A personal goal met

Craig resident hits roads to actualize dream

This ride is a milestone for Jackie Schnellinger.

It's something she's wanted to do before she reached the age of 50. At age 49, she's doing it.

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And her husband, Thom Schnellinger, well, he's just coming along for the ride.

The Craig couple has been riding bikes for about six years, and this year is their first go at Ride the Rockies.

The Schnellingers are joined by Jackie's father, John Nicholl, 73, of Buena Vista.

Jackie is a therapist and works at Craig Mental Health. Thom is an assistant principal at Moffat County High School.

Thom said this ride isn't about finishing first. Rather, it's about getting out there, pushing the pedals and enjoying the camaraderie and the scenery.

"We're hoping it's not the Darwinian bicycle tour -- the survival of the fittest," Thom said.

The couple has lived in Craig for two years, but first got the biking bug back in Buena Vista.

That's where they trained the most.

Jackie said tackling this ride, including the 98-mile ride from Frisco, is gratifying.

"When I was growing up, I remember thinking 50 was old," she said. "Things have changed."

Jackie said many fellow Ride the Rockies bikers are in or older than their 30s.

"Not everyone is super young, so that's encouraging," she said.

And after trekking 98 miles Sunday, the 44 miles from Steamboat Springs to Craig, without any major peaks to climb, also is encouraging.

Since moving to Craig, they've become integrated into the local biking scene, which, Thom said, is very tight-knit and easygoing.

"Bicycle people are really easy people," he said. "They just enjoy peddling around and getting somewhere."

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