Vail Valley’s 24th annual Casual Classic Bike Ride is as good as it gets |

Vail Valley’s 24th annual Casual Classic Bike Ride is as good as it gets

Betty Ann Woodland
Vail, CO Colorado
Vail Society: Johannes Faessler is minus one pedal but still smiling.

VAIL, Colorado –Lance Armstrong has nothing on Vail hero Johannes Faessler and his amazing daughter Francesca. The two intrepid bikers hauled their beast of a tandem over Vail Pass with a compromised steed. The crank for Johannes’ front right pedal sheared off leaving him to carry on with the use of one leg. He maneuvered the steering and braking while Francesca pushed the rig like a barge. The two of them never entertained a negative thought. When I suggested jumping on the sag wagon, it was like it had never crossed their mind. Johannes said, “Oh, we will be fine…no problem.” And off they went. Impressive, inspirational and downright crazy…true positive energy.

The incredible day helped all the riders carry on. Perfect weather…not too cold or warm…just right! Most riders did 38 miles from Breckenridge to Vail; some did the roundtrip of 76 miles. It was especially encouraging to see the multitudes on our awesome recreational paths. There was a foot race going on at the same time out of Copper Mountain to Vail Pass and back. We were cheering each other on and shouting out supportive praise. The experience was truly a testimony to the value of funding, building and utilizing the trail system in the area. EcoTrails and the Sonnenalp Foundation were the recipients of the fundraising that the Sonnenalp Resort organized for the ride. It is the best deal in town with awesome support, a shuttle service, great prizes and a delicious buffet lunch prepared at the Bully Ranch. Who could ask for anything more?

Steven Kirchner wishes more families would come out and participate. He was lead man on his quad and has been doing this ride for 14 years. The first ride was with wife Tessa when she was pregnant with their son, Canon (now 13 years old). This ride typically sells out at about 220 riders so sign up early next year. For more information visit or call Michele Davis at 970-479-5700.

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