Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thanks, Lance

Work on a hit movie...check
Pull someone from a burning car...check
Visit New York City...check
Ride with Lance Armstrong...check

You know that list of things you've done where you can look back and say, "Yeah, I did that." I guess they're calling them "bucket lists" these days. I can add riding with Lance Armstrong to mine. Perhaps you heard about Lance's ride around Griffith Park last week? Since Griffith Park is only a couple of miles from work, of course I had to go.

It started early last week when Lance tweeted that he was going to be doing a ride while he was in Los Angeles. Cool! Like a good geek I brought my bike to work, along with riding clothes, the next day. Then on Wednesday he set Thursday at 7:30 as the start time.

I got to my work's parking lot by 7 and rode to Griffith Park. There were already a couple of hundred people waiting when I arrived. So we waited. Finally, a few minutes past 7:30, Lance shows up. Five minutes later and we're off (I'm about 17 seconds in, white jersey and blue shorts).

By the time I get onto the road, Lance is already hauling ass quite a ways down the road...and there's still a heck of a hill to go! I do what I can but I don't even see him on that first lap. Starting the second lap I notice a bunch of cyclists on the side of the road. Looks like the idea is that we've been dropped by Lance, now we can get lapped by him, too. I pull off and wait. When I see them coming I hop on and pedal like crazy (but I don't see a lot of people from the roadside getting on their bikes--I guess they're just taking pictures?). I can tell they're getting close by the activity on the side of the road. Pretty soon there is Lance and the guy he's talking to right next to me. I'm pedaling like mad and they're just cruising. I didn't dare look back but if I had I would have seen a grand tour-size peloton swallow me up. I sure didn't feel the drafting helping me but I know it did because I was (almost) keeping up. Until we started hitting that hill, at which point I made a right turn, then a U-turn and headed back to work.

I got dropped then lapped by Lance Armstrong! Cool!

A side-effect of all this is that a friend replied to one of my tweets about going, saying that her hubby rides Griffith Park at lunch. Griffith Park at lunch, why didn't I think of that before!? So yesterday I took my bike into work and did Griffith Park at lunch. Two Trash Truck Hill loops and I was set. Since I can't ride to/from work during the school year (I'm my son's chauffeur), riding Griffith Park on Mondays and Wednesdays will be great. Hey, I'm 675 miles from hitting 3,000 miles for the year so I need the mileage. Another plus is that still I get my hill workouts but I don't have to get up at 5am to do it.

So now I have some more workouts on the schedule and it wouldn't have happened without Lance and his ride. Kooky.

No comments: