I remember seeing you your first season at Telo, always getting dropped, but showing up again the following week. “Man,” I thought, “that guy just keeps coming back.”
Then a few months later you rode a whole bunch of people off your wheel in a 240-mile beatdown on Seth’s Big Day; you left me for dead. You’d been riding less than a year, right?
Pretty soon you started showing up for the Flog, and you kept getting faster and better.
You were unusual because you weren’t interested in cycling drama. You got along with people and never took sides. You seemed comfortable with yourself and intent on learning how to ride faster. You didn’t seem to care who you learned it from.
I suspected that you had a serious athletic background, but learned I was wrong when you told me you had played football at University of San Diego. “It’s okay,” I thought. “He may not have any sports experience but he is obviously a fast learner.”
In the meantime you kept racing at Telo, and before long you weren’t getting dropped, then you were making the split, then you were sprinting for the win.
On the Flog, I knew you were going to bust some chops because on one lap we sprinted and you were so pissed at having lost, but angry at no one but yourself. I think you said “mother”-something and slammed your hands on the bars in frustration. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “That dude doesn’t like to lose AT ALL.”
Pretty soon, on Thursday Flog mornings you were a distant point on the horizon, hardly anyone could keep up with you, and those who could had to barf up a kidney to do it. Whatever you were good at didn’t matter. You wanted to be better at the things you weren’t good at. So if a ride had lots of climbing, like the Donut, you threw yourself into the teeth of the saw, battling with skinny little dudes who weighed less than your left bicep.
Most people cherry pick their rides because their egos can’t handle getting shelled. But not you.
And if a ride was suited to you, you never sat in waiting for the sprint, like on NPR, when you would just bulldoze to the front when the pace started to slow. “I’m here to get better,” you told me one time.
“I got eyes,” I said to myself.
What’s crazy is that you’ve done all this with zero drama. People who can help you improve, you know how to spot them and learn from them and then kick their ass. People who are all hat and no cattle, you are polite and keep moving.
Now you are winning races and it’s just the beginning. I’ve learned so much from you. Thanks for sharing.
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