After climbing Independence Pass and descending into Aspen yesterday, all Michael Creed could think about was coming back up that pass today.
“The whole time, I’m just like — I was getting depressed,” he says. “I was like, fuck, this is gonna be horrific.”
So maybe he just wanted a distraction this morning, before starting Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Regardless, the Colorado Springs-based professional cyclist — who started the day at No. 24 in the race standings — graciously checked in a few hours ago to confirm that his @COFireSale has shattered his $20,000 fundraising goal.
“I think when all is said and done, it’s gonna be on the doorstep of $35,000,” he says.
Creed says about 70 cyclists and cycling organizations donated a cumulative total of approximately 100 items to the Fire Sale, the post-Waldo Canyon Fire eBay auction he set up to raise money for the Pikes Peak Red Cross. Among them are a few items still for sale online; Creed adds that a few other items came in late and haven’t yet been put online.
“I mean, that was his first year ever having it, so it’s probably a pretty precious item to him,” Creed says. “And he gave it away.”
That jersey alone raised $2,000, a large chunk of the $33,000-plus collected to date.
Creed, who’s lived in Colorado Springs since he was 12, says he initially shot for $20,000 even though the goal seemed “ridiculous”; to hit $35,000 is deeply satisfying.
But he says he’s basically dropped his initial vision of handing over a big check to the Red Cross after Stage 5 ends here tomorrow. For one thing, all the money is going to the Red Cross automatically, through the eBay site. But also, “Ultimately, it sounded kind of selfish,” he says.
Instead, the member of the Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies team says, “I’m just gonna try to race really hard into town.
“I mean, it’s a long shot to win the stage, ‘cause it’s gonna be kind of a sprinter’s stage, and I’m not much of a sprinter, but I’m definitely gonna try to win that stage, you know?”
If you’re interested in cheering him on, or saying thanks, or both, watch for the black-white-and-orange jerseys tomorrow.
——- ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 11, 2:35 P.M. ——-
Plenty of people are hoping that this year's much-televised USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which will come through the Pikes Peak region Aug. 24, will help potential visitors forget about the scary images from the Waldo Canyon Fire. But at least one local is enlisting the cycling community to help people remember, and raise money.
That's Michael Creed, a fascinating and accomplished cyclist in his own right, who's started COFireSale (@cofiresale). It's an eBay auction of high-level gear, signed cycling memorabilia and other stuff, donated by all kinds of cycling types, that will be routing all proceeds to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross.
As Creed, a 17-year Springs resident, put it in an email to us:
To be able to hand the local Red Cross a check for 20k at the finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage in Colorado Springs would be amazing. To show the local community that the cyclist and bike races are more than traffic delays, and funny men in spandex. We give back when it's needed.
A look at his eBay page shows that a few days remain to make bids. For more, check out this velonews.com story about his effort, which notes that 2011 Pro Cycling champ Levi Leipheimer and Colorado-bred Olympian Timmy Duggan have stepped up to join the donors.