Bicyclist Tom Schwein saw the finish line ahead. He could taste victory after an exhilarating yet grueling six-day, 400-mile tour last year during Ride the Rockies—until his bike came to a sudden stop. A divot in the pavement landed Schwein face first on the ground at 30 mph, breaking eight bones in his face. He was lucky to survive.
The 56-year-old is back in the saddle as captain of Team Samaritan House, a volunteer group of 33 cyclists—executives, college graduates, mothers, fathers, and triathletes—participating in the Ride the Rockies Colorado Bicycle Tour June 11-17. They’re braving 400 miles of steep grades and winding roads to raise $150,000 for Samaritan House in Denver and other shelters run by Catholic Charities.
“The more I thought about the homeless after my crash and the blessing we had as a cycling team to raise funds for the homeless of Colorado last year, the more I realized that God was not yet done with me here on earth, and was calling me to do more,” said Schwein.
All funds raised go to Samaritan House, along with The Mission shelter in Fort Collins and Guadalupe Community Center and Shelter in Greeley. In 2015, Catholic Charities provided 1,087,493 nights of shelter at emergency and transitional housing and 457,000 meals.
Schwein said he dedicates every mile pedaled to someone in need.
“Each dollar raised will truly change the lives of the individuals and families who call these shelters home," said Schwein. "And I feel blessed that God has called me to do this work. We’re all called to help our brothers and sisters in need.”