Many of us have been on teams where people sign up at the start of the year, they buy clothes, get the bike shop discounts, and then wave to strangers wearing the same uniform as they go out riding alone. The Ride Against the Machine philosophy is to not be that way. It was formed with a core group of friends just loving to ride and enjoying being out there. Whenever possible and when life doesn't get in the way, we try to ride together on Wednesday nights, race together in select series, and pick out a big event that many of us do each year.
Q: How did the Wednesday rides and this group come about?
When Scott first moved to Denver back in 1999, the people he hung around with didn't bike or really do much of the things he enjoyed. Fun things, such as the Moonlight Classic, would come up and he either had to pull teeth to get someone to join him, or more often than not, do the ride by himself. Every now and then he'd find someone to join, but never anyone consistent.
Around mid-2002 he was "lucky" enough to have the motor on his car grenade on the way to work. Over the weekend he went out and found something new to him, it was an AWD turbo Talon. Being too frugal to pay dealer maintenance and wanting to do things himself, he found CoDSM, which is basically an enthustiast group that likes to play with those cars.
Here's a fun video from CoDSM of a little DSM kicking the living crap out of the Colorado State Patrol Camaro at Bandimere:
In 2002 Erik posted something to CoDSM about riding Mount Evans and Scott joined him. The Mount Evans ride is a 4th of July tradition for Erik and he is very welcoming to anyone up for the challenge.
Fast forward to 2004, Scott got the bright idea to try his first mountain bike race and settled on the Leadville 100. Why he chose that one we'll never know, but it kicked his ass in a major way. Realistically, he says he should have tried a Winter Park race, but hindsight is 20/20.
In 2005, determined he wanted to try and avenge it and set on not doing it alone again, he posted a message up to CoDSM to see if anyone wanted to do it. Scott got replies from Ryan, Chris, and Erik. He also talked his co-worker Derrick in to doing it. Ryan, Derrick and Erik had never done a mountain bike race before, and Chris had done a few beginner races at Winter Park with lackluster results, some not his fault.
They also picked up Dan, and he, Ryan, and Scott did the Winter Park series on the Eastside Wheelmen team to try and get ready, with Walt and Jim as sort of mentors. Somewhere during that time Ryan's name stickered bike got stolen while in the shop for maintenance, if you find a "Giant Trance - Ryan Larsen Special Edition" for sale on ebay he'll want to know about it.
That year they started riding together as much as they could, they didn't see Chris much, he had no interest in riding if you can believe that. In fact, we have proof that Scott was actually ahead of Chris on the climbs at Leadville, now no one is ahead of Chris on climbs. If you know Chris' signature orange clothing, you can see him back there. Scott loves giving Chris crap about that and Chris takes it in stride.
Erik and Ryan conquered the course that year and the others gave it their best shot. There was a lot to note about that day, Erik incredibly finished in full asthma attack and spent the night in an oxygen bubble. But perhaps most notably, it kicked Chris' ass in a major way. He wasn't used to defeat and he set out to avenge this defeat with a vengeance rarely seen. The next year he rose like the phoenix from the ashes of his own destruction. It was perhaps the greatest comeback ever witnessed in the story of the Leadville 100, bailing delirious at mile 76 in just over 10 hours to finishing the complete 100 in 9:41 the next year, a Chriserella story if you've ever heard one!
The next year, "the group" as a whole did the Winter Park series, while a smaller core continued the Leadville 100 tradition. As time progresses more people have joined in. The achievements of everyone to date surpasses anything that could ever be done justice in a small piece of history article, and accomplishments continue to pile up. The story continues to be written as we welcome in new faces and new riding partners. The nice thing about all of this is the core group of people who are good friends and riding buddies, welcoming to anyone who wants to tag along, low drama, and just out there to have a good time on their bikes.
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