Agonize for a good cause
ASPEN ” The Roaring Fork Valley has more than its share of fund-raisers but none quite like the bike tour Frank McSwain Jr. has dreamed up.
The Tour de Frank will cover 365 miles and about 46,000 vertical feet of climbing on a two-day, round-trip route between Aspen and Morrison. The fund-raising event will take place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17 and 18.
It’s not for the casual rider. McSwain said the ride to Morrison took him just shy of 14 hours recently.
“I’m not an elite athlete,” said McSwain. “I’m a freak. I like pain and suffering.”
Really fit riders could tackle it in less time, he said, but the challenge is the return trip after grunting over to Morrison the first day.
“It’s probably the most challenging route you can find,” said McSwain, who picked a tough route on purpose. “I’m just the anti-arm chair quarterback.”
From Aspen, the route will go over Independence Pass, through Twin Lakes to Highway 24. In Leadville, riders will hit Highway 91 and climb Fremont Pass to get to Copper Mountain Resort. There, the route follows the Triple Bypass in a reverse route from Copper Mountain to Evergreen. Riders will go over Loveland Pass and Squaw Pass to Evergreen then conclude in Morrison.
All four passes on the route top 10,000 feet.
After a night of recovery, the route is reversed from Morrison to Aspen.
McSwain will establish three mandatory aid stations. Riders will be required to sign in at each of them. There will be food and drink at each station, limited medical care available and a bike technician on hand. Racers should be self-supported and prepared for any weather and mechanical problems they encounter on the road.
Racers are on their own for food and lodging when they arrive in Morrison. A massage therapist will be on hand in the town.
So far nine riders are signed up for the round-trip ride and five plan on going one way. People who are interested can contract McSwain at 970-309-6911 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entry fee is $75. All proceeds go to Tom’s Door, a Basalt nonprofit that helps families and individuals in need. McSwain’s mom, Rosie, founded the organization in Basalt.
McSwain named the event with tongue in cheek. Any person or business who becomes an official sponsor acquires renaming rights of the Tour de Frank.
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