Dressed to the nines, the Moving Mountains team spent Friday night (August 5th) at the inaugural Ride 4 Yellow Ball at Marabou Ranch. It was a night to remember! When else can you wear a bright yellow ball gown or a yellow bow tie and not look out of place!
We sipped champagne, watched the sunset over the Yampa River and enjoyed outbidding each other at the silent auction. Fortunately we only walked away with a Big Agnes sleeping bag and an afternoon of wake board lessons. It could have been a lot worse as Heather was bid happy at the start!
We then listened in awe as Amy Dodson, the keynote speaker, recounted her battle with cancer since the age of 9. Despite losing a leg and part of a lung to cancer, she has defied the odds and now wins triathlons and competes in 50-mile ultra-marathons. It was an inspirational speech and made us want to jump on our bikes and start pedaling. Instead, we danced the night away to local band Loose Change.
The main event for the weekend was the actual ride along the Continental Divide Trail which took place on Sunday August 7th. Arriving at the start at Dumont Lake which sits at 10,000ft we were greeted by mild temperatures and clear skies and after a few more inspirational words from Amy Dodson we were on our way for an epic and challenging 25 mile bike ride. Our Team of four riders; Heather, Robin, Jim and Marty took an easy pace on the first four miles of forest road to allow the legs to warm up and breakfast snacks to digest before diving into the singletrack trail that makes up most of the route.
The Continental Divide Trail is a gem that we treasure because it has such a short riding window but gets you into places that we do not see often. Snow had to be shoveled from the trail at the end of July, just a week prior to the Ride 4 Yellow, and typically the air turns cool by the end of August and fall rain showers leave their first snowflakes on the trail by mid September. Alongside the trail the high country meadows were carpeted with wildflowers and although we didn’t see any wildlife you could smell the elk and we saw numerous tracks.
The aid station at the mid-way point at Long Lake was a buzz of riders reveling in a perfect day in the high country and after a quick refuel we started up the Mountain View trail that would take us to the Steamboat Ski area and the mountain top post ride celebration picnic. This trail gains about 1000 ft over 8 - 10 miles so it’s a moderate climb that would be easy if it were not finishing at over 10,000 ft. It was enough of a workout that we all got to breath a little harder and feel like we had accomplished something great when we crested Storm Peak passing by Buddy Werner’s statue at the Steamboat ski area.
Many participants in the Ride 4 Yellow are either cancer survivors or are connected to those who are fighting the disease or those lost their battle, so the post ride mountaintop picnic was a great opportunity to recognize the challenges that they face and to show our support in changing the way we deal with a diagnosis of cancer. The stories of those that are winning the battle, and of families left behind by those that lost the fight add real meaning to why events like this are so important.
To date the 2011 Ride 4 Yellow has raised over $150,000 with a combined two year total of close to $500,000. Our Moving Mountains team raised over $2100 and we are very grateful for all of your contributions in support of this great cause. If you still wish to contribute our donation page can be found by clicking here