When they called me up to the microphone @ dinner on Saturday night I had NO IDEA what I was gonna say. Oh sure - I had a "script" that Aly had prepared but my complete inability to follow it the night before rendered it somewhat less-than-reassuring. I had my little idea for a toilet joke (you'll hafta ask someone - you kinda had to be there) but other than that........nothing.
I think that what I said was that this was my 10th or 11th Ride and that I was prepared for one to eventually not be the coolest one ever.
Not this one though!
Despite the presence of better writers on the Team...my opinion of my "coach's duty" is to go first - just like into the hot tub and in the line for the FRICKIN' WICKED AWESOME neckrubs from Heather "More than just a Podium Grrl" Allegrina-Bowe. Hey - it's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it, right?
Basically, this Ride was pretty dang much perfect. The weather, which was threatening 90+ temps and humidity a few short days prior was 80-ish, low-to-no humidity and calm. Sunny enough to help you develop those weird tan lines that we covet but just enough clouds to give ya a break now and then.
The route was bee-yo-ti-ful, despite the aforementioned Tour de Toilets, an odor-iffic jaunt past the waste treatment plant and climbs the like of which most of us had never seen! To say this was a tough ride would be to tax my limited grasp of the art of understatement. Especially from mile 20 on this baby was a killer!
The Team was perfecty awesome! As far as I can remember (cut me a little slack - it's been a l-o-n-g weekend!) Brian, Chris, Scott, Kristen, Mike, Jamie and Mark all set personal distance records and on that course that ain't no small feet! Everyone rode well - but that's such a tiny fragment of our Team's impact on the weekend that it's as if it was a foregone conclusion. To put it simply and crudely - we are the shit. Seriously -the regard with which the JDRF staff, volunteers, coaches and riders hold the West MI Team is pretty dang cool to behold. Ask Brian about the 2 dudes from MA that apologised for "holding up the West Mi peloton" on Friday. Read the last line of the nomination I got for coach of the Ride that says "Mike's entire team was very friendly and inspiring". Look around the room at dinner and see all the blue shirts. Watch the Michigan folks embrace their team mates (whom they've not met yet) from Il and make them feel like part of the family. See the tears on virtually everyone's face when Jack stands up at the mic on Friday night and tells the assembled crowd why he's riding and what this means to him. (I asked him @ dinner the night before!)
I'm SO proud to be part of this Team. You guys are special, I've know that for a while now and it's cool that everyone else is figurin' it out too!
Okay.......let the stories and pic-sharing begin! On to Death Valley! See everyone (hopefully!) at the Team Ride this Sunday @ Joe Schmeider's place in Ada! We would especially appreciate the honor of riding w/ our Kick -A ville teamies!
Thanks again. Great job everyone!
Monday, August 11, 2008