Five friends sat around a table inside the Davis Phinney Foundation office in downtown Boulder, reminiscing about “old Boulder,” or Boulder as it was back in the 1970s when they were still in school at Boulder High.
One of those friends was legendary cyclist and Boulder resident Davis Phinney, who after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease has dedicated his life to raising money and awareness for those affected by the disease. The four others — who call themselves the Friends for Phinney — were talking through some last-minute logistics for the cross-country bike trip they’ve planned to support their Boulder High School peer Phinney and his foundation.
Boulder County residents Tom Casey, Rick Baker, Kathleen Donohue and Kevin Cartin take off from Oceanside, Calif., next weekend, on July 20, and plan to finish their ride, Friends for Phinney Coast to Coast, Aug. 30 in New York City. Along the way, the four riders will stop in various cities and towns for dinners, presentations and events to talk about the work of the Davis Phinney Foundation. Phinney will check in from Boulder, sending his support and tips for riding in the hot summer sun.
“There’s a real symbolism with cycling that is unique to the sport,” Phinney said. “It goes back to these guys being buddies in high school. With the bike you get farther faster if you work together. And so these guys have this incredible opportunity to bond on the road and work out each other’s strengths and weaknesses and support each other in a way that they never would’ve dreamed they’d be doing back in high school.”
Casey, Baker and Cartin went to school with Phinney at Boulder High and graduated in 1977. Donohue, who’s married to Cartin and originally from Iowa, has become close to Phinney and his cause through the three others.
The three Boulder High Panthers plus Donohue watched Phinney rise to fame and compete in the Tour de France and Olympics. As time went on, the friends drifted a bit and lost touch with each other. Read the rest of the article.