We began our day at the KRG Capital and MountainGate Capital offices in Denver, where both the North and TransAmerica team got the chance to meet some of our biggest sponsors. We were educated about private equity and how each company has impacted our lives. I can remember specific examples they gave, such as how the FastTrak lanes on interstates I’ve traveled were developed by a company under the umbrella of KRG, and the labels on Gatorade bottles I’ve drank were printed by another company with which KRG was involved in getting off the ground. After the presentation, we learned more about Mr. Rogers personal history with Journey of Hope from the man himself. It was very impactful to see how much his life and JOH are intertwined, as JOH would not be here today had it not been for Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Rogers would not have his family without JOH. Following that, we got the chance to see his office on the 22nd floor. Mr. Rogers was not kiddding when he said it was more of a shrine to JOH and his family than a workspace. The walls were covered with pictures, jerseys, and a large map that detailed the route he had followed when he rode. We had been following nearly the same route that was on the map, so it was amazing to have a concrete visual for just how far we’d already come on the trip.
For lunch, we went to a market with multiple shops, serving dishes like burgers, pizza, sandwiches, soups, and plenty more. I had never been to any location similar to it before. It was neat to be able to visit each of the shops and see what the locals considered a normal lunch spot. I ended up getting a burger, which was quite delicious, as well as an ice cream cone for dessert. All in all, it was a pretty cool experience and a remarkable taste of Denver.
Our final activity in Denver was Pedals for Pennies in City Park. We arrived at the park around four o’clock to assist with setting up the event and find the cyclists from the Colorado Special Olympics that we would be paired with. I got paired with Jeffry and Mike, who rode a tandem bike. Having rode a tandem bike just a week prior for the first time and having severe difficulty keeping my balance on it, I was thoroughly impressed with their apparant ease on the bike and the five laps around the lake that they were able to ride. From what I was told, that equated to over four and a half miles! Once they finished their ride, we went right into a BBQ dinner, which we all enjoyed. We quickly ate our meals so we could get to the annual North vs. TransAmerica dance competition, which was a lot of fun. Trans went first, performing to “Hooked on a Feeling”. I guess it paid for them to go first, because they had a few moves in their dance that we had planned on using in our own dance, like a kick-line and pulling audience members in to dance along. When it was our turn, we cranked up “Party in the USA” and did our own routine. It was a blast, and the audience loved it. When it came time for the judges to pick a winner, the decision was split between both teams, so everyone was a winner. After the competition, both teams and the participants came together for one of the most energetic dance parties I’ve ever taken part in. Everyone was dancing and singing along and just having the time of their lives. We were told that Pedals for Pennies would be a highlight of our summer, and we were not let down.
This halfway point in Denver has reenergized me for the rest of the summer, as well as given me memories I won’t soon forget. I look forward to what the rest of this journey has in store for me.
Crew – OC