Who’s There: Mike Lakritz
Riding his 1970 vintage Schwinn up the rec path from Silverthorne to have a cup of coffee at Starbucks in Dillon, Mike Lakritz takes in the awesome panorama of the Gore Range.It’s there that he decides he made the right choice moving from New York City back to Summit County.”I was ready to be back. I was looking for a more balanced lifestyle. I think it’s the physical health, which leads to mental health, that drew me back,” the lanky, curly-haired computer programmer says. “Summit is a great balance between an urban setting and a natural setting.”
Lakritz has been in and out of the county for about 15 years total, but it looks as though he may be here to stay for a while. He’s building a house in the South Forty in Silverthorne, and co-owns Gravity Planet, a three-year-old web design, advertising and marketing company with a Salida-based business partner. The company (www.gravityplanet.com) specializes in providing the services of a high-end ad agency, says Lakritz, who handles the programming end of the business.”We provide the services of a high-end ad agency,” Lakritz says. “We do the trail map for Monarch Ski Area and the sales website for Shirt Off My Back.”Born in Madison, Wis., Lakritz made his first forays to the Colorado High Country with fifth-grade YMCA ski trips. That led to trips during high school to visit older brothers in Summit County, until he finally made the move about 1990.”I did the typical thing, ski bummed, bartended, and then I decided I needed a change of pace and moved to New York,” Lakritz says. He lived in the heart of the Big Apple around 75th and Broadway, and says it was quite the experience.
“You hear this 24-7,” he says, gesturing out toward Highway 6 below Starbucks, where a truck is grinding gears downhill while a motorcycle pop-pop-pops up the steep grade. “The biggest difference is the day-to-day pace, both mental and physical. I think you become so hardened in the city,” he says. “But it was much harder to re-adjust coming back than going.”Lakritz’s cherry-red bike is catching plenty of attention as it glints in the evening sun.”It’s an original out of the Chicago factory. It still has the original ‘wheels trued’ stickers on it,” he says. “It’s like a pair of the fattest of fat skis. It just goes and goes …”
He says he got the bike from former Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales, who is a Schwinn collector.”I used to restore old Typhoons as a kid, so this is a perfect bike for me,” Lakritz says.To sum up the state of the world at the moment, Lakritz says he’s a little disappointed in the human race at the moment.”There’s not enough love going around these days. Too much war, too much famine. A little courtesy and respect would go a long way.”
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