For nearly two years, 501c3 non-profit charity personality “Colorado Captain,” a.k.a. Denver native Matt Gnojek, has been rolling all over the Denver Metro area. Dressed as our favorite star-spangled super hero, Colorado Captain mounts his Harley Davidson, and rides daily in order to raise funds for charity, and bring smiles to young and old throughout the Mile High City.
*THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED*
I'm Matt Gnojek. I'm a Denver native with a background in Musical Theatre and Renaissance performance who has worked in and out of the Denver metro area all my life. I'm a huge nerd who spends his free time loving on his Corgi, and cruising his Harley dressed as Captain America. When I'm not busy looking "star-spangley," I can be found sporting a bowtie around town at one of my various jobs either brewing, bartending, or being on stage.
So why the getup? Well, it's a fun little tale that any Avenger could be proud of and it begins in the summer of 2014. I had just confirmed that I was to travel out to Pennsylvania for a season performing as a joust knight at the Pittsburgh Renaissansce Festival. I was ecstatic to be returning to old friends and to be setting out once more on a road trip across the beautiful U.S. country side. I was headed home from my home-faire in Larkspur CO in the very early hours of July 4th, unaware that my life would begin change forever... I was driving home in a cherry 1977 Camaro. It was the muscle car which I had inherited from my mother after her passing. That baby was a real work of art. Having recently completed an 8 year restoration on the vehicle, I was feeling quite blessed, nostalgic, and proud to be finally driving it around the streets of Denver. Unfortunately, that feeling was to be short lived that morning. 12:15am rolled around and an SUV suddenly collided with me at an intersection. The accident, which obliterated both vehicles, was over in an instant and miraculously left both myself and the other driver in relatively good health. Tragedy manifested itself in a different way, however. The accident not only resulted in the loss of a family heirloom in the form of the Camaro, but seemingly also spelled the death of my road trip and job opportunity in PA. Or did it?
Somewhere out there is a Polaroid of a little boy on top of a red motorcycle wearing cowboy boots and the biggest grin you've ever seen. I'll never forget the first time my grandma picked me up and sat me on top of her 1988 Harley 883 Sportster, a bike as old as I am. She kindly warned me that the pipes were going to be loud, but, "a hell of a good time." Boy was she right. Fast forward a couple decades and in the aftermath of the Camaro wreck, I began to wonder what I would do next. With my insurance tied up in legal talks, the possibility of a replacement car was less than hopeful. So, I took to the only transportation I've always had, my motorcycle. As the month of July bled into June, and the time for my original PA departure drew nearer, an idea struck me: a cross-country motorcycle trip. It was something I'd been considering for years, but I'd never found the right opportunity or circumstance to make the dream a reality. Now here I was, faced with a simple and exciting choice... cancel my gig at the Pittsburgh Faire, or take my bike across the nation. I'd been gripping the handle bars of a motorcycles far longer than I'd been behind the wheel of a car. Why shouldn't I go for it?
(Placeholder - Three months, )
Well, after all that... here I am. Still riding. Still me.
I laugh out loud, love my friends, and live life to the fullest. As Colorado Captain I've had the great pleasure of working with outstanding groups like Wands and Wishes Occasions, Realities for Children, and the International Rescue Committee in order to participate in charitable events across the city such as the Children's Hospital Toy Ride and many more. My time working with these incredible allies has benefited a multitude of groups and causes ranging from kids, to the homeless, to refugees, and whats more, I have the honor and privilege of getting waves and smiles from folks all across Colorado. No one could ask for more than that. So, I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and in the mean time? Well, I look forward to whatever adventures the future may bring!