[Posted by Stan Schultz: I've taken the liberty to post a recent e-mail sent to me and many others in our group by Ryan Bankerd after he finished the Cycling stage of the Eppie's Great Race. Note to Team Revolutions, nothing but respect for you folks. We all need motivation during competition.]
When we all run in the same "Pack" its hard to see the progress we are making because everyone is getting faster, stronger, and skilled together. Now we all know that I am fairly new to Cycle Folsom and have found myself struggling to hang on to the rear of the Peloton group week in and week out, as a matter of fact with the help of Phil, I learned how to change my first flat on a ride to Discovery park. Well I had an opportunity to test myself against other cyclists Saturday and after seeing the hoard of T/T bikes, shaped helmets and racing team jerseys, I was convinced (to prevent disappointment) this was a race against myself not anyone else.
Riding into the staging area, I heard the familiar voice of Phil, who spotted me in my Cycle Folsom Kit. Phil, who has 3 wins in Eppies (and would get a 4th that day) was there once again, to offer last minute advice not far from where he showed me how to change a tire a few months back. He said: Cut all the turns, use the slight rollers to build up speed conserving energy, and save something for when you see Sunrise bridge because that is when you make your move.
Phil was long gone by the time I received my timing chip, as a matter of fact, almost EVERY rider was gone since my runner struggled in a skilled field. By the time I got my chip we were somewhere near last place. I got up to speed and realized there are A LOT of competitors seeing a Cycle Folsom Jersey blasting by them, and as you folks know, you get a little spike of adrenaline every time you "run down" another cyclist... I was getting a lot of that. I looked down and saw 21 on my speedo and kept repeating Phil's advice in my head. "cut the turns, use the hills to keep your speed up". It was about 8 miles in when I saw a Team Revolution jersey ahead of me. Now some of you may call this childish, but my goal now shifted from merely finishing Eppies, to having a Team Revo rider read the back of my Team Cycle Folsom shorts. I wanted at least one person on that team to know that there is a 1st class cycling club in the foothills and it is not Team Revo. It was during that epiphany, adrenaline washed over me, legs felt light, they turned over easy and my breathing slowed. I looked down at my speedo seeing 25 and realized a peloton had formed behind me. It was not much longer until I passed that Team Revo rider and he jumped in the peloton.
Phil's last piece of advice hit me at that point, "save something for when you see the Sunrise bridge". So I dropped back into the peloton and conserved energy. After a few more twists and turns, there was the Sunrise bridge, and my time had come. At this point wish I had something dramatic to tell you, something like; the Team Revo rider was on my rear tire and I could feel his breath. However when I looked back he was gone, as was most of the peloton. There was just a handful of other riders in the group now and they didn't get the memo about the bridge. I broke out with another rider and we walked away from that pack and they saw, what I set out to show them, the back side of the CF kit.
After that ride I took my team from a certain last place finish, to 6th place, we ultimately finished top ten at Eppies in our division. I am writing this not to boast of one of the best sprints of my life (okay that is part of it) but to assure you that Cycle Folsom is doing great things and Phil's 4th win proved that our pack is getting faster, stronger, and skilled.
Ride leaders; Stan, Kevin, Joel, Phil, Lisa, Ross, Bruce and everyone else, you all have something great here and I will gladly take my spot on the rear tire of the Cycle Folsom Peloton group any day.
Chase or Be Chased