Hohenfels Germany - Chasing Horizons, featuring ultra-distance cyclist Bryan Heselbach of Steamboat Springs, Colorado will be interacting with US Army Garrison Bavaria - Hohenfels soldiers and their family members as Hohenfels Morale Welfare and Recreation along with MWR Outdoor Recreation staff, host a group ride this Friday evening followed by a BBQ and meet and greet with Mr. Heselbach.
Mr. Heselbach, is part of American300 a nonprofit that supports the DoD’s resiliency initiatives by bringing mentors to bases worldwide. In the case of Hohenfels, American300 has been visiting the base since 2009.
“Hohenfels has with one of the best MWR and Outdoor Recreation staffs in the entire military and we take advantage of this fact every time we visit,” says Robi Powers, founder of the American300 mentoring program, who will be joining Heselbach on this trip, adding “Whether a NFL Super Bowl Champion, Everest Expedition Leader, Wounded Warrior, or in this case, a former National Team Cyclist who now competes in ultra-distance events; the message is always the same, Never Quit and the Hohenfels MWR staff allows our mentors the opportunity to deliver the message in fun and unique ways every time we visit them.”
For Bryan Heselbach, the road to representing our country at the World Championships was ‘paved in dirt’, says Powers, pointing out that Bryan, was named to the World Championship Team that competed in Bromont, Quebec Canada in 1992.
Not long after the World Championships, Bryan along with his wife Anne moved to Hahn’s Peak Village, a former mining town, 26 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
It was in Hahn’s Peak Village, working as a construction foreman that he nearly lost his life one day a few years later in the late 90’s, the result of falling off a roof and breaking his body both inside and out. During his lengthy recovery, the question of whether he would work again let alone ever ride a bike again was in question.
Through perseverance however, Bryan, slowly recovered, eventually regaining the ability to work and most importantly to his mental well being, his ability to ride a bike.
“Cycling has always been part of my life, it’s part of my DNA and on that fateful day back in the 90’s I almost lost it,” recalls Heselbach.
After years of gradually getting stronger and stronger, it was time for the now master aged rider to set his sights on something larger, or in Heselbach’s case: longer.
Aside from offering over 3 million acres of National Forest, Hahn’s Peak Village rests aside one of the countries most extreme mountain bike races; ‘Tour the Divide’ a solo unsupported 2,800 mile race from Baniff, Canada to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. “Since 2009, I’d been watching mountain bike racers roll through the area, watching them chase the horizon and it lit a fire inside of me,” says Heselbach, who ended up entering the ultra-distance race and finishing 29th in a time of 21 days 4 hours. “After finishing the ‘Divide’ I was hooked and saw that there was a similar cross-country road bike race ( unsupported ) so I entered the ‘Trans Am Bike Race’ the following year.”
Now with two of the most grueling unsupported cycling races in the ‘bank’, Heselbach is exploring other ultra-distance events as a way of pushing his limits and expanding his horizons. “There’s always going to be setbacks in life, the trick is focusing out on the horizon and chasing after it… especially when times get tough.”
American300 - The 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit hosts unique resiliency events on military bases worldwide. For more information visit: www.American300.org