Break The Cycle III :: A Final Reflection

Just two weeks ago, Denver Rescue Mission’s Rescue Riders rode into Denver, completing our 750 mile tour of Colorado. Our tour took us through some of Colorado’s most scenic areas, stopping in some of her most prized towns, crisscrossing rivers and streams, and up and over one TOO many of her high passes. We experienced so much of the beauty our great state has to offer, met many of her fine residents, and reveled in her natural wonders.

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The goal for Break the Cycle III: A Colorado Tour was to raise $100,000 to provide 52,083 meals for our homeless and needy neighbors. Through the generosity of our many sponsors and donors, we blew that goal out of the water, raising over $120,000 – enough to provide 62,500 meals!!! Like everything we do at Denver Rescue Mission, we could never do it without our generous community!

For those of you who were not able to follow our tour through Colorado, here’s a brief recap of our days in the saddle (based on my personal GPS data):

  • Day 0, 25 Miles / 781 ft. Gained:  Top of Wolf Creek pass down to Pagosa Springs
  • Day 1, 75 Miles / 2,881 ft. Gained: Pagosa Springs to Durango
  • Day 2, 109 Miles / 7,776 ft. Gained: Durango to Telluride
  • Day 3, 105 Miles / 7,644 ft. Gained: Ridgeway to Crawford
  • Day 4, 83 Miles / 4,686 ft. Gained: Hotchkiss to Glenwood Springs
  • Day 5, 104 Miles / 8,704 ft. Gained: Glenwood Springs to Steamboat Springs
  • Day 6, Day off with family and friends in Steamboat Springs
  • Day 7, 78 Miles / 4,810 ft. Gained: Steamboat Springs to State Forest State Park
  • Day 8, 93 Miles / 4,108 ft. Gained: State Forest State Park to Fort Collins
  • Day 9, 75 Miles / 2,255 ft. Gained: Fort Collins to Denver

Countless people have asked me about this trip over the past two weeks; questions about the route we took, to what hurt(s) the most. However, the most asked question has simply been what was the hardest part? I could talk about the early mornings, or long climbs, the hot days, or a certain person’s bad jokes…But when I really stopped to think about it, the hardest part was getting beyond the voice in my own head telling me that I wasn’t going to make it. There were several days that I would have easily succumb to this little voice had I not had someone next to me encouraging me to keep going. On some days, I was this person for someone else on our team. The image below is a great lesson for what we all need in life when the going gets tough — when the days are long, hard and hot. When I had nothing left to give, someone else had a little extra they could offer me. Regardless of our circumstances in life — homeless or housed, hungry or fed, weak or strong — may we each long for these types of friends in our lives and strive to be this type of friend to others.

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Brian Newman, our 145lb. Harvest Farm Agriculture Supervisor, pushing my 245lbs. up the Lincoln Street Climb, just South of Toponas, CO

This has been an adventure of a lifetime and I will forever treasure the close friendships that we formed. Thank you to everyone who supported us through this crazy ride!

Until next time, keep it wheel side down…

Josh Geppelt

Josh Geppelt

Josh is the Senior Director of Emergency Services, overseeing the Lawrence Street Shelter, Lawrence Street Community Center and Fort Collins Rescue Mission – which is not always an easy job. But he feels surrounded by a community of individuals who desire to support him in the work. He also feels that he has a unique privilege to work for an organization that maintains such a high level of support from the community. He truly enjoys coming to work on most days, but it’s hard to focus when it’s cycling weather. Josh grew up quite nerdy: first he was home-schooled his whole life and second, he is a very proud Eagle Scout. He has been a cyclist for more than 18 years! If he could be any famous person he would be the Pope because at least he is liked or disliked for his views on things that matter. He admires his father most in life because he embodies the dying art of prayerful consistency: suit up, show up and God will use you where you are.

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