Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Semi-Pro Cyclist

Paonia - July 20th

Less than 1,500 people live in the town of Paonia. It is a quiet place where the people where incredibly friendly and considerate. There was a beautiful river that ran near town and we where surrounded by mountains off in the distance. I am always excited to get a feel for the local culture, and the diversity from town to town is amazing. In order to learn more about the local people and their way of life, I try to stop in small mom and pop shops and family owns restaurants. So while in Paonia, I went to get dinner at a local restaurant & bar called Louie's. There were many cycling photos behind the bar and the Tour De France was on TV. I knew this was the place for me and I quickly made friends with some interesting locals. Eventually I met the owner, and Louie was amazed to hear that I was cycling across the country for such a great cause. Louie invited my to stay at his home so I canceled my hotel reservation and took him up on his hospitable offer. It turns out Louie was a semi-professional racer back in the day and he has been an avid cycler for the last 30 years. He had dozens of bikes at his home and he taught me a lot about different riding techniques. I also told Louie about some knee pain that had been bothering me and so we readjusted my seat to solve the problem. It was great to meet an experienced cyclist and I am very appreciative to have been welcomed into the Paonia community.