Fraser local pedals for prosthetics
Elliott Leslie left his home in Fraser on August 28 and set out to travel to Moab, Utah—on his bike. He has since completed an improvised version of the Colorado Trail (so that he could leave directly from Fraser) and traveled more than 1,200 miles in 30 days. Leslie did all of this to raise money and awareness for the Range of Motion Project (ROMP). He had wanted to make this journey for a long time, and found it very appropriate that he could do so and raise money for ROMP at the same time. ROMP is an organization dedicated to providing high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations, which enhances mobility and unlocks human potential, according to their website.
ROMP believes that prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces are not simply medical devices, but instruments of personal empowerment. Their mission is to eliminate ambulatory disability by providing a preferential option in orthotic and prosthetic care. By supplying prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces to those who do not have access to these services, they aim to return patients to their families and communities as productive, healthy individuals.
Leslie has “bikepacked” the entire trip. Bikepacking is a form of bike touring on multi-day trips while self-supporting and bringing minimal gear—only enough that you can carry on your bike. Leslie has braved many mountain passes on his way to the desert, and though he was prepared for the trip, he said it was more difficult than he originally believed. “Everyone always says the Colorado Trail is harder than it seems, and they are right,” Leslie said. “In hindsight, I should have prepared more, but I made it.” Leslie has wanted to complete this trip since 2011 when he intended to, but was set back by a broken elbow that resulted from a mountain bike crash. When he recovered, he traveled to Europe for a bike trip, and began to feel self-indulged in the process. Leslie said he stopped and thought to himself, “there should be some other reason that I am doing this.” He realized that he was lucky enough to live in a country where he has the accessibility to healthcare that could fix his elbow, but most people are not so lucky in developing countries. He realized that ROMP was the perfect organization to represent in his situation. After that, his goal was to complete the trip to Moab. He worked, and saved money and has paid for everything out of his own pocket. All money raised on his Crowdrise web page has gone directly to ROMP.
The Colorado trail, which stretches from Denver to Durango, climbs almost 70,000 ft. throughout the 486-mile trip. It is extremely difficult on a mountain bike and requires skill, knowledge, and training to complete. Leslie continued past the end of the trail to travel from Durango to Moab where he continued to bike several different trails. He will soon leave Moab and bike to Grand Junction. Arguably the most unique part of Leslie’s trip is that he will not be using a car during any part. Once in Grand Junction, Leslie will hop on the Amtrak and travel back to Fraser via train. This will complete his trip from his house in Fraser to Utah and back without using a personal vehicle.
Leslie is proud to be riding for ROMP:
“They are a great organization that does work for people who need it,” he said. “I am not typically a fundraiser person, but this was a great way to benefit something I believe in. I am doing something I would do anyway, but am able to bring awareness to ROMP’s cause at the same time.”
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