Jeff Krieger didn’t know what to expect on the day he arrived in Grand Junction. He had come all the way from Philadelphia to take part in the “Ride the Rockies“. The week before the ride Jeff was asking himself, ‘Will I be able to cycle at altitude? Will I be able to last 7 consecutive days in the saddle? Can I climb the Grand Mesa?’
Last week was the big ride, and what a ride it was, 465 miles and over 32,500′ in elevation gain. The Project ReCycle Team rode “Ride the Rockies” as ambassadors for the non-profit. The team’s goal was to raise enough money to pay for 300 bikes to be refurbished and delivered- the amount of bikes given at the Dream Bike Event at Sedalia back in May. So far the team has raised $4,211, enough for 100 bikes. But there’s still time to support the team and help them reach their goal.
On Saturday May 30th, the remaining students from Sedalia Elementary who hadn’t picked out their hard earned bicycles yet, came by The Kickstand to do just that. Some of the students were out of town on the day of the Dream Bike Event, or couldn’t make it there on that special day. So Project ReCycle dedicated Saturday morning to giving those students another opportunity to receive that bike. Kent and Patrick, the two managers of The Kickstand, located on the 4th floor of the Castle Rock Hospital– were on hand to adjust seats, fit each child with the right size bike, and even teach them to ride…. The children had a fun time riding in large circles around bright orange cones, some even whizzed by sporting their new Project ReCycle helmets.
It’s that time of year again and Team Project ReCycle is getting ready for the season’s first cycling event. Elephant Rock has a fun, family ride but also includes a 27-miler, 40-miler, and 62-miler. This year also promises a new century course, taking the cyclist through beautiful country-side, farms and pastures, and the hills of Black Forest. This ride will assure both breathtaking scenery and a challenge. This event takes place on the weekend of June 6th and 7th. Registration and rides begin at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock.
The devoted cyclists that signed on in March to be ambassadors for Project ReCycle are peddling right along towards the big ride coming up in June. Some of the riders are volunteering for other Project ReCycle events as well. I caught up with Greg Horstman at The Kickstand in The Castle Rock Adventist Hospital. He volunteered to help move a few hundred bikes to Sedalia Elementary school for the Dream Bike Event on May 2. “A good rule of thumb for training for The Ride the Rockies is to log in at least 1,000 miles before the ride,” said Greg. He had reached 509 miles so far…. Great job Greg; you’re half way there! This will be Greg’s fourth time riding the Rockies. Wow-what an accomplishment!
It was Saturday morning May 2, and the sun shone brightly. What a joyous day for both the volunteers- and the recipients of the special gift of a bicycle. This year’s Project ReCycle Bike Event was held at Sedalia Elementary. Sedalia was the first school to have 100% of the students earn their own bike. What an accomplishment! Each student could earn their own bike by improving attendance, academics, and showing respect to their teachers and peers.
Greg Archunde has been with Project ReCycle from the very beginning- where it all started in AJ Stapleton’s garage. “I enjoy being on a bike, I have a love for kids, and AJ’s passion for Project ReCycle is infectious,” said Greg. “It’s been fantastic to see where Project ReCycle started and to watch that growth. We haven’t reached our full potential, but realizing how much we’re already doing is truly inspiring. Iv’e been through a number of events and a lot of memories- seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces when they get their bike and hearing the stories from the parents and how grateful they are, show what a difference we make. It’s a simple thing that means a lot,” said Greg.
“Back in 1994 my wife and I lost our twins. And to work through that and give back, I started riding in the Courage Classic in Summit County, which raises money for Children’s Hospital,” said John Rehl, president of The Village Idiots’ Cycling Club. Then my wife started riding and eventually some friends in the neighborhood were interested and wanted to bike with us too.” When more friends continued joining, they decided to name their club.
“When Aj first started Project ReCycle we couldn’t even pull our cars into the garage,” said AJ’s wife, Nancy Stapleton laughing. “It’s a three car garage and it was filled with bikes.” Bikes were spilling out… they were on the side of the house and the patio too! So you can only imagine how happy Nancy was when the Castle Rock Adventist Hospital offered the 4th floor for Project ReCycle to store their bicycles. “It’s just incredible how Project ReCycle has grown, ” said Nancy. “The Kickstand is amazing when you see all of the bikes together, it’s the ‘Wow Factory’.”
Wade Haufschild and a few other devoted cyclists have formed a team for Ride the Rockies come June of this year. This team will serve as ambassadors for Project ReCycle. It will be Wade’s third year riding the rockies and his friend Greg’s fourth ride. Wade’s wife has also joined the team and some other friends have joined as well. Wade was introduced to AJ Stapleton through a friend of his. He recently ran into AJ and they spoke about Ride the Rockies, “We need a team for Project ReCycle,” AJ told Wade. And that’s how it all got started. Wade and his friend Greg learned the first year, that if you don’t enter as a team, only one of you may get in. Read more