Rick Zwetsch

Rookie UltraCyclist

Rookie Solo RAAM Racer in 2021

Men's 60-69 Category

Professional Life:

Co-founder & Principal Partner

interSector Partners, L3C
(founded in Longmont, CO - 2009)

interSector Talent
(founded in Longmont, CO - 2017)

A little about RZ...

The oldest of three dudes, I've always been into sports.

I threw a no hitter for Team Dizzy Dean when I was in grade school playing Little League Baseball. I think I was either 10 or 11 years old at the time. Our second baseman Dickie Young had a broken finger on his throwing hand and was still able to throw out the last batter to preserve the no-no!

 

I played on the baseball, basketball and tennis teams during the summers at Camp Belknap in Wolfeboro, NH during my Jr. High years. When I was 15, I set the camp swimming record logging 36 miles during my two-week stay!

 

I lettered in baseball, hockey and track at Needham High School in Needham, MA and I pitched on the baseball team my freshman year at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.

After graduating from Hartwick College in 1979 I moved to Denver where I immediately continued my long-time interest in bowling. I watched the PBA Tour on TV for years and years growing up and from 1980-1983 I carried a 192 average in 3 leagues (good enough to qualify for the PBA Tour at that time) and rolled a high game of 276! One frame with no strike...one frame short of a perfect 300!

I've been an avid cyclist nearly my entire life...but never an ultra cyclist! During the early to mid 80s I used to ride to work every day (15 mile round trip) adding miles on the way in to work and the way home for between 125-150 total miles each week. I'd keep a week's worth of undershirts, underwear and socks plus 5 shirts/pairs of pants in my office. Quick washcloth shower in the bathroom upon arrival and I was set to go for the day!

In 1982 I was totally intrigued with what was then the Great American Bike Race that went from Santa Monica, CA to the Empire State Building in New Your City. That first year, four guys (John Marino, Lon Haldeman, Michael Shermer and John Howard) rode their bikes in a 3,000 mile race across the freaking country. 

 

Say what?

They wore goofy helmets. There were no cleats/clips for the pedals, only toe clips. They ate meals and brushed their teeth on the bike, slept for two hours a day - all while racing across the country. It was totally wild. I remember thinking to myself, hmmmm, wonder if I could do that? I've been following what is now known as the Race Across America (RAAM) since then but it wasn't until the summer of 2017 that I finally figured out that I might actually be able to do RAAM.

Here are a few of my challenging and relatively recent athletic accomplishments that I'm pretty proud of and have helped me think that when I'm 64 (June 2021), I'll be able to ride a bike 3,050+ miles across the country, over 175,000 feet of elevation gain in less than 12 days and 21 hours...

Bike MS:
 

I rode the very first MS 120 in Colorado in 1984. I was one of 200 riders that first year and finished as the top fundraiser raising  a little over $2,700 ans was rewarded with an all expense paid trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In 1985, I was the #2 fundraiser (again raising roughly $2,700) and that year was rewarded with a VCR! My, oh my!

Fast forward to 2019 - I've now ridden in 26 MS bike rides. 25 in Colorado and one in California where we started and finished at the Rose Bowl! Over the 25 years, I've pedaled more than 5,000 miles and have raised more than $51,000 to help our friends and family living with MS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started riding Bike MS with Team Left Hand in 2011 and in 2013 was named Volunteer of the Year serving as the food captain that year.

Member: Concept 2 Four Million Meter Club

I started rowing (erging) indoors in 2004 at the old Flatiron Athletic Club in Boulder and was hooked immediately! Rowing is a total body exercise that's easy on the joints and GREAT for cardio endurance!

I decided I had to have a Concept 2 of my own when we moved from Boulder to Longmont in 2006.

I haven't been erging as much over the past 10 years or so but from 2004 to 2007 was able to achieve the following:

  • Became a member of the Concept 2 Four Million Meter Club in 2007
     

  • Erged my first marathon (42,195 meters) in May of 2005 in a time of 3:46:24 with an average pace of 2:40:09/500m)
     

  • 2nd marathon in December 2005 with a time of 3:14:03 (2:17:03/500m)
     

  • 3rd marathon in April 2006 with a time of 3:10:37 (2:15:05/500m)
     

  • 4th and last marathon in October 2006 with a time of 3:17:24 (2:20:03/500m)

Triple Bypass

Bergen Park, Colorado to Avon, Colorado

3 Year Finisher: 2012, 2013, 2014

This is a gorgeous but grueling ride into the Colorado mountains. In 2012 everything was going along fine until we reached Vail and then the heavens unloaded. I don't think I've ever driven a car in a rain storm like that and I was not totally prepared with the right clothing. People were suffering from hypothermia and had to DNF. There was a big tent at the finish and riders were shaking so bad they couldn't hold a plate of food or a beer. UNBELIEVABLE.

2013 was almost an exact repeat of 2012 with two major exceptions. I was prepared with the proper rain and cold gear and....even though it poured cats & dogs from the top of Vail Pass to just before Avon - this year the sun came out at the finish line and all was well!

After those first two years I told myself if I could get from the start to the finish with no rain, that would be it for me. And voila, 2014 was the best it could possibly be. No rain, warm sunshine and cold beer at the finish. 

Done and dusted.

This is an AMAZING ride and I'll be doing it again most likely in 2019!

American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb

Republic Plaza - Downtown Denver, CO

56 floors - 1098 steps

4 year participant

1st Year [2013]:

1 time up in 10:37

2nd Year [2014]:

1 time up in 10:19

 

3rd Year [2015]:

4 times up in 60 minutes

 

4th Year [2016]:

2 times up in 32 minutes

(ran outta gas!)

Manitou Incline:

Located in Manitou Springs, Colorado (just west of Colorado Springs) I've completed this one time in just a little less than an hour! Looks steep you say? Here are the deets:

 

The Manitou Incline has been hailed as the holy grail of cardio for locals and athletes, alike.  The once railroad track now consists of approximately 2,744 steps made entirely of railroad ties! Although it’s only one mile in length, the ascension averages a 41% incline (68% at its highest) and a 2,000 foot climb in elevation! Phew! That’s a lot of stairs! That’s even more than the Empire State Building! Needless to say, this hike isn’t for the faint of heart, or heights. The Manitou Incline is considered one of the highest sets of stairs in the world! This trail is rated Extreme.

I plan on doing the Incline several more times before June 2020!

Rode a few Centuries in 2014:

Member:

 

Ultra Marathon Cycling Association

 

Member:

 

 

Randonneurs USA

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Rick Zwetsch | Longmont, Colorado | 303.647.1933 | zraam2021 at gmail dot com