COLORADO SPRINGS — What could be more health-minded than attempting to ride a bicycle across Colorado, from the Wyoming border to New Mexico? That is what’s happening later this week in my life; and I’m doing it for a good cause.
CLICK HERE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR MY RIDE IN ANY DOLLAR AMOUNT - No amount is too small anything will help.
Jake Skifstad is the founder of SHIELD616, a Colorado Springs based non-profit whose mission is to provide first responders with the best in protective ballistics gear - free of charge. This bicycle ride is just one of many fundraising events throughout the year.
Jake says, “I think it's unlike any other bicycle ride that's out there. You have a true purpose of potentially life-saving behind riding across the whole state. It's not an easy task especially considering the route we take in the mountains.”
The genesis of SHIELD616 began during Jake’s time with the Colorado Springs Police Department. “One of my worst days was being involved in the Planned Parenthood active shooting, and I said our protectors need the best available equipment that is out there,” he explains.
The SHIELD616 border-to-border ride is now in its fourth year. The original idea for the fundraiser started with Cary Katalin, a former chaplain with Colorado Springs Police.
Jake recalls, “He (Cary) said, 'I have an idea for a fundraiser.’ and I said, ‘Great! what are your thoughts?’ And he said, ‘I would like to ride across the state of Colorado; a border-to-border bicycle ride.’ I said, ‘People would want to do that?’ and he said, ‘Yes, I think they would.’ "On our first year (in 2016) we had seven riders.”
This year, there will be nearly twenty riders peddling from the Wyoming border to the New Mexico border over 4 days. With the support of KOAA, I’m thrilled, excited, and a little nervous to say I will also be along for the trip. I see it as a chance to challenge myself personally, support a very worthy cause that I feel strongly about, and to be able to share the story of this ride and some of the men and women doing it.
Jake tells me he welcomes the chance to share the story of this ride with the community. “For you and KOAA to be coming on board to not just cover it, but to participate in it and help fundraise to keep our first responders safe - that is so powerful. We would love to keep as many of our first responders as safe as possible - courtesy of this bike ride.”
To support me in this effort to ride across Colorado with Team SHIELD616, CLICK HERE Jake says, “It means so much that this is a community effort. I would encourage everyone that there is no small donation, if you can one donate one dollar, five dollars, ten dollars, we tell people all the time that at the end of the day it all adds up to something life-saving.”
The ride begins this Thursday September 12th. I will have live reports on Thursday and Friday morning, as well as Friday evening from the ride on KOAA News 5.
To learn more about SHIELD616 and their mission, you can visit their website HERE