The Northernmost Point

Date: March 29th, 2017

From/To: Colorado Springs, CO/Denver, CO

Daily Mileage: 10 miles (by bike)

Total Mileage: 1720 miles (by bike)

Current Elevation: 5360 feet

Conditions: Overcast, headwinds from the north around 20 mph and a chilly 35 degrees.

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Today’s trek, from Colorado Springs to Denver. The sudden turn west early on is where I was picked up.

Today started off like any other, minus mom being around. We had breakfast at the Marriot in Colorado Springs. By 10AM I packed up and started off towards Denver, the farthest point north that I’ll be on this trip. I’d been checking the weather frequently and I knew today wasn’t a good day to be on the road, but I decided to attempt it anyway. The problem with Colorado is that a weather forecast can range significantly 20 miles down the road from where you are. As I made my way out of Colorado Springs I realized the weather wasn’t getting any better. I was battling cold headwinds and snow, moving an average speed of 6 mph. On top of that I later found out I’ve contracted a stomach virus, so my energy level was at an all time low. I made it just over 10 miles and realized I wasn’t going to reach Denver by bike. Making my way through the Palmer Divide was not as simple as I thought. Also, knowing that mom can get me anywhere is a luxury I’ve never had before. In the past if I was tired or facing bad weather, there was no other option but to push forward until I reached the next stop. My mentality is much different now, and I welcome the support during this leg of my trip. I’ve been called crazy by many people when I say I’m passing through the Rockies this time of year. Most people laugh, others try to remain optimistic, although they stress their concerns as well. I’m often told I’m starting off the bike season here in Colorado, which should be an honor considering that biking is taken very seriously around here. Maybe it should also be concerning, but I’ll stick with the former. The bottom line is that nobody can predict the weather. Late March could bring an early spring or late winter. I can confidently tell you when I’m making my way through the passes at 10,000 to 12,000 feet it’s going to be cold. That’s for certain. So mom picked me up and we drove the additional 55 miles together on the interstate. We made it to Denver around noon with plenty of time to kill before a Ride4Parkinsons event that was planned for 5PM at the Lone Tree Brewing Company. After checking into our hotel we looked into massages, and scheduled two 90 minute sessions at Massage Envy. My masseuse was stunned when I mentioned that I hadn’t received any form of massage therapy along my ride so far. He told me my leg and back muscles were so locked up that I needed to be getting routine deep tissue massages along the way. I learned a lot about how the body reacts to physical activity. Lactic acid builds up in the activated muscles and leads to cohesion of endomysium, the fine connective tissue sheath that surrounds/covers each single/individual muscle fiber. This bonding creates an unwanted tension or locking of muscles which explains why they feel soar. Foam rolling or massaging muscles after a work out creates friction which creates heat that loosens up the muscles, helping the lactic acid to escape. It’s important to drink a lot of water during this time to flush out these toxins, if you don’t drink water the toxins won’t be flushed (very important). Many people undermine these steps in their  post workout routine, I won’t be one of them any longer. The massage itself was very painful. My thigh and back muscles were so locked up that he could only apply 5-10% of his potential pressure along them to loosen them up. My thighs were rock hard at first, he would apply pressure to a certain point until the specific muscle started tingling, and after some time the muscle would loosen up, freeing the locked up tension that was causing my muscle soars. It’s amazing to see the direct impact a massage has on the body. After that we drove over to Staples and I had more business cards printed up. I had 500 cards printed two months ago, it’s crazy to think I’ve handed out that many cards between now and then. Almost every conversation along my ride has ended in me handing out a card so I guess it makes sense. I had 250 fresh cards printed and we made out way out to Lone Tree Brewing Company shortly after that. A local organization known as Pedaling4Parkinson’s reached out to me not too long ago when they heard I’d be passing through Denver. They’re also part of the Team Fox community and very passionate about the same cause. I had the privilege of meeting several members of P4P, in addition to some friends and family members that came out to show me support well.

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Ride4Parkinsons and Pedaling4Parkinsons, now a united force! Greg is on the left in this picture. He was the point of contact that made this possible. The other people in this picture are founding members of P4P. I was honored they all came out to meet me tonight.

The event ended just before 8PM. I helped Greg clean up, and we said our goodbyes soon after. It was an emotional goodbye for everyone. Some people teared up, and for others a hug was needed instead of a handshake. Denver is yet another place where I now know a group of wonderful people united by the same cause. It’s a bond as strong as family, a passion that goes far beyond our personal benefits. I look forward to coming back and participating in the Pedaling4Parkinson’s event sometime. Until then, it’s not goodbye so much as see you later.

Unfortunately as I mentioned earlier, I came down with some form of stomach virus. I couldn’t sleep much tonight, constantly battling a migraine and fever in bed (among other things). Luckily I already planned on taking March 30th off in Denver. Adding to that, mom was here to take care of me and help speed up the recovery process. Yet another streak of good fortune despite unfavorable circumstances. On March 31st I’ll be attempting a ride into the mountains, making my way to Idaho Springs. I put it that way because it entirely depends on the weather, this virus I have, the altitude, and other concerns. All I can do is hope for the best. I certainly have a wealth of motivation to get me through it now.

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt

 

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