Theo Williams completes bike journey to Cali, elevating $25K for the Aspen Hope Heart
Almost 1,000 miles and virtually two weeks after setting off from Aspen, Theo Williams arrived in Santa Monica a modified man. He battled climate, bodily fatigue and self-doubt — to not point out flying trashcans and site visitors cones — however completed stronger than he started on his journey of, effectively, hope.
“It feels prefer it hasn’t sunk in but. It’s very unusual how I really feel like I didn’t do something particular,” Williams mentioned Friday, simply over every week after ending his 12-day bike journey. “I didn’t understand the momentum behind it or how vital the message was. I didn’t know the way — I don’t just like the phrase love — however I undoubtedly felt extra revered, somewhat bit, in the neighborhood, that individuals had been truly getting behind me.”
Williams, a local of England who has lived within the Roaring Fork Valley since 2013, cycled roughly 979 miles from Aspen to Santa Monica, California, starting Oct. 18 and ending Oct. 29. Originally he was doing this for his own mental health, as this previous 12 months has been as powerful on him as anyone, but additionally determined to accomplice with the Aspen Hope Heart with the unique hope of elevating round $5,000 for the native nonprofit. Phrase bought out rapidly and earlier than he had even began his 12-day journey, he had raised greater than $10,000 and readjusted his objective to $20,000.
As of Friday evening, Williams said he has raised $25,320, which he hopes will go towards placing counselors in colleges to assist youngsters who could also be going by tough instances.
“It was enjoyable and I’m tremendous pumped of the cash that was raised, but it surely was arduous,” Williams mentioned. “It’s been unbelievable by way of I don’t actually perceive how a lot $25,000 is till I spoke to the charity they usually say that’s truly a major sum of money to boost.”
Williams chronicled his journey by Strava, Instagram and Fb, typically utilizing the hashtags #MentalHealth, #DepressionAwareness and #BreakTheStigma. Right here’s the breakdown of his journey to California, in response to his Strava profile:
Day 1: Aspen to Rifle (67.98 miles)
Day 2: Rifle to Fruita (87.69 miles)
Day 3: Fruita to Inexperienced River, Utah (98.69 miles)
Day 4: Inexperienced River to Torrey, Utah (102.99 miles)
Day 5: Torrey to Panguitch, Utah (73.33 miles)
Day 6: Panguitch to Hurricane, Utah (79.46 miles)
Day 7: Hurricane to Mesquite, Nevada (63.33 miles)
Day 8: Mesquite to Las Vegas (87.63 miles)
Day 9: Las Vegas to “Someplace on I-15” in California (56.78 miles)
Day 10: “Someplace on I-15” to Barstow, California (95.67 miles)
Day 11: Barstow to Palmdale, California (77.67 miles)
Day 12: Palmdale to Santa Monica, California (64.18 miles)
Driving on fumes most days, Williams mentioned he felt the strongest on Day 12 driving into the Los Angeles space and his end line.
“Day 12, of all the rides, was the one day that my legs felt nice, my physique felt nice. If there have been any hills to climb, I nailed it,” Williams mentioned. “It was relieving. The sensation that I didn’t should cycle the subsequent day was by far a very powerful and finest feeling about it. I had some household and mates that welcomed me in, and that was a shock.”
Of the unhealthy days, he mentioned Day 5 — Torrey to Panguitch — was probably the most memorable. That was the day he bought caught in a foul windstorm on trash day, one which actually despatched each a garbage can and site visitors cone flying into him on separate events that took him off his bike. To his shock, a neighborhood household helped him up and drove him 40 miles north and out of the storm so he may safely proceed his journey.
After finishing Day 11 and attending to Palmdale, the eve of his end, Williams posted on social media a “rant,” as he put it, which summed up the aim of the journey.
“I created this concept with a egocentric objective in thoughts. A while for myself to get away and do one thing for me,” he wrote. “(Aspen Hope Heart) got here into the image late however I’m thrilled it did. I’ve learnt on this journey that it’s vital that all of us do actions which might be ‘good egocentric.’ It’s OK to do issues that higher us individually. Should you get the chance to do one thing for you, undoubtedly go forward and do it. It’s far more vital than I ever knew.”
Williams doesn’t see this as the top of his work with Aspen Hope Heart, however the starting. As tough as his 12 days had been and as blissful as he was to be house, he was already speaking about what he may do subsequent 12 months to boost extra money for the nonprofit.
He needed to thank his employer, Slifer Smith & Frampton Actual Property in Aspen, in addition to valley locals Simon Chen, Bob Perlmutter, Murray Cunningham and Bob Stumpus for his or her assist and for offering occasional firm on the street.
“It was arduous. I undoubtedly really feel like I modified and grew so much as an individual, for the higher,” Williams mentioned Friday. “I actually need to assist folks extra. It’s at all times great to have a Vary Rover, however my mindset has undoubtedly shifted. I really feel like I grew extra internally than ever earlier than.”
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