I have something I call “The Fleet.” The Fleet is my collection of six beloved old, restored Schwinn bikes that we in Crested Butte refer to as “townies.” I think about those bikes the way some do about their vintage car collection, wooden ski collection, whatever. It’s my little sentimental extravagance….. Today, they are lined up perfectly in my garage and I choose the one I ride by the weather, snow on the streets, my mood or if I want to spin a little single track loop near the house. Bicycles have always been extremely important to me. Probably started with my pink Schwinn Varsity – my ticket to freedom before I could drive. It then symbolized a bond with my big brother, who was a fanatical cyclist and bike racer. Then on to my triathlon, duathlon days. But cycling has always helped me think clearly, focus and de-stress. When my stress level rises, those close to me say “time to get on your bike Miller!” Metaphorically, my bike keeps me spinning forward as opposed to spinning in circles. So how does this relate to “picala?” Well, “picala” means “bicycle” in Berber and represents so much more than a fitness tool, fun tool or alternative trasportation. A bicycle means a future, freedom, an opportunity for success. Wendy and I are dedicated to the Rally’s Picala Project which donates bikes to children in need. The rally identifies those below a certain income level and significant distance (usually a 2 hour walk each way) from schools and jobs. Less than 1 out of 10 kids in rural Morocco have the opportunity to pursue college even if they are qualified by testing, because they just can’t get there. The bicycle changes that. As Crested Butte residents, where the bike rules, Wendy and I are excited to be a part of helping those in the region where we compete and are happy that we can help provide something that is so much a part of our lives. SO JOIN US AT THE LOBAR THIS THURSDAY NIGHT – 9-12 MIDNIGHT – TO RAISE MONEY AND AWARENESS. For those interested in donating for kids to recieve a bike – the cost of one bicycle is only 60 Euros or approximately $85. 66% is tax deductible. If you are interested in more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.