‘Team Aspen’ rides to raise money for Children’s Hospital | AspenTimes.com

‘Team Aspen’ rides to raise money for Children’s Hospital

Any cyclist can crank out the miles, but a team from Aspen will crank out the miles this weekend to raise funds for a good cause.

About 25 to 30 riders will participate in the Courage Classic, a fund-raiser for The Children’s Hospital in Denver.

“Our goal is to raise a million dollars,” said Aspen carpenter Keith Webster. He was kidding, but he was also making an important point. “Team Aspen” is trying to raise whatever amount it can, he said.

The pledges that the riders receive will benefit the hospital, which is the regional Mecca for pediatrics and children’s medical care. Webster said he skipped the other big organized rides, such as Ride the Rockies, to help a worthy organization instead.

“I prefer to help Children’s Hospital rather than The Denver Post and Channel 4,” he said, referring to the Ride the Rockies sponsors.

The Courage Classic will be held Saturday through Monday, July 20-22. It covers 150 miles in three days, with optional trips that boost the mileage.

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The first day takes riders from Leadville to Copper Mountain via Tennessee Pass, Battle Mountain and Vail Pass.

Day two takes riders around Dillon Reservoir, or what’s left of it, then to Frisco and back to Copper. The resort supplies condos at a reduced rate for ride participants.

On day three, riders will return to Leadville via Fremont Pass. They can venture southwest of town and do an optional loop around Turquoise Lake.

The local riders will have a “Team Aspen” T-shirt with a special logo they prepared. Next year, Webster hopes to expand the team to include riders from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

Overall there are about 1,200 to 1,500 riders, including Team Courage, which includes kids that have been treated at the hospital. In last year’s event, a boy who had recently gone through chemotherapy rode with his dad and inspired all other participants, Webster said.

Kids and hospital personnel will also staff the aid stations on the route.

People who cannot ride with Team Aspen but would like to support them can pledge a specific amount or a certain amount per mile for a specific rider. To pledge, call Keith Webster at 379-7016; Cindy Houben at 925-4092; or Bruce Pearson of the Elk’s Lodge at 925-3516.

Webster and his teammates are anxious to let the rubber hit the pavement. “I’m at my peak right now – let’s go,” he said. “If I die, there’s lots of medical support around.”