Last Night WSI Team Active Racing got together to kick off planning for the 2014 Season. Eric Cook was nice enough to host at his house and, since I was driving from out of town, I convinced him to go for a ride in advance of the team meeting.
That may not have been the best idea. Dwight joined us and is (for some reason) at mid season form and Eric is, well what Eric always is…a machine. I was a bit late for our departure time after making some much needed purchases at Team Active, although I was dressed and ready to go, my bike still needed to get prepped and I wanted to put toe warmers in my boots and hand warmers in my gloves. Not sure what the temperature was, I remember seeing about 20 degrees. While I was prepping my gear, I told Eric and Dwight that I needed about 5 minutes. Dwight said “Okay, you get all ready, then we will start spinning and warm up on our way to the ‘Dump’.” I thought he meant, we would have time to warm up, not that we would get on the bike and proceed to ride at 22 mph right out of the driveway! I got warm, but not much of a warm up.
We met Kathy at an intersection about a mile from the entrance to the Dump. It was too cold to socialize too much, but very good to see her. I had not seen her since she returned from RAAM. The Dump is a great technical morass of cement, tar and tile and, if you go down, something gets scratched or broken.
Last time I rode the Dump was 3 years ago, that was in the middle of the summer and I was much more comfortable handling my bike than this ride when the ground was frozen and I was cold. Nobody fell, though I did do some sight seeing a couple times, but all in all a great ride through the woods. On the way home, Dwight pulled and I locked on to his wheel as if my life depended on it.
My feet were so frozen, that they were numb, and (you know the feeling) I wanted to cry they hurt so bad when they started to thaw out. But then we went to Crazy Horse for some pizza and a beer…then all was good.
All got much better when I saw the team that I started riding with 5 years ago. Mike, Eric, Kathy, Dan, Danny, Hannah, Devin, Chuck, Charles, Dave, Dave Sr., Eric, Cameron, Dwight, April, Keith, JJ, Groat, Josh, (and I probably forgot a couple guys), have all been around since I started riding. (JJ brought his daughter with him, it was great to meet her too.)
There is something about the internal fight you have with yourself while you are putting out a big effort (or fighting the elements) and then get together with friends who do the same thing. It is a fraternity and sorority and a family. It was great to see everyone, go for a ride and talk about all of the great things coming for 2014. I value our friendship and look forward to an awesome 2014. For those who could not make it, we missed you.
Go WSI/Team Active Racing. Jack.