Colorful Colorado: The wise man and the mountain in Telluride

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TELLURIDE, Colo. — Located in the heart of San Miguel County and nestled up against the stunning San Juan Mountains, Telluride is considered one of Colorado’s true treasures.

Sure, Telluride is a skier’s paradise. But during the summer months it pops with all sorts of colorful adventures!

Case in point: The Telluride 100.

Summertime adventures attract people of all ages

Each year, cyclists compete in the 100 mile-long mountain bike race through the Rockies. Among the people competing this year is an 83-year-old man named Frederic Schmid. Mind you, most of the cyclists are pretty darn young.

Schmid lives in Waco, Texas - but traveled to Telluride with his wife Suzanne to compete in the race. It’s his first trip to Telluride.

“It’s an amazing place!” Schmid said.

Unlike most riders, Schmid got his start at cycling later in life. He was 61-years-old when his wife bought him his first bike. Since then, he’s been riding nonstop and has competed in hundreds of races.

“Personally I’d like to do 150 miles a week,” he said.

For being 83, Schmid is in perfect health.

“In fact his doctor made the comment to him the last time he had a physical. He said well, ‘keep doing what you’re doing and stay away from doctors’,” his wife Suzanne said.

As for the younger cyclists who Schmid once feared would make fun of ‘the old man on the bike’, Schmid said they actually look at him as an inspiration.

His advice for anyone who questions whether to start doing something different later on in life:

“Once you get to doing them, you normally don’t particularly see a reason to stop doing it - particularly if you enjoy them - you know?” Schmid told us.

After the ‘Telluride 100’ this upcoming weekend, Schmid will head to Leadville to partake in the ‘Leadville 100.’

Telluride fun facts

  • Telluride is the only place in North America that has a free gondola public transportation system.
  • Bridal Veil Falls, which is located on the east side of Telluride, is our state’s tallest free-falling waterfall. It sits at 365 feet.
  • Telluride is located at 8,750 feet above sea level.
  • A popular winter destination, Telluride has been listed as one of the Top 10 ski resorts in North America by Ski Magazine.
  • Telluride has the highest commercial airport in North America.
  • There are no stop lights in town. The nearest one is 45 miles away.

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