Anyone who knows Closet Factory owners Mark and Polly Lestikow knows that they are avid bikers, among other things. They have conquered much of Colorado’s biking territory as well as various parts of the U.S., but in the spring of 2008 they embarked on their most challenging endeavor yet: A Ride Across America.
Organized by the Colorado Heart Cycle group, this ride consisted of three legs taking place over three consecutive years. Each year the 40 riders covered an average of 1,000 miles across the southern parts of the U.S. What makes this even more amazing is that the average age of the riders was 61! When asked why they would want to take on such an incredible feat, Polly responded, “because it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. Two of our good friends were leading it and we thought it was a great way to see America- from our bikes!”
And a great way it was!
In 2008 the group gathered in San Diego and began the journey by dipping their rear tires in the Pacific Ocean, then climbed-literally- out of the city on the ride of their lives.
Armed with determination, months of training and plenty of butt cream (those saddle sores are killer!) the group ventured towards El Paso, TX, the end point of the first leg and a total of 900 miles. A few windy days didn’t deter the group who made it to their destination after about 2 weeks of riding.
The second leg of the ride took place in 2009 and covered most of Texas. The group met in El Paso in March and proceeded to Kountze, TX, just shy of the Louisiana border. This leg required the riders to traverse the widest part of Texas, but also offered some amazing scenery. This was both Mark and Polly’s favorite part of the U.S. because as Mark states, “it was so diverse. ” While making their way through Texas, Mark and Polly were also able to spend time with their good friends and Vail neighbors, Don and Georgia Henrich, who showed them the true meaning of Southern hospitality.
In March of this year, the riders joined together one last time to finish the ride. They rode out of Kountze, TX and proceeded across Louisiana, Alabama, a small part of Georgia. Along the way they found more beautiful scenery, interesting culture and lots and LOTS of seafood- most of it deep-fried. Polly recalls having a meal in Kountze where “even the oysters were breaded and deep-fried.”
They finally ended their ride in S. Augustine, FL where they took part in Mark’s favorite part of the ride: “dipping our front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean and knowing that we rode every friggin’ inch across America!” Mark and Polly were also given a tour of St. Augustine by some friends from Chicago who have since relocated to Florida.
Each year the group was blessed with great weather and amazing support from their sag drivers Kathleen and Carol who kept them fed and energized during the long days of biking. Many of the riders credit these two awesome women for their success- so thank you Kathleen and Carol!
Get organized this spring! Call (303) 690-6901 or visit www.closetfactory.com for a free in-home consultation!