What started as rehabilitation for a knee injury about five years ago turned into something a bit bigger than anticipated and became enjoyable for an entirely different reason for cycling enthusiast Aaron Davis.
In four years’ time, Davis has raised more than $3,000 toward causes like diabetes and cancer. A coworker with diabetes suggested he take part in the Tour de Cure.
“It’s a great way to do some good with something I enjoy,” Davis said of his cycling.
The two main rides Davis does are the Tour de Cure and RATPOD. The Tour de Cure begins in Three Forks and benefits the search for a cure for diabetes. The RATPOD, short for Ride Around the Pioneers in One Day, benefits Camp Mak-A-Dream’s summer camp for children with cancer.
Consistently over $500 in funds raised for each ride, Davis gets help financially and mechanically from a couple of sponsors. Jim’s New and Used in Dillon pays registration fees and The Outdoorsman in Butte keeps his bike tuned. He has cultivated a donor list too.
Davis said he does not have a favorite race, but that he likes certain aspects of each one. The Tour de Cure offers riders different routes ranging from 11 to 100 miles long. The scenery is Davis’ favorite part of the RATPOD.
“It went really well this year,” Davis said of the 130-mile ride. “I rode with a couple of friends and it went quicker than last year. We finished before the rain hit.”
While Davis has fun with the various rides, they do require serious training. The RATPOD has 11,000 feet of elevation gain. His training routine consists of short rides every other day and one longer ride one day a week. Days before the RATPOD last weekend Davis was pushing 6-7 hours for his long ride.
Davis missed out on this year’s Butte 100, but has competed in the past. He is adding the Blazing Saddles ride to his schedule. The ride is in memory of a young boy named Payden Polsak.
The added ride means more time on the highways and back roads training including some in the Ruby Valley.
“It’s easy to ride,” Davis said.
Donations to Davis for the Tour de Cure and Blazing Saddles can be made online at http://blazingsaddles.dojiggy.com/ng/index.cfm/ad3cbb/regPages/pledge/AARON/ and http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/TourdeCure/A6COL-ColoradoWyomingMontanaArea?px=6136996&pg=personal&fr_id=8661.