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Couple Takes Vows at 14,264 Feet

August 26, 1990

MOUNT EVANS, Colo. (AP) _ It was 90 degrees on the plains, but Sherry Barsotti and Jim Reaka went to the top of 14,264-foot Mount Evans for a windy, chilly and breathtaking wedding ceremony.

After saying their ″I do’s″ Friday, the Arvada, Colo., couple and an impromptu wedding party climbed onto 18-speed mountain bikes and bicycled 28 miles, a drop of 6,724 feet down the winding, twisting, narrow asphalt road to Idaho Springs.

Along the way, the newlyweds stopped at Echo Lake Lodge, at 10,600 feet, for a wedding lunch highlighted by the traditional cutting of the nuptial cake.

″We originally thought of getting married in Kansas City, which was our original hometown, but we both love the outdoors and knew about this bicycle tour,″ Sherry said. ″It sounded like an exciting way to get married.″

Sherry’s friend, Joni Lund, runs bicycle tours off Mount Evans and arranged the combination wedding and tour.

″At first, we really didn’t think she was serious,″ Lund said. ″But soon we realized she was. So we contacted two couples from Massachusetts who were already booked on the Mount Evans tour and asked if they would mind.″

One of the visitors, Susan Gaitley of Duxbury, Mass., stood next to the bride during the ceremony and said she got so carried away with the sentiment ″that I thought I was going to cry.″

With temperatures in the 30s, ice on pools of water and a brisk wind blowing at the summit, the cyclists donned red two-piece windbreaker suits for the trip down.

The Lunds tied a bouquet to the handlebars of the married woman’s bicycle and threaded color crepe paper streamers through the front wheel spokes of the newlyweds’ bicycles.

Looking on with varying degrees of curiosity were a forest ranger, several tourists, and a few mountain goats on a nearby slope.

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