It was so cool, like I was a pro myself! Trek sets up some of their dealers on a 25 mile ride with Jens Voight and Andy Schleck, with a van in front taking pictures of us as we spend some face time with the guys, and then about 10 miles in I flatted and the group goes on but they send Jens back to pace me back up, and the two of us time-trialed our way back to the group despite Andy’s instincts taking over and driving the speed up to an insane pace, taking advantage of my misfortune in an attempt to keep me out of the final sprint.Well, it could have happened. 🙂 Yes, they set us up on a fun ride with the guys, as you can see in the photo, and yes, I got a flat, but no, they didn’t send one of the best cyclists in the world (possibly the best cyclist in the world to call upon if you need help getting paced back to the front) to help out. Instead, I watched as they faded into the distance as I quickly work to repair the tube (dang, wish I had a frame pump ‘cuz C02 doesn’t cut it for getting just a small amount of air in at first to aid in proper installation) and chase. Fortunately, a Trek rep, Dustin, dropped back to help get me going, and fortunately for Dustin, a support guy in a van dropped back to help Justin figure out how to make it back to Trek’s facility in Waterloo, where the ride started.
Never did catch back up, which was surprising to me because we were pushing fairly hard, vs a large number of people not all of whom were in the best of shape but did have the benefit of drafting behind Jens, Andy, and a car. I’m not convinced they didn’t take a shorter route back than we did though. All in all, a nice ride, beautiful day (by Wisconsin standards; probably low 80s and high humidity by bay area standards but pretty moderate out here) and best of all, they were serving Brats at the end!
I was hoping to have Jens or Andy sign my brother Steve’s jersey as we were riding though, something they wouldn’t buy into, thinking it might be a bit too risky. Even had a wide felt tip pen with me! Would have made for a great photo, but maybe some other time.
One interesting memory from the ride- shortly before my flat, Andy drops back for a “natural break” (taking a leak). When he returns, instead of riding up the left side of the group, he’s out there in the gravel on the right shoulder. Yikes. No big deal to him. I’m thinking shredded tires, crashing in gravel, nothing good comes from riding off the side of the road. But these are the same guys you see putting on jackets while flying downhill through corners at 50mph. –Mike–