This week, Dixie Burmeister introduces us to a Baby Boomer who has pedaled his way, quite literally, to a successful and happy life.
Rondo Buecheler moved to our Valley all because back in the 70s he had an interesting conversation with some local residents at Lake Powell.
"I met a bunch of folks that worked at Powderhorn down at Lake Powell, and they told me about Powderhorn Ski Area. And I thought I'd check it out and haven't left," he explained.
Then he got serious about a passion of his and moved to Fruita.
"(I was) looking for something to do in the summer, so Troy Rarick and I opened Over The Edge Sports in 1996," said Buecheler.
Next came an idea and a vision from a Palisade resident.
"Jim Harkreader, one of the trustees and a good friend from Palisade said, "Hey! You need to come out here and get some trails going in this end of the Valley," recalled Buecheler.
That vision includes destination biking for the whole family.
"I've got four grandkids and we love riding. So there's a five-mile loop that goes down River Road and through the original vinelands of Palisade," Buecheler explained. "It's just along the Colorado river, through some vineyards and orchards, and it's the Family Fruit Loop."
On June 9th in Palisade arrives evidence of what's happening to his vision for the east end of the Valley.
"The full grind starts at eight in the morning, and the sports and beginner race start at ten," he said. "And for those of you coming out just to do the fruit and wine ride, those you can start at nine o'clock and then ride around. And then afterwards there's a barbecue."
Don't want to grind? No problem, there's still plenty to enjoy.
"Everybody that registers gets a lunch, a beverage, a token. For the bike race we're giving out pint beer glasses this year," he said. "And for the fruit and wine tour you're getting a commemorative water bottle."
In addition to his Rapid Creek Cycles shop, hanging with family, biking, and generally living the dream, Rondo has some other excitement in his life.
"I also guide for Grand Canyon Dories down in the Grand Canyon," he explained. "I've been doing that thirty years, and that is the most exciting job i will ever have."
He's right where he wants to be all because of that fateful chat on the shores of Lake Powell.
"I've been very blessed to have a great family, great career that keeps changing, and just being able to work with a lot of incredible people to turn this Valley into the incredible biking mecca that it is," Buecheler said.
So whether you're grinding or touring, come on out to the Palisade Bike Festival June 9th, and let's help Rondo build his dream for biking in the east end of the Valley.