A local Colorado State Patrol trooper will be enduring the "Ride the Rockies" bike event to help raise awareness and funds for the Alive at 25 youth driving program.
Trooper Brad Keadle, of CSP Troop 4B stationed in Craig, will be pedaling the 7-day, 489-mile bicycle tour through Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The race starts June 16.
This year's event begins and ends in Alamosa. The course will cross five passes that tower more than 10,000 feet in elevation.
Keadle will be riding in the event and is seeking sponsorship of the Alive at 25 program from local businesses and residents. The goal is to raise enough money for 100 students to participate in the program, which would cost $2,000.
The event is an opportunity to raise both funds for schools that can't afford to run the program or for students who are unable to pay for participation, Keadle said.
"A lot of schools don't offer the program because they've gone through some budget crunches. And some students and their parents can't afford to get in," he said. "What I'm looking for is people to donate at least $20, enough for one student to get into the program."
Some of the communities that Keadle is hoping to assist are Hayden and Oak Creek, but the need for student admission fees continues to be felt everywhere in the area, he said.
The Alive at 25 course is an early intervention program that works to prevent traffic violations, collisions, and fatalities for drivers 15 to 24 years of age the demographic whose number one cause of death is traffic fatalities.
"The reason I got this idea is I want to raise the awareness of the inherent dangers to young drivers today the number one cause of death for 16- to 24-year-olds is vehicle crashes," Keadle said. "It's very difficult for young drivers, especially today, to deal with all the distractions cell phones, stereos, friends, you name it. It's something that needs to be talked about and have the awareness of raised."
Keadle has worked as a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol for six years and has eight children.
He is a member of the Accident Reconstruction Team, an instructor for the Gang Resistance Education and Training program, and has been an Alive at 25 defensive driving course instructor for four years.
"I've never done anything like this before, so I've tried to do some extra training," Keadle said.
"Right now I'm on a mountain bike and I was told it will be easier on a road bike. But the mountain bike is all I've got so that's what I'm using. The first day we go up a huge pass, so I'll probably get a royal butt-kicking, but it'll be exciting right from the start."
The sponsorship program began Monday, and already has received a few donations, Keadle said.