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Crossing a country for women’s rights

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyWarren Schlick, right, athletic director at Allegria Spa, spots Tim O'Kelly, left, through his bench press work out Thursday.
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BEAVER CREEK ” A truck squeezed Warren Schick between its tires and a guard rail, with only six inches on either side of his bicycle. So with his glasses fogged and covered with raindrops, he looked for another way across Canada.

“I wouldn’t want my mother reading this,” said Schick, 30, of Avon. “It was kind of a narrow escape, I’ll put it that way.”

Schick, athletic director of The Club at Allegria in Beaver Creek, rececently returned from a 2,200-mile, 34-day solo cycling trip on which he rode from Nova Scotia to Ontario to raise money for a women’s vocational school in Uganda.

A friend who helped establish the school inspired Schick to raise money for the women, some of whom were in danger of being circumcised if they returned to their homes.

In circumcision, a woman’s vaginal tissue is cut and removed. The practice is common in some areas of Uganda, said Anne Prinzhorn, Beaver Creek resident and co-founder of the school.

Schick raised about $14,000 of his $50,000 goal, but he isn’t disappointed, he said. Before the ride, he thought it would be great if he raised even $10,000, he said.

“We surpassed our expectations,” Schick said.

But forget the money. Warren’s friends are impressed that he did the trip alone and that he helped people in another country, they said.

“I imagine it would be tough to make it waking up everyday and not having someone saying, ‘Come on man, let’s go,'” said Matt King, Eagle resident and Warren’s friend of five years.

Schick’s group of friends often talk about doing long bicycling trips, but rarely do they commit to one, King said.

“I get nervous going on a 40-mile, one-day, epic mountain bike ride,” King said.

Schick is an athlete, but not a world-class one, and that’s what makes the ride that much more amazing, said Cody Chalfin, Warren’s roommate.

And, unlike other people, Schick thinks about the world outside the bubble of the valley, Chalfin said.

“We kind of just go about our daily lives here without much of a more global thought process,” Chalfin said.

“To actually go through with it surprised him as much as it surprised everybody else,” he added.

An aching hamstring and ferocious wind made the ride more challenging, but Schick pressed on.

Riding with that wind was like fighting in a boxing match, Schick wrote in an online journal he updated throughout the ride.

“I’m trying to ride the thin white line painted on the road, and the wind keeps pushing me around ” jabs to the left and jabs to the right,” Schick wrote.

Schick was surprised by how generous and hospitable people were throughout his ride, he said. On June 28, several of his friends met him at a farm outside his hometown ” Renfrew, Ontario ” with banners, signs and noise makers.

Now that he’s back, Shick hopes to raise more money for the Uganda school by giving a presentation on his trip sometime in August, he said.

“It’s still my intention to reach the goal,” Schick said.

For more information Vision for Africa Girls Vocational Training School, go to http://www.warrensrideforuganda.com.

Money would go to benefit the women through charity organization Vision for Africa, which plans to build a dormitory to expand the current enrollment of women from 27 to 50.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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