52 Tuesdays: Mike Dallas

No one believes me when I tell folks that my uncle, Mike Dallas, helped start Ride the Rockies. He did.


“As a teacher, at the high school in Idaho Springs, I went on Ragbrai (annual bike ride across Iowa), and then I thought, well this could be fun for a lot of people. I started recruiting parents, teachers, students, and pretty soon, we had a group of twenty to thirty people going every year on Ragbrai. I did Ragbrai for fifteen years… and I had been in just about every small town in Iowa about three times.


I was somewhat well known for cycling articles I was writing”. (The Colorado Bicyclist, Colorado Racing Express, Mountain Bicyclist’s Association). “Ride the Rockies first called Beth Wrenn-Estes who had read those articles and who ran the racing part of Colorado Cycling and said, ‘Who do you know who’s done these long tours and she said, Mike Dallas’. And so, they called me and asked if I’d come down so we could talk about the Denver Post sponsoring a touring ride.


The best advice I gave them was do not ever haul the riders’ bikes in a Denver Post truck. If you run a crappy ride, I can go home and forget about it, but if you scratch my bike, I will never forgive you, so hire that out. We kicked around a bunch of ideas; how much do you charge? We’d lie awake nights wondering if anyone would come charging so much money. ($35) But come they did”.


Mike rode in the first thirty Ride the Rockies and even had a heart attack on one of those rides, a 100 mile day. No SAG vehicles were available so he continued riding. He took the next day off.


One of Mike’s favorite memories was riding with his sons, Aaron and Brendan and watching them grow up in Ride the Rockies. “We had great experiences over all of those years, but it was Father’s Day, and the boys were teenagers by then. We were going up Wolf Creek Pass, and I heard them coming up behind me. ‘Hi Dad, bye Dad’, as they passed me. I said, ‘wait a minute, you can’t pass you father on Father’s Day on Wolf Creek Pass! You two are grounded!’ They turned around and looked at me and laughed, then rode away”.