Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Too many people

September 4, 2015 — 

I have to agree with Joe McHugh’s letter (Wednesday’s Vail Daily) on the dangers of skiing these days. I was born in New York and was a ski patrol kid at Whiteface who learned to ski at 1 as soon as I could walk. The first time I came to Vail was 1972 and never wanted to leave. Thankfully we came much and often and my parents moved here in 1985. My husband and I followed in 1991. Unfortunately, I barely ski anymore, although I still love it and I was taught at a very young age to follow the code. My fear is getting run down and I am tired of looking over my shoulder all the time. The lifts are getting bigger to get more people on the mountain, but that also makes it more dangerous with too many people out there. I am 50, so I guess that makes me part of the older generation, and I love this valley and am an expert and polite skier, but there are too many people on the mountains.

Tina Strauss-Mann

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Vail Daily letter: Republicans spend more

September 4, 2015 — 

Butch (Mazzuca, Valley Voices, Monday’s Vail Daily), good try on dazzling readers with numbers on the debt and how it appears Democrats are the big spenders. Here’s another way to look at which party is “the great spender.” Under Bush the federal debt increased from $5.8 trillion to $11.9 trillion. That’s an increase of $6.1 trillion. You’re right that Obama has increased the debt from $11.9 trillion to about $18.6 trillion, close to a $7 trillion increase in about seven years. So if you just look at numbers Obama has spent about $1 trillion more. But if you look at the percentages it’s a different story. In eight years Bush increased the debt by 105 percent. By comparison Obama has increased the debt by 59 percent. It’s doubtful that Obama in his remaining 14 months will increase spending to even come close to Bush.

Also, consider the following. No matter who is president the national debt will always increase because 70 percent of the debt is made up of mandatory spending; Social Security (35 percent), Medicare/Medicaid (29 percent), and interest on the debt (6 percent).

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Vail Daily letter: It doesn't follow

September 4, 2015 — 

The Nonsequitur of the Month Award goes to Claire Noble for her column “Time to lock up guns” (Valley Voices, Thursday’s Vail Daily).

Noble started off with a story about where she used to work, and how she was afraid a fellow worker might “go postal.” He was a loser, about to be let go, and “was a competitive pistol shooter with a small arsenal in his apartment.”

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Vail Daily letter: Skier safety

September 3, 2015 — 

Kudos to Joe McHugh for raising the alarm on the growing problem of safety on Vail Mountain (Letters to the Editor, Wednesday’s Vail Daily). It is not just a lack of enforcement. VR has its marketing machine in high gear to sell the maximum number of Epic Passes possible and then some, virtually guaranteeing more accidents and near misses.

There is suppose to be a limit of about 20,000 people on the mountain, but it is a limit without any meaning; there are no penalties or consequences for going over the limit. When the limit is exceeded all that happens is VR, the town of Vail and the Forest Service “meet.” The only currently effective limit on the number of people on the mountain is I-70 and, in a “careful what you ask for” situation, CDOT and the various corridor governments are working to improve the number of cars that can travel to Vail and beyond. Makes one wonder if we are not just one good snow day away from a major disaster.

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Vail Daily letter: Trump as president

September 2, 2015 — 

I must say that the Rev. Van Ens is a source of socio-liberal concepts regarding all things political. “The majority of Americans are too intelligent to elect a president who acts like a monarch.” Incredible! The good reverend actually penned this in his article of Aug. 30. To put this pronouncement in context, Van Ens went on to say, “There’s an enormous difference in skills between running a real estate corporation and serving as president.” I say that this difference determines either success and prosperity or failure and burdensome debt.

History has shown that the “skills” the present occupant in the White House “brought to the table” were: No work experience in the private sector, no understanding of basic economics, and no knowledge of the Constitution, albeit, he purportedly claimed to have taught it to newly minted lawyers. What Mr. Obama did proffer as “qualifications” for the presidency were: Community activism or agitation, a Marxist philosophy, secrecy, spin and parsing. Yet, the “majority of Americans” elected him for the office, notwithstanding. Were those voters intelligent or dupes? I can say that I was of the unintelligent ones in the minority.

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Vail Daily letter: Quality vs. quantity

September 1, 2015 — 

Vail faces another threat to the quality of the Vail experience, and that is the serious and growing problem of safety on Vail Mountain in the winter. It appears that Vail Resorts is unwilling to really crack down on the perpetrators of this threat for fear of damaging the “Vail experience” for visitors. While VR can point to the growing numbers of lift tickets sold — so far, I believe that deteriorating safety on the mountain might damage the Vail experience and a growing number of regular Vail skiers agree. “The code”, posted in many places on the mountain and printed on paper napkins, is a list of long-standing common sense skiing guidelines. Unfortunately, there is a growing societal lack of common sense reinforced by a growing sense of “me first” entitlement.

There is no count of the numbers of people who go elsewhere to ski, or stop skiing altogether, because they fear being hit and injured on Vail Mountain. One might say that that fearful group is predominantly a diminishing number of older skiers and not a part of the “target market” of younger skiers and boarders. However, the fearful group does include young families with children and they are part of the target market. The number of injured skiers and snowboarders that the ski patrol hauls off the mountain is only a fraction of the total number of unreported injuries which don’t require ski patrol assistance and the countless “near misses” which go unreported. The “zero tolerance” signs for straight-lining and speed, in general, are largely meaningless because there is zero enforcement.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks, Vail Resorts

September 1, 2015 — 

The Cycle Effect would like to thank Vail Resorts EpicPromise and CME for their generous donation of a 15-passenger Ford E350 van. The Cycle Effect fits into a key EpicPromise criterion ­youth development by helping young girls to develop confidence and life skills through the sport of mountain biking. With its rapid growth of 300 percent in one year in Eagle County and expansion into Summit County, the Cycle Effect’s need for transportation was evident. Through Vail Resorts’ philanthropic giving council, a vehicle donation was seen as the most beneficial way to foster The Cycle Effect’s plans for more growth and delivering bikes to young women.

One of the reasons for our growth is that reliable transportation to races and training is a hurdle for many of the girls. In order to get these young ladies where they need to be and to allow them to fully participate in The Cycle Effect, we need vehicles. CME’s van has proven to be safe, reliable and in excellent condition. We simply could not run our program without vehicles like these.

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Vail Daily letter: Eliminate death penalty

September 1, 2015 — 

In light of the current events, it is time for Colorado to eliminate the death penalty. I am and I remain a proponent of the death penalty, however, as I and most of us followed the James Holmes story from shots to sentencing, I have never witnessed a crime more appropriately deserving of execution. If a death penalty is not to be used for an individual as heinous as Holmes (and I refuse to dignify him with any salutation), the death penalty only serves to entangle the court system and cost the taxpayers money.

It would be difficult to find a more vile and premeditated act upon totally innocent victims. I can think of no crime that is more deserving of execution.

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Vail Daily letter: Help wanted

September 1, 2015 — 

Vail volunteers needed. Top four volunteers will receive tickets to almost every Vail event, most with VIP access; TOV gold parking pass; Vail Resorts ski pass; paid family medical benefits; season golf pass; $8,000 per year cash for one to two days per week. Must be a full-time Vail resident 18 years of age and registered to vote in Vail. Must possess an ability to speak in public with compassion for others. A willingness to tax themselves before taxing others would be helpful. Fiscally conservative, socially moderate a plus. Property rights advocate badly needed. Any leadership experiences a big plus. This is an ultimate part-time position for retiree or person with flexible work schedule. Ideal candidate will be open to crafting ordinances that apply equally to government and private sector. Someone who thinks protecting Vail’s character and quaint charm will do more for tourism than commercializing the recreational land would be a welcome change. If you think that bigger is not always better, you may be the ideal candidate.

Pick up a petition and fill it out at the town of Vail clerk’s office during September. The public interview process will take place in October. Top candidates will be selected by popular vote on Nov. 5.

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Vail Daily letter: Protect the night

September 1, 2015 — 

The other night I went out on our deck overlooking Booth Creek Park. It was so dark I saw nothing. Nothing, but the stars and the evergreens and mountains hulking against the sky. This is how dark Booth Creek Park should remain after Vail’s redesign and redevelopment of the 3-acre parcel is completed next fall. It’s a terrible idea to illuminate the tennis court and just as bad an idea to light, even dimly, the expanded parking area, or playground, or pathways or new public restroom; studies repeatedly show that dark places are safer than many artificially lit ones, and artificial lighting, no matter how low, degrades our relationship to the natural night sky. Protect our night vision. Let there be dark.

Dyana Z. Furmansky

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September 1, 2015 — 

Quality vs. quantity

Vail faces another threat to the quality of the Vail experience, and that is the serious and growing problem of safety on Vail Mountain in the winter. It appears that Vail Resorts is unwilling to really crack down on the perpetrators of this threat for fear of damaging the “Vail experience” for visitors. While VR can point to the growing numbers of lift tickets sold — so far, I believe that deteriorating safety on the mountain might damage the Vail experience and a growing number of regular Vail skiers agree. “The code,” posted in many places on the mountain and printed on paper napkins, is a list of long-standing common sense skiing guidelines. Unfortunately, there is a growing societal lack of common sense reinforced by a growing sense of “me first” entitlement.

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Vail Daily letter: Great company

September 1, 2015 — 

It was August of 1980 when I came to work for the Gallegos Corporation. Taking a break from the restaurant industry in the Vail Valley, I took Gerald Gallegos up on his offer to come work with him for a season. At the time there were only 24 employees. After my second day I wasn’t sure I’d make it for the rest of that season. It was hard work. So it’s funny that 35 years later I continue to work for Gallegos. I stayed because I liked the artisan part of laying stone; it’s like playing pool, you are always setting up your next shot.

Thirty-five years later, I realize that was just part of it. Gallegos is like an extension of my family, a place for me to grow in my career and a stable place for me to plan my future. My career and role at Gallegos continued to grow as the company did. I started as a laborer, then became a mason, then foreman, superintendent and then became director of operations. In a time when people changed jobs and careers often Gallegos was a constant for me for all the reasons I listed above.

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Vail Daily letter: Something different

August 31, 2015 — 

Some of you may remember the famous lead-in line from the Monty Python series: ”And now for something completely different.” It seems Hollywood knows more about picking presidential candidates and possibly the presidential winner than all the political talking heads. Consider many believed Donald Trump was a flash in the pan who would never release his financials and would “flame out” following the great Fox News debate. Well if they had taken the time to view the 2007 release film of “Man of the Year,” starring Robin Williams, they might have thought otherwise.

In the film it was “all there”:

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Vail Daily letter: How a duck can save your life

August 27, 2015 — 

The Duck Race marks the end of summer in Vail and, even if you’ve already bought a duck, buy another one. Here’s why.

The money raised through the sale of those rubber ducks helps the local Rotary Club fund a variety of scholarships for young people in the Vail Valley. Skeptics might argue that buying one duck is unlikely to make a difference when the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year was $31,231 at private colleges, and $9,139 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, according to the College Board.

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Vail Daily letter: Pleased with outcome

August 27, 2015 — 

Thank you to all who participated in the debate regarding the Vail Valley Foundation’s request of the town of Avon to use the West Avon Preserve for an enduro mountain bike race as part of the GoPro Mountain Games. This parcel of land is protected by a conservation easement held by the Eagle Valley Land Trust.

EVLT did not have a legal basis to deny the request, but as a conservation organization, EVLT is not in favor of organized races and other forms of uses that are not typically considered passive recreational uses. While such uses could be an economic benefit for the community, they are not in keeping with EVLT’s mission to preserve forever our scenic vistas, open space, historic lands, waterways, and wildlife habitats that provide enjoyment, education, and benefit to all who experience this special place.

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Vail Daily letter: Tough rental market

August 26, 2015 — 

I’ve been looking for two months for a place to live. There have been two common problems that have now led me to live with my gracious friends until I find a place — I have a dog and raising prices to an unfair rate. It’s been four years since moving to this valley, and it has gotten worse and worse each year.

My eyes search Craigslist four times a day and the Vail Daily every single day. It has become disheartening to see “NP” or “no pets” in every single ad. I almost want to reach out to every contact on the ad and ask them to just meet my very mild and loving dog, Tiger. Instead of just interviewing me for a property, how about a dog interview, too? Those cold, hard-lined letters or words will make any pet owner feel hopeless in the search for a rental: “NP” or “no pets.”

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to first responders

August 26, 2015 — 

We wanted to express our sincere thanks to all of the first responders who helped extinguish the fire Sunday evening at our next-door neighbor’s home. Every one of the people we met were kind, professional and concerned for the well being of everyone affected. It was amazing to see the coordinated efforts among all of the various firefighters, paramedics, fire marshals, sheriffs and the Cordillera security team. We know this isn’t an everyday occurrence, but if you had witnessed their efforts you would have thought they do this every day. Their training has certainly paid off. It was particularly comforting when the decision was made to leave a fire truck and team overnight to safeguard against the possibility that the fire could erupt again. The rest of the neighborhood felt that we were being guarded from any further tragedy. In closing, it is a wonderful feeling to know that we are being protected by all of those men and women who put their lives on the line for others. We personally will never meet these responders without a thank you!

Judy and Bobby Shackouls

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Vail Daily letter: Frustration at the P.O.

August 25, 2015 — 

I recently stood in line at the Edwards post office on a Saturday for over half an hour of the two hours it is open for business to try to mail a package .When I arrived the line was already out the door and there was just one attendant at the counter. The other person that I saw was just getting packages for people with pickup slips — those being minority in this case because the line just kept growing. In the time I was there, three people ahead of me gave up and left.

The thing that I noticed most was that most people don’t come into the P.O. ready to do business. Some pack their package at the counter; others don’t have their money or credit card ready; they don’t know the last four digits of the credit card; they don’t know if their package has hazardous, flammable or potentially dangerous materials; they don’t know if they want extra insurance, priority mail or first class, certified or registered mail; or lastly if they want stamps.

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Vail Daily letter: Conservation efforts

August 24, 2015 — 

I’d like to thank Sen. Bennet following his announcement that he’ll be working in the Senate to permanently protect 58,000 acres in the Eagle and Summit counties. In doing so, Sen. Bennet has reaffirmed his commitment, alongside Congressman Polis, to conservation and the protection of our natural environment. As anyone who has visited Colorado knows, we are blessed with a beautiful state and an abundance of recreational opportunities from hunting, hiking, and skiing to mountain biking. I’m especially supportive of this effort because it has been a community-driven process ensuring all existing uses will be permitted when enacted as law.

I encourage the senator to move swiftly as much of Colorado’s pristine wilderness has come under threat from developmental pressures. I applaud Sen. Bennet and Congressman Polis for stepping up as champions of conservation. Their work toward conserving our beautiful state will be a great legacy for all.

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Vail Daily letter: A lifestyle change

August 21, 2015 — 

It was 13 years ago at this time of year that I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and had quadruple bypass surgery. After my surgery, I became aware of a program developed by a U.S. physician named Dr. Dean Ornish entitled The “Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heat Disease.” I was fortunate in being accepted for the 13-week program consisting of exercise, stress management, group support and a very low fat vegetarian diet.

When I started the program Medicare was seeking several thousand volunteers willing to undergo extensive additional study to see if the Ornish program might be covered by Medicare in the future. I volunteered and I understand Medicare has approved the program, the first ever for a preventive medicine.

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Vail Daily letter: Lemonade out of lemons

August 21, 2015 — 

Bright Future Foundation would like to give a huge thank you to Chris and Brittany from Colorado Meat Co. in Avon. As many are aware by now, they were dealt a huge setback after their first day of business when the compressor for their refrigeration unit was stolen overnight Monday. This resulted in their fledgling business facing the question of what to do with thousands of dollars’ worth of high-quality beef, pork and lamb which could no longer be kept refrigerated and thus could not be sold. Thanks to their industrious nature and a few good friends, they were able to cook up some of the smaller cuts of meat as “free samples” in the parking lot, but they donated several larger cuts of meat to Bright Future Foundation.

For those who are not familiar with Bright Future Foundation, we are a nonprofit organization that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout Eagle County. In addition to in-house advocacy, counseling and legal services offered at our offices in Avon, we also operate Freedom Ranch Safe House, which is the local shelter for victims of domestic violence. Because our clients’ lives are already in a state of turmoil and many times they do not have transportation to do their own grocery shopping, we try to stock Freedom Ranch with healthy foods for the families who stay there. Although we do receive food donations periodically from businesses in the community, it is rare that we receive meat/protein donations and especially not of the quality and volume of what was donated by Colorado Meat Co. As such, this meat will help to feed many families in our community who are currently in dire circumstances. It has been lovingly prepared by members of our staff (as well as some Southern relatives who happen to be visiting and were recruited to slow roast a particularly huge pork shoulder), then frozen in individual family-sized portions for easy preparation when needed.

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Arrogant display

August 20, 2015 — 

We were visiting the valley a couple of weeks ago and after going to Costco decided to take a ride up Valley Road, which we’ve always thought was so beautiful. Approaching Valley Road from Cooley Mesa, we were astonished to see the changes that had taken place to the prominently located little Craftsman-style house on the corner. Trees cut down, old fence removed, etc., etc. But what was incredibly distressing was a Confederate flag hanging and the one that had been painted on the front of the new gate. Now I am a firm believer in freedom of speech. But in my opinion, flaunting the symbol of slavery and one of the darkest, most reprehensible periods in American history in the faces of neighbors and visitors (many of whom I hope are equally distressed) is the height of arrogance.

I certainly hope the owners of the home will rethink how their actions are perceived and how they affect others and will remove the Confederate flags.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for love and support

August 20, 2015 — 

It has been noted countless times before what an incredible place the Vail Valley is to live. Typically, the comment is made in reference to its incredible beauty, perfect weather, abundance of recreational activities, and laid-back, fun-loving, mountain town culture. Today I make this comment, with more strength and conviction than I have ever known, not because of these things, but because of the local community that is the valley’s heart and soul. I say this in the wake of my boyfriend, Will Olson’s, sudden, tragic and unexpected death, which occurred in a mountain bike race in Crested Butte, on Aug. 1.

Will’s family and I cannot thank the Vail community enough for the love and support you showed us, and Will, following his passing.

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Vail Daily letter: Policing yourself

August 20, 2015 — 

Regarding the UN allowing Iran to inspect its own nuclear sites: Since this administration is so supportive of this deal, I expect they will apply similar rules at home. Just think of the increased efficiency and cost savings to be had when we all can audit our own tax returns and people accused of crimes can do their own investigations and handle their own evidence.

Kenneth Wetcher

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Vail Daily letter: Support the team

August 18, 2015 — 

The United States has a brand new ladies’ six-person whitewater rafting team! Team USA! They were formerly the Red Ladies Raft team, but demolishing the competition in the whitewater races in Canon City on the 27th of June this year transformed them into Team USA! Now the men’s team won, too; the new men and women’s Team USA will be competing against the world in Indonesia this November. At least the men’s team will. They have sponsors!

The Red Ladies raft team, now ostensibly Team USA, currently has no sponsorship to pay for travel, lodging, meals, equipment, and other necessities. They have a website introducing each lady, and a site where sponsors may fund them or donations may be taken: http://www.redladyraftracing.com/index.html

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Vail Daily letter: The Vail experience

August 16, 2015 — 

For several years I was privileged to serve on the Vail Economic Advisory Council as one of two “second homeowner” representatives among the representatives of the lodging, restaurant and retail businesses in Vail. The council meets monthly and the agenda is prepared by the town of Vail manager’s office. The agenda consists largely of reports about the progress of major developments (new employee housing, Vail Resorts’ Ever Vail Project, etc.), parking, discussions with CDOT about the frontage road and I-70, monthly tax receipts in each of the various business categories with prior year comparisons, and various other current topics of general interest to the group. There are periodic presentations by representatives of the Vail Valley Medical Center, Bravo, the Vail Valley Foundation, Eagle County airport, the Vail Chamber of Commerce, the Vail Recreation District and an organization which tracks comparative business activity at each of the major Colorado ski resorts.

I found many of the meetings to be very interesting and informative in terms of the information provided on the various aspects of the Vail economy and the ongoing projects. It was interesting to hear the understandable conflicts among the various business group representatives generated by various town of Vail policies, rules or regulations. Each agenda provided for a few minutes of general discussion and a Q&A opportunity.

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Vail Daily letter: Share our neighborhood

August 16, 2015 — 

A great plus to living in Wildridge is seeing wildlife almost everyday. Unfortunately, many of the people that live up here have no regard as to sharing this beautiful area with them. Last week, I was thrilled to see two young does with spots and their mother grazing nearby. This morning as I drove up Metcalf my heart broke as I saw a little spotted doe dead in the ditch. These roads are not speedways. Are you so inconsiderate of your surroundings that you continue to disregard the great possibility that there could be a deer standing at the edge of the road or crossing!? I hope the idiot self-serving speed freak has some kind of conscience for killing this doe. People, please embrace where you live and understand you are privileged to share this area with the wildlife. You killed a beautiful baby for what? To get home five minutes faster than before? Disgraceful.

Jeri Penland

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Vail Daily letter: Here's a ticket

August 16, 2015 — 

Hi Don (Rogers, My View, Friday’s Vail Daily),

I totally agree Megyn Kelly should run for president. May I nominate Dana Perino for vice president?

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Vail Daily letter: The perfect president

August 13, 2015 — 

The noise from Fox News tells us this: There are candidates on the stage who all appear to bring qualifications to the table, one that will ultimately lead to a position dictating world policy for four to eight years. By way of thinning the crowd via attribute-friendly criteria, I decided to point the way toward a livable prospect we all could agree on. (Not likely.)

Foreign policy: A big one for me. The candidate falling into the plus column should have the following attributes:

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Vail Daily letter: Great service

August 13, 2015 — 

I recently ventured to Colorado to take part in the 27th Triple Bypass (bike ride). What a great experience, although the altitude was difficult for a low-lander. OK, I’m not lying, it was arguably the hardest eight hours of my life. I was able to meet up and ride with my old phys ed teacher/coach from high school — whom I hadn’t seen in 28 years. Also, I met a couple new friends along the way. To add to the experience, I stayed with an old college friend that now resides in Edwards (hadn’t seen him in 25 years). It was a blast. Love me some Colorado!

Well, when I was in town I had a bit of an issue with my bike; a snafu if you will. Paul Previtali, owner of High Gear Cyclery in Avon, stepped in (and stepped up), bending over backwards to help me out. I handle PR and customer/technical support for my company and understand all too well the importance of taking care of the customer. Paul at High Gear established a whole new benchmark; his level of support and assistance went well beyond even the high standards I expect from my company and employees.

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