By Bill Plock
August 6th, Littleton: Sasha Underwood started her solo bike journey today and is planning to ride the Colorado Trail in ten days. That’s over 50 miles of single track, hike-a-bike, not easy riding every day. All of that while carrying everything she needs; clothes, food, tent, sleeping bag, tools, stove, hydration supplies, and a lot of mental toughness and grit! She did mail ahead some food to a couple of towns along the way but otherwise is self supported.
What’s fun is you can track her all along the way here:
Sasha has been working for weeks to figure it out. She has a detailed guide book that shows all possible water sources, detailed terrain profiles and shows her how to get around several wilderness areas that don’t allow cyclist. That is why it’s 550 miles, one detour adds about 70 miles near Kenosha Pass and there are a few others.
Sasha has completed Ironman’s, guided visual impaired athletes and completed no shortage of amazing things. But the mental toughness required for this journey is unparalleled.
Sasha is not only doing this for herself, but she is passionate about helping refugees. For years she has collected food, clothes and other things to deliver all over the city. Now she is riding to raise money for them. If you care to learn more or contribute, please check this out: https://ridingforrefugees.funraise.org
Let’s learn more about Sasha and in her own words, her why, what she is most excited and nervous about and more:
Why: Well – all the races I had planned to do canceled with the big race for me being Breck Epic. I had already earmarked taking a week to 10 days off for it. I was texting with my friend Lydia on May 6th about speculation of all races cancelling (she was planning on Leadville) and had a thought to bike pack instead – which in a matter of an hour or less I thought if I’m going to go for 4 days I might as well do the whole trail because why not. Deep down I’m always looking for adventure and I love a good challenge.. but then I need accountability. So I told my coach, Drew Edsall about the change of plan B to bikepacking the Colorado Trail if Breck Epic cancels … I also wanted to have a “why” that I could pull from when I get into those deep, dark recesses of my soul when everything hurts and it would be easy to quit (barring the live-to-race-another-day “smart” quit, which I had to do at one of my Ironman races when I was coughing up blood for the first 75 miles on the bike… it was time to quit)…. so I decided to raise money for our refugee community which I am passionate about and have been serving for over 10 years now.
What am I hoping to learn? How resourceful am I? How far can I push myself (and my 50lb bike) lol … Can I finish without getting lost more than 3 times? Lol (seriously, I tend to be directionally challenged.)
What I’m most excited about: I’m ready to reset; my spiritual place and where I am centered and truly connected is on trails deep in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. No matter what time of year. To experience this for 10-14 days is going to be amazing. I’m also so excited for star-gazing! I was hoping for a full moon but that happened Aug 3rd. I’m also really excited to see if my hodgepodge bike set-up will actually work for 500+ miles haha
What I’m most nervous about: I’m most nervous about my imagination at night. About the glowing red eyes I might see , noises at night etc. I have only been camping twice in the past 5 years and that was with a group of people. I’ve only been backpacking a couple times, the most for a two-day trip and that was over 20 years ago.
Fun fact about me that you wouldn’t know… I used to Scottish dance when I was a kid – and can be convinced to do the Highland Fling after I have had a couple drinks lol