From pro to host for Steamboat cyclists Charity and Tumminello | SteamboatToday.com

From pro to host for Steamboat cyclists Charity and Tumminello

It's been nearly two years since Amy Charity was a professional cyclist. The Steamboat Springs rider decided late in life — relative to most of her peers, anyway — to strive to make a pro team, and she did, competing for three years and capping her career by competing at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

And, she said, she misses it.

She misses the teammates and the races and even the all-encompassing nature of the job.

Maybe she's found an outlet.

Charity is teaming up with another of the most accomplished local professional cyclists, Lisa Renee Tumminello, who spent four years on a pro team, to put on a series of bike camps this summer. The pair came together to form Grinta Cycling Camps, and the first of their three scheduled summer events is coming up later this month.

"Clearly, my passion in life is cycling," Charity said. "Steamboat is a really great place to ride bikes, road bikes too, and I don't think people realize that. There is untapped potential here in Steamboat."

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Each of the scheduled camps is targeted at a different audience.

The first camp, June 23 to 25, is aimed at youth, juniors between 13 and 18.

The July 19 to 23 camp is a "women's cycling retreat." Finally, the pair will host a four-day endurance camp July 26 to 30, which will be open to both genders.

The original seed of the idea came from Tumminello. The cross country and track and field coach at Steamboat Springs High School, she's organized a summer youth track and field camp in recent years and hopes to bring a similar idea to cycling.

"We’ve been in a sport, and so many people have helped us, it seems right to give back," Tumminello said. "That was our thought about the youth cycling camp. How can we give back? How can we provide tools we wish we had when we started"

It quickly grew from that.

As soon as Tumminello and Charity started talking about the camps and comparing their stories about navigating the sport of professional cycling as women, they realized they'd shared many of the same experiences.

The ideas poured out.

"We were on the same page from the get-go," Tumminello said. "Every sentence that was coming out of our mouths, we felt the same about."

The women's camp won't be targeted at women hoping to make a professional team. The word "retreat" in their pitch for that camp figures in as prominently as "cycling."

"We want people to come to the mountains to work on fitness not get stressed during a racing camp," Charity said. "We want to say, 'Ladies, come here, let's enjoy a glass of wine, do some yoga, talk about good fitness strategies and get a couple hours a day on the bike.'"

The final camp, then, will be more intense but still tailored to the clientele who show up.

"It's still not racing primer, but it will be a good four days of hard riding," Charity said.

The camps will include cyclists from around the country. There are already some planning to attend from Chicago and more from the Front Range. Steamboat riders, too, are more than welcome.

The junior development camp costs $500 including lodging at Colorado Mountain College and $250 without. The two adult camps cost between $1,750 and $1,500 depending on lodging options.

For more information, check out https://www.grintacamps.com/.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

Junior Development Cycling Camp, June 23-25

Women’s Cycling Retreat, July 19-23

Endurance Camp, July 26-30