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July 2013 Newsletter


                     COLORADO CYCYLING TEAM



                                           July 2013 Newsletter

Upcoming Team Events


Team Ride to Red Rocks and Team BBQ August 18th

On Sunday, August 18th there will be a team ride and barbecue.  We’ll meet at Noelle Beegle’s house in Lakewood and ride up to Red Rocks, through Bear Creek Lake Park, and back.  Afterward we’ll have a potluck barbecue and team meeting to review the First Ascent Ride and lessons learned for next year.   This will be a great way to ride with the team then chill out and relax with a delicious barbecue.   Noelle will send out more details as the date approaches.

Copper Triangle Bike Tour – August 3rd

On August 3rd several members of CCTBL will be participating in the Copper Triangle Bike Tour.  This is a 78-mile ride that starts and ends in Copper Mountain, Colorado.  It includes over 6,000 feet of climbing over Fremont Pass, Tennessee Pass, and Vail Pass.  The scenery on this ride is some of the most beautiful in Colorado, so don’t miss it!  There is still space available and you can sign up at the Copper Triangle Website: 

CCTBL Team Makes the Inaugural First Ascent Ride a Success

This year was the first year for the First Ascent Ride, organized by the CCTBL and co-sponsored by Ride the Rockies.   The event was a success, with  over 180 riders starting at Golden High School. The weather was a bit cool, but the riders had no problem keeping warm as they made the challenging climb up Golden Gate canyon, then rode across Peak to Peak highway and back down Coal Creek Canyon into Golden.  After 63 miles and 6300’ of climbing(!), First Ascent riders and volunteers gathered for beer and pizza in the beer garden.

Logistics for the ride couldn’t have gone better.  CCTBL members helped with registration, served as course marshals, staffed the aid stations, and drove the sag vehicles. In addition, the ride course was patrolled by Jefferson County police on motorcycles and two medical emergency vehicles.   Wheat Ridge Cyclery even provided a repair truck in case anyone had bike problems along the route. 

Proceeds went to benefit St. Joseph’s Exempla Cancer Center, LIVESTRONG, and the Denver Post Community Foundation.  Many thanks to Ride Director Rich Easton, Ride the Rockies, and the Ride Committee that worked so hard to make this ride a success.    Next year we will work to get more riders signed up for this event!

July Trivia

Q:  What did 1947 Tour de France winner Jean Robic put in his water bottles to help him descend faster?


Camp Kesem is Getting Started at CU

If you have ever been to a LIVESTRONG Assembly, you know that the Camp Kesem group of attendees is the most enthusiastic, energetic, positive, and loud of any of the groups attending the conference.  With irrepressible spirits and the desire to help kids whose parents have cancer, the Camp Kesem representatives always seem to possess a special kind of magic.  This year, we’re excited that the University of Colorado will be launching a brand new Camp Kesem in the Rocky Mountain region.  Our local Camp Kesem has been made possible by a $10,000 matching grant from LIVESTRONG when it was selected as a Community Impact Project for 2013.   Planning is currently underway, with an expected camp start date of summer, 2014. 


What is Camp Kesem?  It’s a week-long camp for kids whose parents have cancer. In addition to the usual camp activities of hiking, singing, games, archery, and crafts, a supportive environment is provided to the kids that includes “cabin chats” and “empowerment circles”.  During these sessions kids gather and talk about things that are on their minds, including the reason that they’re there. Although not therapy in the traditional sense, the camp provides a safe space for them to talk about how they’re dealing with their parents’ cancer with other kids who are going through the same thing.


Camp Kesem is completely free for participants.   Campers go through an online application process and are selected based on eligibility and need.  The camp is advertised through adult oncology offices and cancer centers to reach the kids who could benefit from it.  If they have a parent or primary caregiver who has cancer they are eligible.  Camp Kesem was started in 2001, and has grown from one camp to 41 different camps in 24 states as of this summer


“Sometimes kids whose parents have cancer grow up too fast, dealing with adult issues at very early ages.  Camp Kesem give kids a chance to be kids,” says Brittany  Cowfer, Camp Kesem’s Camper Care Coordinator. Camp Kesem is completely run by volunteer college students who use it as a means to develop leadership skills while making a difference in the lives of the kids. Brittany is currently in her first year of medical school with the goal of becoming a medical oncologist.  She has been working for Camp Kesem since her senior year at Vanderbilt University, where she signed up because of a campus recruiting program. 

Mike Dunkle, who is a member of CCTBL and is a LIVESTRONG Leader, is on the advisory board for the Camp Kesem at CU.   The board is currently reviewing applications for students to lead and work at the camp next summer.  The Program Director is Tracy “Pebbles” Lindstrom and the two Student Directors are Anaheed Little and Santiago Gonzales.   Mike will also be participating as the camp nurse next summer.   The board is currently scouting out possible locations for the one-week camp.

Next summer there will most likely be volunteer opportunities for our team, to perform jobs such as driving kids to camp, helping with registration, providing information about LIVESTRONG, and helping with logistics.  Stay tuned for more communications from Mike as the year progresses.   If you’d like to help right now with fundraising or logistics, you can contact Mike at

For more information about Camp Kesem, visit their website at

July Recipe – Couscous Salad

This is a wonderful recipe to make in advance and serve at a summer barbecue or picnic.  A hint about the chickpeas:  rinse them thoroughly in a sieve or colander before including in the recipe until all the bubbles are gone.  This makes them easier to digest. 


1 box flavored couscous (garlic or Parmesan), cooked according to package directions.

1 can or box of chickpeas

½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

1 cup English cucumber, peeled and diced

1 cup diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup fresh parsley, Italian parsley, or cilantro leaves, chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil

Juice of 2-3 limes

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients with the olive oil and lime juice.  Chill.

Trivia Answer

A:   Tiny Jean Robic, who was only 5” 2” tall and weighed 132 lbs, would put water bottles filled with mercury and lead on his bike at the top of a climb to increase his weight so he could descend with the larger riders.





The CCTBL Team at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

By George Florentine



Kelly Burns cranks up Molas Pass during the 50-mile Iron Horse Citizens’ Ride

Over Memorial Day, nine CCTBL-ers traveled to Durango to take part in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic weekend. We raised money for LIVESTRONG, rode our bikes, put a small dent in the beer inventory and in general had a great time. Here are my notes from the weekend.

The IHBC. It sounds like one race, but it's actually about a dozen. Thousands of cyclists descend on Durango for the weekend and participate in or watch cycling road races, mountain bike races, criteriums, time trials, 25 and 50 mile bike tours. It's really a fun atmosphere.

Susan and I left our house around noon and drove down to Durango. Because there are so many people coming into town, the lodging can be a bit hit and miss and pretty expensive. For next year, I think we should investigate renting a bigger house and get 8-10 people to share.

Ok, back to the weekend. Friday night LIVESTRONG hosted a happy hour for folks who had joined Team LIVESTRONG for the ride. Bunny, Brian, Chris, Christy, Kelly, Steve, George, Susan and Rich all made it to some portion of the happy hour. We got to meet other folks from the LIVESTRONG grassroots community and some folks from LIVESTRONG in Austin. I had a chance to chat with Justin Joyner, ( VP of Information Technology for LIVESTRONG. I've done some consulting in the health care field so it was interesting to talk a bit of shop with Justin.

Friday was an early evening. There were a few pre-ride nerves since most of us were doing either the 25 or 50 mile tour or the 50 mile race in the morning. We were back in our hotel room by 8:30. Get all the gear set for the morning - bib and race numbers (including timing chips) on shirts and bikes, figure out what food to bring, get clothing all sorted out and then set the alarm clock for an early start.

Saturday morning


The race officially starts at 8:00 am in town but the police start monitoring the route at 7:00 am and the race encourages folks with a slower pace to start before 8:00 am. Susan and I got up at six, had a light breakfast of oatmeal and got everything all set up and were riding through town by about 7:30 am. It was nice to get out of town and along the route before 1800 of your closest friends start in a clump at 8:00 am :) Last year there was a bit of a pileup a few miles out of town when a group of women racers had a crash mid-peloton. This year all the various groups got out of town without a problem.

The route is, in a word - spectacular. You leave Durango and head north on 550 up the Animas river valley. Even though it's early, residents of the valley are up and along the route to offer encouragement. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you pedal - when a spectator rings the cowbell for you, it feels good! The weather was great and the riders tend to thin out pretty quickly so at least for us, there were never any spots when you felt like you might be at risk from another rider jamming you in any way. The first 10 miles or so are pretty flat and then the route starts to ascend at a 3-4% grade for the next ten miles, then goes into a rolling ascent until you’ve climbed 2,000 feet by the time you get to the Purgatory ski area at the 25-mile mark. At Purgatory folks that are doing the Quarter Horse turn off the route. The Quarter Horse is a hidden beauty in this weekend of riding. If you don't feel like you have 50 miles and 5,000+ feet in your legs, the QH is a great ride It's perennially undersold so it's easier to get into than the Iron Horse, which tends to fill up by mid-December. Susan and I did this ride last year and I really enjoyed it.

After the 25 mile mark, the route climbs up to Coal Bank pass. This is a hard, high climb - the top of Coal Bank is about 10,600 feet. At the part of the ride that I was in, I saw several people walking so it was certainly a challenge for the less fit riders in the mix. The views are spectacular and the road is closed to traffic past the 25 mile mark so it's a really a nice ride. But it's not very chatty out there! Most people are just hunkered down, grinding up the mountain. A quick stop at the aid station and down the descent.  Last year, the winds were really severe on both Coal Bank and Molas Pass but this year the weather was really, really nice. There's always a bit of wind up there but I didn't see anyone having any problems. Down to the notch between both passes and then another grind up Molas. This one was pretty hard for me. It tops out at 10,800 feet and there are a couple of 10% pitches. I was definitely feeling the altitude and the previous 40 miles of riding at this point. Finally hit the top, another brief stop at the aid station, throw on a layer for the descent and then a fun, fun, fun ride down into Silverton. With the road closed it was possible to use up some of the road on the curves. Into Silverton and you're done! Oh, except for the mile long, 1% uphill grade into the finish. What sadist thought up that finish? I was completely ready to cruise into town to lots of accolades and then realized that I had to actually pedal to the finish. Wow, that hurt! I tried to push a bit through the finish but not be too crazy - there are lots of pedestrians hanging out along Main St. so you have to be a bit careful to stay in the middle of the road. I got through the finish ok and immediately had both my quads cramp up. It was a very rewarding ride for me - I pushed pretty hard and am already thinking about beating my time next year. The atmosphere in Silverton is really fun - thousands of people out on the street and hanging out in the park after the ride. LIVESTRONG had a little hospitality tent so it was nice to get some water and a light lunch before bussing it back into town.

Saturday night - Ska Brewery

Saturday LIVESTRONG put on a party at the Ska Brewery. We had a chance to visit with Brian Meyers, Justin Joyner, and LIVESTRONG CEO Jeff Garvey.  Bryan gave a very nice chat, recognizing the work of all the LIVESTRONG grass roots participants in fund raising and Jeff chatted about a new structure they're putting in place for dispersing monies raised. Going forward, LIVESTRONG will keep some of the money raised at the IHBC in the local Durango community and gift it to various local cancer survivorship programs. This is in line with the thinking we've had about local donations and I think it will help keep the IHBC/LIVESTRONG relationship going strong in the years to come. Brian also asked our very own Steve Burns to give a little talk about his cancer journey and his work with LIVESTRONG. We enjoyed heckling Steve during his talk and it certainly was great to know that Steve was there in good health, giving back to the community. The overall LIVESTRONG fundraising at the IHBC was down from 2012 but the energy was good and I think the morale at LIVESTRONG is starting to rebound in a good way. There are lots of good programs going on and there is still so much work to do. The camaraderie of riding bikes, celebrating survivorship and raising money for programs was really strong and I think that all of us that made the trip down to Durango felt like it was a very rewarding weekend. 


Sunday - bike spectating. We all kind of went our separate ways on Sunday, meeting up through the morning for spectating and a quick lunch. In the morning there are multiple criterium races and also mountain bike races that go through town. The mountain biking is really fun to watch - they set up an obstacle course on one of the streets in the town that involve riding along narrow boards, bunny hopping barriers, etc. We left town in mid-afternoon to get over the Front Range Sunday evening and have a day in town on Monday to chill out.

I look forward to getting more of us down to Durango in 2014 - mark it on your calendars now and it will help give you an early season fundraising and training goal!