Joe Bishop has only been cycling for a little over a year now. After attending last year’s Bike Give-Away, he was inspired to start riding with AJ and Team Project ReCycle last summer. “I’m a goal oriented person, and entering Ride the Rockies for the first time with Team PR was a challenging goal for me,” said Joe. The most challenging aspect of RTR for Joe was the duration of the ride. “I had done the Copper Triangle, but I hadn’t been on a long ride in the mountains for more than a day. Day three and four were really tough; I was really feeling it. But there was always someone there from the team to push me along, saying ‘you got this’.”
One of Joe’s most memorable experiences was the feeling of being with one big ‘cycling family’ and the happy, friendly people. “I liked hanging out with the team- dinners and relaxing, just chillin’ and having a good time with everyone.”
Kyle Haas, another Team PR member, also enjoyed the camaraderie with the team. “The team was very close-knit and spent many evenings together having dinner and drinks. We also made an effort to ride together with many smaller groups sticking close to one another,” said Kyle.
Kyle’s biggest challenge was that he had recently had ankle surgery. “People were asking if I was ok as I hobbled around the campground, but then I would manage to pass those same people on the bike,” said Kyle with a smile. Joe, Kyle, and the rest of the team also had the challenge of struggling through the threat of rain, hail, and 50 mph cross winds atop Trail Ridge Road while cycling through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Before the ride, Joe kept thinking to himself, ‘I don’t want to be the person that nobody wants to ride with… the rider that couldn’t keep up.’ “I surprised myself though; I did better than I thought and was more determined than I thought I was,” said Joe. Kyle had to put his pride aside this year. “I kept trying to keep up with the strongest riders on the team as I did last year, but I just couldn’t swing it on the hills. I needed to keep reminding myself that it was okay to be a little slower. But I’m naturally a little competitive, so that took some effort,” said Kyle.
Despite the challenges of the ride, Joe had a funny anecdote to share… “Team PR wore the same colored jerseys every day, and on day six the team wore orange. I usually wear a large or x-large, but AJ only had a small, orange jersey that day,” Joe said laughing. “So I got to show off my lack of muscles and belly.” AJ and Joe had a good time laughing at that. And Kyle recalled that there might have been a craziest sock competition going on. “AJ had a pink pair with poodles on them one day,” said Kyle.
On the last day of the ride, all of Team PR decided to finish together and rode the last 8 miles to the finish line. I asked both Joe and Kyle if they’ll do the ride again next year. “Absolutely, I’d love to do it again. On the last day, I actually wished we had one more day,” said Joe. Kyle had a great time riding the Rockies too, but he and the rest of the team are now focused on coming out for the Wacky Bike Ride that Project ReCycle took over this year. We hope to see you all out there on September 11th for this fun, wacky ride.