Local bicyclists put their own stamp on Aspen mail | AspenTimes.com

Local bicyclists put their own stamp on Aspen mail

Allyn Harvey

Two local postal clerks have found a very public way to show their enthusiasm for cycling.

J.R. Ristine and Steve Kelly convinced regional postal officials to let the Aspen post office design a special cancellation that honors the U.S.P.S. Cycling Team and its star, Lance Armstrong, who currently holds the lead in the Tour de France bicycle race.

Cancellations are pressed over stamps with the date a letter is being sent and the post office it is being sent from.

The special cancellation features two bicycle racers neck-and-neck. Curving over the top of the racers are the words “Aspen Supports the USPS cycling team,” and underneath the wheels of the bikes the statement finishes with “in the 2000 Tour de France, Aspen CO Station July 12, 2000.”

It will be used on mail for today only, but stamp collectors can pick them up for another 30 days.

According to The Associated Press, Armstrong, who came back from cancer to win the Tour last year, maintained his 4-minute, 14-second overall lead on 1997 champion Jan Ullrich yesterday, while moving closer to the final stage in Paris on July 23.

Armstrong moved from sixth place to first on Monday with a stunning late climb in the Pyrenees.

Kelly said the cancellation was first suggested by Ristine last fall. Kelly, a member of the Aspen Cycling Club and an amateur photographer, took up the task of designing the cancellation over the winter on his home computer.

“Special cancellations are uncommon for this office. We do them every couple of years,” Kelly said.

Other special cancellations include one a few years ago commemorating singer John Denver and another honoring the visit of then-U.S. President George Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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