UPDATE: After posting this entry, I visited the Caringbridge.org site where messages are left for Mike and his family. At that time, I learned that Mike passed away. I’ll miss you, Mike. But I will see you again.
Check out the new Ride for Mike Web site. Chris Hartzler was really nice to redesign the site and create a really nice logo that will go on my jersey. The logo will also be going on t-shirts that will be available for purchase with all the proceeds going to the ride in honor of Mike.
Mike is not doing well. We do not know how much longer he will be with us.
This morning was the Sunshine Shop Ride. John and Tony, our two normal leaders, were not on the ride this morning so it was kind of a self guided ride. It also meant that I was one of the top riders out there.
I was a little tired at first because I had ridden 20 miles just the night before after being off the bike since Monday. However, I got my legs under me and for the sprints I tried, I did pretty well – finishing 1st or 2nd. I even had someone jokingly ask me if I had a secret coach.
The Paris sprint was the most fun. About six of us started a break away and I purposefully went to the front to bring up the cadence. Then I backed off to allow five riders in front of me. We crested a hill that would start the downhill before the last climb. I moved into the big ring and tucked in. The draft allowed me to slingshot around the outside just at the base of the climb.
I used the momentum to take me into the climb and smoothly transitioned into a lower gear. As I climbed, I looked back between my legs and there was no one on my wheel. I pushed a little more but let up a bit as I neared the end of them climb. Then on my outside a rider came rolling by. At that point, we were just five yards from the entrance to the park and I couldn’t get up speed enough to pass him back.
The best thing though is that I have been able to earn the respect of the riders I’m with. They know I can hang with the best of them, but I’m not a dangerous rider. Frankly, that makes me feel pretty good.