How I came to be on the POA Cycling Team

What did you do New Years Day? I went for a ride in the morning with my mates from the POA Cycling Team. It was a great way to start off the year. I think it is going to be a good one!

I should point out (because I didn’t in the video) that not all the team was there. We were missing eight other riders. Hope we can get everyone together for our team picture which will have to take place soon. It is needed for the launch of our new web site in February.

Also, you will notice that two of the guys weren’t wearing POA kits. Hopefully, that will be taken care of this week when our new duds come in. Rodney and Paul are two of the new guys (though Paul is actually returning to the team after a year away). Eric is also new, but there was an ’09 kit left that fit him.

I’m always feeling like a tag-along on these rides. Perhaps part of it is because of how I came to be on the team. I’m not sure I’ve ever shared the story, so here goes.

I have ridden with several of the POA Cycling Team members for years. John James, Billy White, Luis Sanchez, and I have ridden together since I started riding road bikes. When the ’09 team was being put together I learned all three of these guys would be on the team. Secretly, I wished I was good enough to be invited on.

Shortly before that, I completed the Ride to Austin on a team with Joey Sullivan and Matt Tebbetts. Joey was a current member of the ’08 team. After returning from the trip – which was a great one and created a friendship with my teammates – I learned that Matt was going to join the POA Team. Seemed like everyone around me was going to be riding in the red suits!

Then one day after the season had started I was on a ride with Matt.  He mentioned that Joey might be talking to me about coming on board the team. Joey’s wife was battling cancer and he was not able to devote time to the team and he was going to ask if I could fill in for him. He would still be on the team, but would not be able to participate as much.

I had mixed emotions. One of the reasons I wanted to be on the team was to ride with Joey. I didn’t like the idea of coming on and him not being there. Also, I would be joining the team on Joey’s recommendation – not because I had shown myself worth having. Those thoughts were trumped by the excitement of knowing I would get to join the team for which I hoped to ride.

My feelings of inadequacy were compounded by my not so good ’09 season. Soon after joining the team I broke my finger and missed the first races of the season. I was feeling like maybe I could help out when I placed fourth in my first race back. That turned out to be my highest finish of the year.

The team did great. We were always in the mix in the local races. We managed a couple of championship jerseys. It was a good year.

In 2010, I would like to shake that feeling. It is something I have put on myself and the only way I’m going to be able to get rid of it is to have some good finishes. Looks like I’ll have my first chance at the Paris Mountain Time Trial coming up on January 30.

Coach says I can work it into my schedule – only it won’t be a targeted event. What that means is that I have to do the climb without tapering up to it. I will have to follow my normal training plan even if that means the day before the TT I have to do a hard workout. Still, I’m ready to “turn my legs in anger”. They are starting to feel a little antsy.