The deadline was looming over me. Peak Region Cyclist layout designer, the venerable Mark Boswell of Helium Design, was threatening me every hour on the hour with violent phone calls to get a cover photo to him immediately or risk missing a print deadline which would delay this magazine by two weeks – a publishing sin. It was getting down to the wire, I didn’t have a cover concept yet, and I only had a day left before my talented cover photographer, Dan O’Sullivan, boarded a jet bound for an out of state project. I had all the pieces in place, minus someone special to model off this month’s main story: the FatBike.
Meet Colorado Springs Councilwoman Lisa Czelatdko (spell it out slowly, Tosches). She’s the bright representative made of equal parts ambition and brains that we sent into the city council hog pen to wrestle through the legislative slop.
“I didn’t get involved in politics for any kind of notoriety. I got involved because I want to make a difference.”
Lisa came to the rescue in my hour of need. I sent an email to her the day before Boswell was going to mercilessly pull the plug on my cover and send the printing press a stick-figure drawing in its place. I begged Lisa repeatedly to take a timeout from her busy schedule to be the centerpiece of this month’s cover. Eventually, she folded under the pretense that this magazine is important, and the next morning, Lisa was on this fatbike taking photos with us – ready to help make that difference – and as the “best dressed” member of city council, I would say she upheld her reputation.
I was originally looking to get this bike out on the trails, hucking an ugly chasm with a reckless freak attached to the handlebars in a menacing, white-knuckled death-grip. But then, I thought it might be more interesting to take this bike out of its element and stick it to the pavement in a casual photo that resembles a breakfast-burrito-run by a cute girl with a cinema smile.
Yep, Lisa is the decorative garnish on the city council rump roast, but don’t let the cascading blond hair fool you, because she has a sharp intellect and a rigid backbone too. She supports cycling. She rode a bike to the summit of Pikes Peak in September. Multimodal transportation is her mantra – which means all types of transportation, especially bikes, are necessary for a thriving community.
“I’ve seen the excitement for bicycles growing steadily in Colorado Springs,” she says. “It’s on the cusp of greatness.”
Follow @LisaCzelatdko or find her on Facebook.