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George Randle "Rides The Rockies"

GeorgeRandle.jpgGeorge Randle, HP’s Technology Services Human Resources Manager and resident cycling fanatic, recently participated in The Denver Post Ride The Rockies event. In this post, George describes the event and his experiences in brief and in his own words. We also have a chance to view some breathtaking photos.

 

 

 

The Event

 

Over the span of six days, 473 miles and 28,265 feet of elevation gain, you will test your endurance by climbing six passes – Berthoud, Muddy, Rabbit Ears, Tennessee, Fremont and Loveland – along with cyclist favorites Battle Mountain, Swan Mountain and Lookout Mountain. The Denver Post Ride The Rockies is an annual bicycle tour that takes 2,000 cyclists, assisted by more than 100 volunteers, on a 6-7 day ride on paved roads through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains each June.

 

Ride The Rockies route is different each year, but always climbs a few challenging mountain passes and showcases the state’s spectacular scenery. Daily rides can be as short as 35 miles or as long as 100 miles, but generally average 60-70 miles.

 

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While the tour route changes each year, the benefits and responsibilities of the host communities remain the same. Benefits include publicity, positive economic impact, fundraising opportunities and a grant provided to an eligible non-profit agency in each host town. Cyclists in 2013 spent an average of $250,000 in a 24-hour period in each town and many cyclists return as tourists at a later date. Host communities provide alternative lodging, inexpensive community meals and entertainment. Riders on past Ride The Rockies have represented all 50 states and 18 foreign countries. Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event open to cyclists of all ages and riders are encouraged to ride at their own pace. Proceeds from Ride the Rockies benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation. All funds raised are returned to Colorado nonprofits.

 

The Preparation

 

My team and I have been training for about 4 months now….differing ride lengths, tempo and terrain. Just finished Real Ale Ride – 80 miles of difficult terrain in 15+ mph headwinds. We have taken to doing 80+ miles every Saturday for some time, with smaller, shorter rides in between.

 

Ride.jpg

 

The Experience

 

Well, what an adventure. The event was reduced to 460 miles total with road closures due to weather reducing it’s length. I got in about 300 miles, 85% of that was uphill.

 

Over 6 days, we rode through a hail storm, a snow storm, a lightning storm, then rain and wind. On day 2 we woke to find that everyone’s bike had frozen over with ice. On one day, we started the ride with the temperature at 35, wind chill 28 (well below freezing). Then later same day was both 72 (in the flats) and then 52 while crossing a pass. Such contrasts made just increased the physical challenge. I was stung by a bee while riding, got a sinus infection one day and fever another day and met a ton of new people. I likely burned 20,000 calories…but I ate 20,000 calories too!!

 

Unfortunately on day 5, I had to drop out as my back wheel broke ($1000 just to replace wheel). Unbeknownst to me, the carbon delaminated and warped following a blowout on a high speed descent (40+ mph). I rode 2 more days on it but a mechanic saw it (takes a trained eye) when I stopped for an adjustment, and he stopped me from riding further.

 

                                                                                                      RTR14 Rabbit Ears1.jpg

 

Above, you’ll see a pic of me crossing the continental divide - Rabbit Ears pass. At over 9000 feet of elevation it gets very cold and the air is thin. Snow on top and about a 14 mile climb. Just think of pedaling uphill for about 3 hours straight. The descent is where I had a blowout. Everyone rubbed my head afterward given my good luck in not getting killed. I do recall making promises to the almighty and hoping I didn’t see a bright light! I was jinxed on many days - but overall, I plan on doing it again next year. Why don’t you join me?

 

George Randle is a results-driven Talent Acquisition and HR leader with 15+ years of multi-industry experience in Fortune 100 & Fortune 1000 companies. He provides strategic leadership & support to align Talent Acquisition and HR with the organization’s business initiatives. George is an accomplished manager, mentor, and coach with outstanding leadership skills, reputable for creating and implementing exceptional programs, HR initiatives, successfully building high-performing teams, and leading organizational change initiatives that consistently yield impressive results.

 

George has been with HP for just over four years and you can view his profile and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

 

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Comments
Michelle Fields | ‎06-19-2014 04:16 PM

Awesome pictures.  What an amazing adventure. Go GEORGE!

Susan Graye | ‎06-19-2014 04:17 PM

George thank you for sharing your experience.  You inspire us each to give 100% to our professional and personal endeavors.  

 

Loved seeing the investment of time needed by you and your team to drive success.  It is so  important to practice, be persistent and be aware that the  end result may not be what we planned for.  There are always obstacles that we need to solution through to be successful.

 

Way to go!!!

lbeverin | ‎06-19-2014 04:18 PM

I'm tired just reading this.  What an accomplishment George!  Way to go.

Linda

 

EmilyCarter | ‎06-19-2014 04:38 PM

Well done George. They say cycling is the new golf… great for networking and a better way to stay in shape. I have been thinking of taking it up for a while. That’s it – you’ve inspired me - I’m doing it!

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As the Digital & Social Media lead for Asia Pacific & Japan, I am heavily involved in campaigns across the region, working with our amazing ...
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