Mike Hulley of Granby wanted to create a team of riders for this year's Ride the Rockies so he called his friends Alan Findley and Peter Kerswell, both of Granby, to gather riders.
The discussions began in December, even before the lottery decided if they would get into the bike event.
They found eight other cyclists among friends and colleagues and their team name: The Toads Less Raveled
Members of the team: Alan Findley, Granby, Mike Hulley, Granby, Peter Kerswell, Granby, Julie Kerswell, Granby, Bill Aplin, Parker, Dave Aplin, Parker, Kathy Aplin, Parker, Adam Pring, Colorado Springs, Rob Gillespie, Denver, and Ryan Kunisch, Denver.
They began training indoors and had completed weeks of training before they found out in March, they were in.
"Once we realized we got it, training kicked in full force," said Findley.
The team members followed a training schedule Ride The Rockies recommended.
"I've been trying to do 100 to 150 miles per week, especially the last two months," he said.
He used a combination of short intense rides to get heart rate up and get use to high pace, with climbing and long distance rides including riding to the top of Trail Ridge Road from Grand Lake.
The Kerswells and Findley rode 83 miles in Denver one weekend day as training.
"We rode from the REI downtown to Chatfield Reservoir, then on to Cherry Creek Reservoir, and then back to REI," Findley said.
They stopped and took breaks to eat to mimic the Ride The Rockies route, which has rest stops every 12 to 15 miles.
"We tried to think of it as stringing together 15 mile rides, and mentally approached it that way," he said.
The team's strategy for riding this 442 mile ride over five legendary mountain passes, through two national parks, and along the highest continuous byway in the U.S.: They will try to ride in a group if it's windy, to streamline the ride. But ultimately, it's about enjoying the scenery and the ride. It's about appreciating your accomplishments at the end of each day with a beer, said Findley.
After all the long rides, and short intense training rides, Findley is ready for this ride.
"After these last two rides, I felt ready. I told my wife this morning, I'm ready, let's go, let's stop talking about it."
Findley's wife, Laurie, executive director of the Granby Chamber, has been coordinating the event with the town for months in order to give the 2,000 cyclists a good experience while they stay the night in Granby.
Cyclist will begin arriving in the Granby area anytime on Wednesday after cycling 94 miles from Leadville.