Cycling is in fact a team sport. By that I mean more than just the mid july co-worker explanation of bike racing and the way it works. My first post on this blog was in honor of Scott Scudamore entitled “Community.” This post continues in that vein a little.
By now I’ve done a couple of long, hard races, and had some great wins and incredible support. During the winter its really easy to focus on the hard solo miles, the long cold days, and the burn of embrocation in a hot shower when youre too miserable to do anything about it. What I mean is that its a terribly selfish time. Its a time where my phone is too deep in layers to text friends and family back, and so I dont. A time when the endless cycle of miles and recovery weighs heavily on the other things in life I love. There is only so much to go around and when the bike wins out time and time again, everything else can begin to suffer a little.
And it gets really easy during the last few pedal strokes of a winning effort to get those goosebumps and say “I did this, this was MY effort, and I am proud of it!” that tendency to see a big win or a great race as a solitary result is all to easy to fall in to. Already this season however I have been shown in incredible fashion how no win is truly “solo.” There isnt enough room on the top step of the podium for all the contributors to each and every ride, race, or adventure. But heres a few:
I am incredibly well supported by the Blue Ridge Cyclery and Charlottesville Racing Club families. Despite living a two hour drive away from Fooftown I have received so much friendship and support from the shop and the BRC community. Rides to races, couches to surf, a place to pit, a warm fire to camp next to and incredible support financially and motivationally throughout the season. To Mark McCardell for his communication and endeavors to keep us all plugged in, the Ramsey’s for their willingness to lend a wrench, a bed, a meal, and a great campfire race story, and to Dave Tevendale for keeping us all in the know (albeit not always in time) with whats going on around the BRC scene. The minds and muscles at BRC are have also always been available to support me. I got my most recent fit from Paul and Ian spent time off the clock helping me build my Superfly Pro SL last spring. This family is one that pays back what you put in plus dividends.
I am forever grateful to Shawn and Jenny Tevendale. Shawn and I crossed wheels during my time at the Fisher (later Trek) 29er Crew. I had raced for a local shop team and then gotten a bit of a break to the Farm Leagues and raced along side the Bike Factory guys and gals. On a couple of occasions I was fortunate to pair up with a few of them for team events and benefit from the incredible pit support shawn organized. I probably earned much of my reputation as a rowdy but plucky singlespeeder who just wouldnt take no for an answer in those pits. When the call came that Trek would be abandoning all but their olympic level program several years back it didnt take long for another call to come in from Shawn. I remember it vividly and was thrilled at the offer to come race for “the new shop;” Blue Ridge Cyclery. Since then I have received support above and beyond what faster, stronger rider receive elsewhere and have an incredibly knowledgable resource in shawn. I have loved seeing their family grow and am always ecstatic at an invitation to come shred out at the farm, or join Shawn and Jenny for dinner when im in town. I cant put words to how thankful I am for them and their support of racing and of me.
And finally to Emily. I have been blessed beyond anything I deserve to have met a woman who I value as a true partner. I grew up in a family where my mother and father worked as a team to make our family happen. I met Emily at a bike race, of all places(!!!!) and in her I have found a person who feeds and supports my strengths, tempers my weaknesses, and supports me in ways I am still learning. She and I are different people partnered in one cause of living a passionate and exciting life together which positively impacts those around us. In only a year and a half together we have experienced some incredible highs and a few very deep lows. Through it all we have lended each other every kind of support a companion can. On the bike front we have won the BURN 24 as a duo and other endurance races throughout the mid-atlantic and off the bike we have finished her graduate schooling and moved her into another state for PA school. Weve gotten a puppy and dealt with the deaths and births within our families. In February of this year I was nervous as hell standing on a rock in the middle of Primland Resort for a Va Dept of Tourism commercial shoot because the directors and I knew that I was going to ask Emily to marry me. Once she realized (on camera of course:) ) what I was asking her she lit up and said yes. Ive never been warmer or happier in all my life. We have been slow to tell people because we have savored it a little and enjoyed telling those very close to us in person. But now the news it out!!! Im incredibly happy with the kind of partnership we share and look forward to a lifetime enjoying it and growing it together.
So here’s to growing those partnerships that have made my cycling, and my life so far so perfect. So next time were on the podium just know that you share more than just a little bit of that step.