On Saturday night, recipients of the 2008 Estes or Bust Elk Turd Trophy Awards were invited to a banquet hosted by Pam and Kirk Leamons. (Okay, it was snacks and an informal gathering; but this year was a huge improvement over last year when the gala event was held on my driveway, pre-ride.)
The emcee of the ceremonies was Todd Singiser, father of the once-per-month-12-months-of-the-year Estes concept. Below is a photo of Todd congratulating Lee Rhodes as Lee holds up his award.
Award recipients oooed and aaahed when they saw the awards this year. The stunning awards (photo below) were manufactured by Pam and Kirk Leamons. The hanger is made from old inner tubes and allows the wooden ornament to be proudly displayed in any location. Secured to the wooden platform are a few links of chain, a pine cone, Juniper sprig and a hand-picked elk specimen. Details of properly curing and caring for elk specimens will, perhaps, be covered in a future blog. This can be preceded by three easy tips to distinguish the difference between elk and dog specimens.
In 2005, only one rider (Todd) made it for 12 consecutive months. In 2006, there were six riders and nine in 2007. There were 11 riders receiving the award for January to December of 2008 and one more rider (Scott Barrow) is expected to receive the award in April for an April 2008 to March 2009 push. In the photo below, from left to right, are Kirk Leamons, Peter Stackhouse, Lee Rhodes, Nick Hansen, me, Scott Ellis, Pam Leamons, Todd and Chad Brent. Missing from the photo are Jo Campbell, Dave McClure and Scott Barrow.
Plans are already being made for the 2009 awards banquet. From what I know now, all of the 2008 recipients are planning to shoot for the 2009 trophies. In addition to that group of 12, I am aware of at least nine new riders giving the goal a shot.
In addition to the trophies, award recipients received some wise words from the elk:
Below are the official Estes or Bust rules for 2009. Good weather and tail winds to all.
Estes or Bust
Rules to achieve the world famous Turd Trophy Award
Ride to Estes Park once per month for 12 consecutive months.
The starting point can be from anywhere in Loveland, Ft. Collins or Windsor and no further west than the Big Thompson Elementary School.
Either route, Highway 34 or via Devil's Gulch Road (Larimer County Road 43 known as the Glen Haven route), is acceptable. If you ride via Highway 34, you must ride west to at least the Estes Park city limit sign near the Olympus Lodge. If you ride via Glen Haven you must ride west to at least the top of the switch backs where you can see Longs Peak.
A return trip sans car and via bike back to Loveland is not mandatory, but encouraged when conditions are safe and fitness allows. (This means you only have to ride up (one way) to have the trip count towards your trophy goal.)
Riding from Loveland to Lyons to Estes Park via either Highway 7 or 36 counts. This ride can be one way just to Estes or round trip back to Loveland.
The honor system is strictly enforced - ride with or without the group, with a buddy or solo.
You can start any month of the year and go for 12 consecutive months or begin in January and go for a calendar year.
Rule clarification questions or rule change requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Rules Committee will review change requests.
You may not live near Estes Park Colorado, but you can still scheme up good, challenging goals.