Charity bicycle trip changes direction, not destination | AspenTimes.com

Charity bicycle trip changes direction, not destination

John Colson

Helen Roberts, an Aspen resident who is pedaling her bicycle 1,500 miles to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, has had to make a few changes in the early stage of her trip.Her route is now different than the one she had planned, her idea of advance publicity to raise awareness of her cause has so far not panned out, and she has discovered she “did everything absolutely wrong” as she prepared for the rigors of long-distance bicycling.Other than those minor challenges, though, she reported on Tuesday that the trip is going well and that she had reached Pueblo, 220 miles into her trip.”Yesterday was very difficult,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Aspen Times on Tuesday, “with tremendous headwinds and a change of route, which ended up being a 100-mile day. I had chosen a route which is the preferred route of 18-wheelers, so that had to be scratched immediately.”She has now opted to ride along Colorado Highway 96, which she said will take her through eastern Colorado and western Kansas, where she plans to turn down into the panhandle of Oklahoma and on to Louisiana.Roberts, 43, has a laptop computer, a cell phone, a heart rate monitor and a digital camera, which “make this a 21st century bike trip,” she wrote, adding “it is just me, my bike and my trailer, and I couldn’t feel freer.”She said she still hopes to collect contributions from people in the towns she passes through, to add to the $2,000 she received before leaving Aspen.Plus, she said, once she gets to Baton Rouge, La., and turns over the money to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, she will spend some time working for the American Red Cross in its ongoing relief efforts.Her next stop, she said Tuesday, was the town of Ordway on the Colorado plains. She can be reached on the Web at theheartride@hotmail.com.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

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