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Thursday, May 20, 2021

With A Little Help From My Friends

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Oh, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.
With A Little Help From My Friends, John Lennon & Paul McCartney (1967)

Paul Brasby, Luke Entz, Craig Groseth, Jeff Bloom, Ben Cooper, Jon Naaf
A group of friends bikepacking the 2021 Buffalo Bill Rough Rider course.

My long time dream of riding a bicycle across the country finally comes to life in July with my planned start of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. See My GDMBR Date Is Set

Among many logistical details, I face over 850 highway miles, one way, just to get to the start. I could ride there from home, as others have done, but 2,500 miles on the route itself sounds enough for me.  So, my supportive and understanding wife Colleen will shuttle me all the way to the start. Yeah. That's right. She's amazing.

In a delightful twist, this adventure leapt to another level when cycling buddy Paul Brasby re-arranged some serious vacation time to join me at the start to ride as long as his time off allows. Hopefully, we'll ride together through the grizzly country of Montana and Idaho, across the Great Basin of Wyoming, and maybe into the high country of Colorado before he must return home. What a treat. See Hit It!

Paul Brasby leading the way on Day 1 of the
2020 Pony Express 120 Bikepacking Adventure.

Then, Colleen plans to check in on me, off and on, by tracking me down via my Spot X tracker. For at least part of the time during August, she will be joined by our daughter Cara, who has a little time off after the bar exam and before starting her first job as an attorney. Our daughter Chani may even join them on this Rocky Mountain mother-daughter road trip.

Chani, Cara and Colleen prepare for Cara's 2021 live stream
graduation ceremony from the University of Colorado Law School.

Now, it gets even more interesting. Since my GDMBR announcement, a number of intrigued friends and family have been asking questions and wondering about the ride themselves.

For example, long time cycling buddy Mark Almer is sorting through his backpacking gear to piece together a bikepacking kit to ride with me through part of Colorado. From the late 1980's through the early 2000's, Mark and I rode many memorable miles together, including 24 hour mountain bike team relay races, big mountain road centuries, training and recreational rides of all kinds, and countless commutes. I'd love to share some more miles with Mark in our old stomping grounds in Colorado.

Rick Dutson, Mark Almer, Dan Cook, Craig Groseth
Team Specialized Target Market, 1999 24 Hours of Moab

Another Colorado friend dating back to that time period, multi-sport athlete Bill Ernstrom, recently raved of the new-for-him sport of mountain biking and enthusiastically peppered me with questions about the GDMBR. The last time I rode "with" Bill was in the 1999 Boulder Peak Triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon in which he emerged from the swim with the overall leaders and I never did chase him down on the bike leg. Some years later, he won an age group spot on the AquaMan USA National Team. So, he'll be more than able to ride whatever he chooses to ride and I'd love to see him along the GDMBR.

Craig Groseth and Bill Ernstrom at the 2016 Evergreen Triathlon.

The GDMBR captures the imagination of motorcyclists, as well. Mark Steele, a friend from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office and former Army Airborne JumpMaster, is an endurance "Iron Butt" motorcyclist who is planning a motorcycle ride along the Great Divide. He will be scouting parts of his route this summer and plans to track me down in southern Colorado or northern New Mexico. Camping together along that remote stretch of the GDMBR would be most welcomed.

Also jumping into the mash pit is my brother Cyler and his son CJ, who both live in Phoenix and ride an eclectic assortment of motorized land, water, and air craft. They're actually scheming to haul bicycles, dune buggies, and who knows what else to New Mexico to ride and camp with me somewhere. Always bursting with a wild mix of projects for fun and profit, those two will spin sprawling tales of misadventures well into the night. If that works out and they actually appear in the deserted desert, it will be a most entertaining change of pace from riding solo on remote dirt roads.

Cyler Groseth fixing our team breakfast at the
2000 24 Hours of Adrenalin - Winter Park.

CJ Groseth recovering from crewing at the
2000 24 Hours of Adrenalin - Winter Park.

Several others have wondered aloud about riding along or catching me along the way. Let me know. I'd love the company. 

With A Little Help From My Friends, The Beatles (1967).

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