with that I didn’t know super well before, like my girlfriend’s parents. It’s fun to share my history in the valley and what I know about it.Are you riding together much? Who’s been drafting off whom the most?Louis: (Laughs) We’ve been riding together. We’re pretty similar except he can leave me in the dust on the hills anymore.Evan: He’s definitely a real strong rider. He’s stronger than a lot of the people I ride with. On the hills, I don’t know, it seems to be evenly matched. He’s got a lot more miles on the bike than I do, but I happen to be young.Best part of the tour so far?Louis: I think just seeing the state from a bicycle and the mountainous area near Rabbit Ears (Pass), the Blue River Valley, and the Yampa River Valley … and the more arid areas near Craig and Rifle – seeing a lot of diversity.Evan: Just to see how many bikers are out there. It gives me hope if so many people are cycle-conscious. Realizing that … they can ride their bikes to work each day if they can ride 422 miles in a week.

How much did you sleep last night? Where?Louis: I slept in my own bed. It was nice. All the other nights we’ve been camping. … I got six, seven hours of good sleep. … Anybody who’s done this ride will tell you don’t sleep a lot. You’re in tent city and the zippers start flying at 4 in the morning.Evan: I got to sleep at home in my own bed but for some reason I didn’t sleep as well as I usually do in the tent. I think it was just being in your own hometown and doing your own laundry and other people’s laundry. What inspired you to Ride the Rockies?Louis: I try to do a couple of things a year to just keep motivated and stay in shape. It’s all about the training more than the event, and my son invited me so I had to take that opportunity.Evan: I got inspired to start road biking about a year ago. My girlfriend (Brooke Takac of Glenwood), she’s really into (Ride the Rockies). She and her parents do it every year. They’ve been doing it six years in a row.Tell us about your bikesLouis: I’m riding a Time bike; it’s a French-made bike, carbon fiber (frame). It’s about two months old. I got to buy a new bike because my wife decided to crunch my old bike by driving it into the garage (it was on a bike rack on top of the car).

Evan: I’m riding a Salsa touring frame bike that I got to build up myself because I work at a bike shop.What did you have for breakfast?Louis: We stopped at the Village Smithy (in Carbondale) and had a very good Village Smithy breakfast. That was one of the high points of the day.What’s for dinner Thursday?Louis: We’re going to meet some folks and have dinner in Aspen somewhere this evening.Evan: That’s one good thing about going on this ride with the parents. Being a bike mechanic, I don’t make much money. When I go out for dinner with my parents and (Brooke’s) parents, they take care of me, which is nice.Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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