Monday, March 7, 2011

Welcome to the Urban Jungle

The original title for this post was going to be "With A LOT of help from my friends." That basically sums up my three days on Tim Johnson's Ride On Washington. No way, no how I could have done this without a lot of help from my friends. Literally as Peter Smith, Peter Bell, Lyne Bessette, and David Wilcox made sure I not only survived riding 200 miles in 2 days but that I actually enjoyed it. A couple of the photos of me that may pop up here or there I am not looking fresh but trust me even if I look like I was at war on the outside, on the inside I am having the best time evah. I don't have time for a full on post but I wanted to put up some photos from Day one. We left Gov't Center in Boston at about 8 am. It was around 14 degrees out. We made a stop at Firefly where they had a really nice reception for us. Then it was off to Hartford CT! Wow. 9 hours later we made it!
Dave Chiu was such a great wingman! He's such a great friend and when we got to NYC and it was clear the crew needed some extra help he volunteered to stick around and help get them to Philly. It was huge on his part and he really helped them in a tight spot. That is really the whole defining mantra of this ride. Everyone just helping. No questions asked. When I called David Wilcox to see if he'd drive the Hup team car from Boston to NYC and back in support he didn't even hesitate. This even though he had a broken left foot. He drove amazing support and is and always will be one of my heroes. The fact that he doesn't even own a car is mind blowing. Team Sky should hire him post haste as he can drive a team car like a man possessed. Although I do think Butch from SRAM neutral support somehow did some kind of Vulcan mind-meld technique on David. There really is no other explanation for the type of driving I witnessed through the streets of the Bronx.
Firefly Bicycles had cupcakes and cookies waiting for us at a reception at their brand new shop. Frame #2 was in the jig. It was great seeing Tyler and checking everything out. Kevin Wolfson was long hauling it all the way to the Bike Summit in DC on Frame #1. It is a gorgeous machine.
Peter Smith of Mad Alchemy looking like the Cheshire Cat in this one. I think he may have had an idea of what a wild ride this was going to be. Pete helped me so much. One of my funnier memories of this ride is rolling into the last couple of rolling hills towards Cannondale HQ bonked out of my mind talking with Pete about Mythical creatures. We agreed that Unicorns are pretty lame and that Griffins rule. Griffins it is a known fact are protectors. It may seriously be time for a Griffin tattoo in honor of this ride.
The Wilcox aka David Wilcox aka "The Cleaner" When I told my wife I wasn't worried about the ride because I was bringing the cleaner with me she once again thought I was nuts. The Cleaner if you aren't familiar with the movie Pulp Fiction was a character played by Harvey Keitel. Basically when the shit hit the fan he came in and cleaned it up. He saved the two main characters in the movie. No doubt in my mind David is The Cleaner. Ice runs through his veins. No matter how nuts things got he took amazing care of us. I love that man. Not even kidding about that.
Jeremy Dunn of Rapha/Embrocation Journal Magazine brought some serious Sachs appeal to the Ride On Washington! It was great seeing Jeremy. He is a rock star in so many ways but also such an advocate for so many facets of the sport of cycling.
My good friend Matt Simpson. What can I even say about that man? He is the President and GM of one the most iconic New England bike industry brands. He has pumped sooo much energy into Pedro's and the cycling culture over his short tenure at the helm of Pedro's. He's also one of the most involved family men I have ever known, rides like ten men and just takes care of his friends and supports so many good causes. Spending three days with him was so awesome.
Chandler DeLinks. Oh man. You think you know him. Sure you do. You don't. He has a HUGE personality and has inserted himself into cycling in a big way with Das Pro and Das Rookie. That in itself was a huge accomplishment but that really is just one piece of the puzzle. I was so impressed by him. Granted you may not get his sense of humor or he might piss you off or whatever but if you don't get it I feel sorry for you cause you are really missing out. He is hilarious. And really is just a solid guy. He cracked soooo hard on day one. Do I blame it on the crazy ass Starbucks frapucino he inhaled at mile 40? Yeah pretty much. But he fought back. And then on day two just rocked it. He is a seriously strong cyclist. If he ever learns how to carry a bike and do all those little things that make cross so maddening and beautiful at the same time he could do some damage.
Ok I know this has been a ramble. But bottom line The Ride On Washington was a life altering event. I learned so many things over the course of three days. I am a changed man. I really hope this builds into something even bigger next year and more people can experience first hand what you can do on a bike and what the bike can do as a vehicle of change.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like a cupcake right about now. Sounds like it was a good time, even though there was much suffering in the saddle.;