As sometimes happens before embarking on something big, people get curious and retrospective about how exactly they got themselves into this pickle in the first place. In the past, you could embellish a bit and make a really good story out of it.
But not today. Today we have email and blog trails to keep us honest. Last night Rob sent me the very first email I wrote to him (you would not believe how many we’ve exchanged since then. It’s crazy), then the very first article I wrote about Haute Route – where it all began. That got the wheels turning and I thought it’d be fun to see how ‘my journey’ progressed to where I am now.
That First Crazy Idea
I don’t remember why or how it happened, but I think it had something to do with Shoko telling me how fat I was getting. It seems to have all started taking concrete form with a chat I was having with my old friend Karsten, way back in January 2010.
are you interested in joining a cycling race?this spring sometime?8:39 AM me: Not at this point, no.
Two ‘nos’ in one sentence…
Then, somewhere in the Fall of the same year I got the idea to ride the 2011 Etape du Tour. I immediately emailed Karsten:
Ever think about doing this thing? Registration opened today. I’m going to do it, I think.
Before you knew it, we were both signed up and the ‘training’ began. Or so I thought.
As soon as I made that decision I knew I needed to change just about everything I did on the bike. Till then, I was a leisure cyclist at best, with a 2005 Cannondale Cyclocross, set up with a back rack for the touring I did quite often. Things needed to change. And they did, quickly. Here’s the blog article I wrote about my new bike, the Bianchi Infinito whose frame I still ride (everything else is new – I cringe at the amount of money I spent on that ‘mistake’).
That First Email
I’d never met Rob in my life, even though we sort of share the same parents. It was Rob’s dad, Tom, who suggested I email him and I figured that was a good idea. Who knows, he might have a pointer or two he could throw my way. Here’s the first part:
Tom was saying the other day that I should get in touch with you, since I’ve recently entered the world of cyclosportives here in France. He figured you might have some tips on how not to kill myself, I think.
He replied, in typical Rob fashion, with an email of epic proportions and excellent advice. And it hasn’t ceased since then.
That Second Crazy Idea
A year later, after being sucked good and truly into the world of bike racing/training, I ran across a new event and blogged about it.
Check out the comment from Rob at the bottom. His ‘bucket list’ item idea germinated for a year before it took root in my brain, too. On August 20th (during last year’s HR actually) I wrote the fateful blog article that led to the final push:
And the rest is history. Thanks for enduring this post. It was really an exercise for me to see how we got to where we are today. And let this be a lesson to you all. Be careful who you email for advice. You never know the madness that could ensue!