Three Ride The Rockies tours, and our team finally picked a name: #NeverAgain. We always say it. “Next time we are going to Disneyland!” And yet somehow we always end up on the side of a mountain, cursing our legs and suffering together.
I have found that when you are an irrational glutton for punishment, it is good to have friends who are, too.
It’s hard to wrap up the week without focusing pretty intensely on the crash I had the last day. I wound up in an ambulance and then two different hospitals before getting home. I’m still in bed, but I’m good now; on the mend. Doctors said I had chest trauma (understatement) and a pretty good concussion. My helmet definitely saved me from far worse.
Yet, all in all, our team felt the extra challenging ride made it extra rewarding. My dad, Greg, FINISHED the whole thing! He wants me to point out that he was NOT last*. It was a great adventure. *He was second to last.
What Team #NeverAgain learned this year:
1.) #NeverAgain disregard the man-hole covers. They will take you down. Hard.
2.) #NeverAgain try to keep somebody else’s pace. When we each rode at our own speed, we were the most successful. No two riders are the same, and with a team of six, there were some major differences in strengths and weaknesses. Riding “on our own” and meeting up at aid stations and finish lines, proved more fun than trying to keep the group together in the end.
3.) #NeverAgain skip ice cream. Have some every night. No exceptions.
4.) #NeverAgain short-change your training. Long training rides are extremely important for a week of Riding The Rockies. Trying to do all your training in the last two months is like cramming for a test: nerve wracking, risky, and likely to bite you in the butt.
5.) #NeverAgain be inflexible! Your accommodations and dinner plans really don’t matter that much. There will be delays – don’t sweat them. Help out your friends and keep a laid back attitude. My crew is especially good at this – we all have our own needs, preferences and concerns, but Darcy, Chad, Micah, Greg, Sophia, Anne and I, were troopers. Team players. The week is challenging enough without added drama. One more reason I love team #NeverAgain!
5.) #NeverAgain carry extra weight. I’m not talking about my extra water bottle, which was useful. Rather, I’m referring to saddlebags and spare tires. The ice cream you eat on the ride is not going to weigh you down, but 11 months of breakfast burritos and all you can eat pasta nights with cake, will make the tough climbs insurmountable. I am proud of each person who walked his bike over the top of a steep mountain (never say die!!), but I know everyone would rather summit those whoppers in the saddle.
Thanks to everyone who made this year’s adventure so awesome. We might see you #NeverAgain next year!!