IF YOU'VE EVER WONDERED IF YOU COULD KEEP UP WITH THE SPRINTERS WHO DANGLE OFF THE BACK AT THE TDF... If you've ever thought, Hell, even I could hang on the flat stuff... If you've been foolish enough to think professional sprinters can't climb...
This post is for you.
Rumor had it... well Cal (worth clicking) basically promised it - My mate from the Isle of Man, where real men ride all bikes real fast, will be here for a few weeks...
In other words... CAV (the winningest rider in TDF history) would be on our little ol' group ride this morning.
Cav's done it in years past. My son Trevor rode with him and came home all smiles and story tellin' a few years back. How could we pass it up?
Back to that wondering thing...
If you've ever wondered if the pros are cool, the answer is YES for Mark. Super nice and thoughtful and gracious. Took pictures with us. Chatted as we rode. Even yelled Hold up, we've got a puncture! when Chris' tire caboomed at the store we stop at.
If you've ever wondered how strong a sprinter is I can tell you resting my arm on his shoulder for the picture it was like touching The David incarnate. But it wasn't just that... here's something you'll never see on TV. We pull up to a light and we all unclip right? Well, yeah. But when Mark unclips the entire bike wobbles and shifts and whimpers... such is the tension in his pedal/cleat connection.
I know you'd never be stupid enough to wonder if you could to all those things in the intro. I would, you are much too smart.
But, you may have wondered Could our Goliath hang on the climbs and flats?.. well, we can put that to rest too. We hit Wolhford pass - 2 miles and 10 minutes of pain - and I'm thinking I gotta chance. Then Steve, our Tuesday morning hero, our pro mountain biker, our best climber makes it clear I don't have any chance. He moves to the front and drills it. Guys peeling off left and right.
They were gone.
When I pulled in at the store, he had a big grin. That was the best ride of my life.
Did you drop Cav?
Not even, he rode up to me like it was a Sunday cruise with his wife.
Yeah, but you know what?... when we got to the kicker before the store, I told him how fun it was for me to ride with him.
Cav left, Cal right
The usual suspects and a few more.
Poor Chris... I don't think I've ever seen a more self-conscious tire changer. (You're only holding up the fastest man in the world buddy!)
We have a new post-ride favorite stop.