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…from riding to Estes Park and achieving the Estes or Bust Turd Trophy:




This year’s trophies were handmade by Kathy Forbes, Pam Leamons, Belynda Seligman and Mary Ann Michels. And yes, those are perfectly preserved and lacquered elk duds glued on top of that old photograph of the Big Thompson Canyon.


I’ve written about the Estes or Bust goal in past columns and blogs.  The Estes or Bust Challenge has the characteristics of good, challenging goals. As of last weekend’s celebration, 16 riders achieved 12 consecutive months of riding to Estes Park from Loveland, Colorado. Two additional riders will achieve 12 consecutive months if they ride February, March and April of this year.


At this year’s celebration party, I asked people why they began doing the Estes or Bust Challenge and why they continue. Here is what people said:

-          - Riding to Estes once per month keeps one long ride in the schedule – it gives me incentive to get out no matter the weather.

-          - It gives me incentive to plan to ride rather than making excuses for not riding.

-          - It was a goal that I could use to challenge myself.

-          - Knowing other people can do it helps me figure out ways to complete the goal.

-          - Now that I have a string going, my wife wonders how long this is going to continue. I just don’t know.

-          - I want to make five years of riding to Estes every month. That’s my long-term goal.

-          - It gave me something to shoot for after surgery.

-          - I get help from my family to achieve the goal. It’s not just my accomplishment, it’s theirs too.


Several of the riders have accomplished the ride after recovering from significant barriers.



Scott Ellis in December of 2006, less than a month after knee surgery.



Scott Ellis, Gale Bernhardt and Peter Stackhouse in December of 2007. The photo was within a few weeks of Peter’s thyroid surgery and radiation treatments. The red hat was a celebration of a clean bill of health.



Bruce Runnels on the switchbacks in October of 2010. His September ride was within seven weeks of major abdominal surgery to remove 45 inches of his small intestine.



This year’s trophy recipients include Todd Singiser, Scott Ellis, Pam Leamons, Peter Stackhouse, Kirk Leamons, Lee Rhoades, Bruce Runnels, Kathy Forbes, Sherri Goering, Belynda Seligman, Brandy Staves, Brenna Roberts, Ron Kennedy, Dennis Anderson, Gale Bernhardt and after riding through April of this year-  Lou Keen and Mike Keen.







No matter what your challenges are this year - here’s wishing you  courage, determination, persistence, good friends and supportive family.

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