Layman rides with a purpose
August 3, 2006
At first, Bobby Layman took up cycling to help himself. Now, he rides to help others.On Sept. 9, the 2006 Rifle High graduate will take to the hills of Aspen to raise funds for a quartet of breast cancer survivors at the annual Ride for the Cure event.As part of his recovery Layman was introduced to a bicycle by a recreational therapist after suffering a brain injury in a skiing accident at Snowmass Ski Area during Christmas break two years ago. Since then, cycling has become a regular part of Laymen’s exercise regiment.”He trains about eight hours a week,” said Mary Layman, Bobby’s mother.Bobby’s route of choice is not easy. Normally, he begins his trek from home and rides uphill to Harvey Gap, then back. Sometimes, Mary said, that’s not enough of a workout for her son.
“He has ridden as far as from Rifle Gap through town, then back through Silt Mesa to our residence,” she added.The training has put Bobby in top-shape to increase his mileage from last year’s event.”Last year I went 33 miles from Aspen to the monastery (near Old Snowmass) and back,” Bobby said.This time around, he’s hoping to add an additional loop to the trip, upping the distance to 45 miles.However, a stop at the monastery, Bobby explained, is mandatory. It’s not for the challenge of the trip. Rather, he said, it’s for the cookies they serve.Otherwise, Layman’s bike ride is all business.”I just like to do things for other people. It’s not implied,” he said. “It’s just from my background. I would do it even if I didn’t have my injury.”
“We got so much help from people during Bobby’s recovery,” Mary added. “He had a feeling that he wanted to give back to others.”As he recovered, a seed toward Bobby’s future was planted. A seed, he started in high school and wants to continue in college. “I plan on majoring in public speaking,” he said. “Then I want to get into hotel/restaurant management.”Bobby already appears to have mastered the act of taking control of an audience.He’s spoken to a number of area school groups about his skiing accident, brain injury and recovery.His point: Participate in extreme sports, just be safe.
“For the kids, I’m really trying to get them to wear helmets in extreme sports. That’s the thing that saved me.” “Bobby’s not saying, don’t do it,” Mary continued. “He’s saying do what you love. Think first before you do it.”And, once Bobby’s talked with kids and shared his story, they exit awed and aware.”A lot of times I don’t get reactions, because they’re blown away with my story,” he said. “I think it sets pretty deep with them about helmets,” Mary said. “They definitely listen how important wearing helmets are for extreme sports. That’s been something we’ve heard over and over. Not specifically at the speech, but, later on.”The other part of Bobby’s message is refusing to give up – despite the odds.”I tell (kids) to keep on going. It’s frustrating. You just have to keep with the plan and eventually you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.”