As I sit down to write today’s post I’m not even sure what to write. I’ve had the worst day on the bike in memory. And, one of the sweetest experiences in my life.
We started today with 2 small climbs followed by “the big nasty” (Austin Summit) and Bob Scott Pass. By the time I got off the Bob Scott descent I was totally cooked and absolutely bonked. My speed was down to <14 mph and there was nothing I could do about it. No amount of wishful thinking or desire was going to make any difference. My body simply couldn’t develop the effort needed to keep up the pace Larry and Jason were setting.
Both of my companions slowed numerous times and waited for me to get back on before ramping up the speed again but as soon as the speed reached 16 or 17 mph, I was off the back. I just couldn’t hold it. I tried eating and drinking to replenish the stores my body had expended but it seemed to be too late to do anything about it. I was too far gone.
And then there was a bike at my side, a hand on my back, and a voice saying, “Just relax. Don’t pedal. Let me do the work for you.” Jason Bleak was at my side, helping me up the road and doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I couldn’t believe his kindness, compassion, and Herculean strength. Time after time, Jason was at my side, hand on my back, literally pushing me along. 24, 25, 26, and 27 mph. As we were rolling along Highway 50, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling down my cheeks. I was so grateful to have this true friend at my side, helping me reach the goal we were all working for.
In my mind, Jason set an incredible example for all of us. We all need help at some point in our lives. Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to be the giver of assistance. And other times we find we’re the one in need of help. I hope I can be like Jason, and simply pull up beside one of you, and say, “Just relax. Don’t pedal. Let me do the work for you.”
As I said, the worst day on the bike in memory. And one of the sweetest experiences of my life. And it happened on a lonely, obscure stretch of Highway 50, The Loneliest Road in America. Who woulda thunk it?