Sunday, October 24, 2010

Death Valley Report!

So - I gotta go first huh? Well, I guess that makes some kinda sense. I've been out there as much as anyone on our Team, I talk a lot, write only slightly less.....hell, maybe it's my duty as a coach to "prime the pump" as it were.

So - it's been a week (8 days actually) since we once again set out from Furnace Creek Ranch for points south.

All bound for Badwater & Mormon Point. Some for Ashford Mill. Some for the top of Jubilee Pass.

Remember how it felt to be there on the start line? The sun comin' up as fast as the goosebumps on our arms? The pictures and fistbumps and high fives and smiles and tears? Then we roll......out of the ranch, takin' that right turn ("Thanks Officer!") and up that right-away hill. Right again @ the intersection and then we're on the way for real. Coasting, passing, ("on your right!") pedaling.

I'm not gonna try to recount everyone's story here. Hell - I'm kinda hoping you all will do that! I saw nearly everyone during the ride - rode w/ Lin and Peggy early on, saw Tom and Did and a whole bunch of glitter-tree-bedecked folk @ Mormon Point. Rode outta there chasing Sarah and Nathan, who were chasing Rob. Saw a ton of us @ Ashford Mill - some turning around, some going on, saw Brad and Rick and Kaat comin' down offa the pass before Nathan and I started the climb. I rode up w/ Nathan, saw Cindy for a while and saw everyone on the way down. Chatted w/ John J and Stewart as they stopped during their descents. Saw LTP, Scott, Brenda, Herb and many more @ the top. point is that Team West Michigan was ALL OVER that route all day! Shoot - we were over 12% of the entire rider total so you'd expect that!

We all know that it was hot. What you DV 1st timers might not realize is that those of us out late inthe day caught a break. That thin cloud cover blunted the sun's edge and dropped the temp at least 10 degrees. And for the first toime in years - the wind died down. Still - a tough day and not everyone had the day they had planned.

But - we survived. We thrived. We hung tough, rode smart, made wise choices, took care of one another and showed everyone just how we roll.

Not to mention that we again gave that jackass Type 1 a kick in the crotch!

I'm so proud of you guys! Your strength and grace and passion and humor and blood and sweat and tears. The way you hung out @ the finish to greet every rider as they came across the line. I was talkin' to Trish later that night and she once again mentioned that as the epitome of what makes our Team special and expressed again her fervent wish that other teams would follow our lead.

It's hard not to get lost in the pics and the FB posts, huh? Is for me anyway. I'm looking forward to reading some of your thoughts here too though.......some things oughta be for the record, y'know?

So - one more Ride and the 2010 Ride Season is in the books. Walt and Stacey will be flyin' the West Mi flag high and proud, Berger will be runnin' the Bike Room and yours truly will be dustin' off his Head Coach cap again. 'Tween now and then we have the Big Team Party on 11/13 and plenty o' Van Andel gigs comin' up!

What say we just get 2011 started huh?

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for being who you are, doing what you do and rocking like you all do!

Coach Mike

1 comment:

Chris R said...

Thanks for prining the pump! I appreciate your ability to tell the story.