Yesterday we all had the insanely special treat of riding with Tyler Hamilton (former professional cyclist and Olympic gold medalist) and Jim Capra (head coach of Tyler Hamilton Training). At dinner on Friday night we got to visit with both of them, and they are incredibly cool guys.
It happened this way (the best I can discern). L and C, who first started cycling two years ago on the Wilson team, had been following professional cycling for several years, and decided to start tweeting Tyler. He, being the cool dude he is, responded. They went out that summer (only a couple months into the sport) to ride and train with him in Boulder, CO, where he and Jim live and work. A friendship was born, and they've been out there several more times in the last few years. L, a mentor on this year's Tahoe team, suggested at the beginning of the season that she invite him out to ride with us one weekend. That weekend is THIS weekend. That's how I met a legend.
This weekend we rode 50 miles out of Hard Labor Creek, which is a ride I'd never done but traditionally is well-attended, and there's a cookout after. Nature, knowing that this was the plan, cooperated magnificently, giving us some of the best weather we've had yet this year. The intent was for them to ride up and back with everyone on the team, but they got out with the slower groups and never made it up to the front, which is too bad. Being in the back/middle, I got an inordinate amount of time with them, which was enjoyable to say the least. I had a great day and rode with a bunch of different people throughout, finishing on Jim's wheel (until he dropped me on a stupid small climb going into the park).
The cookout was brilliant and it was great to see so many other friends, too.
Maximum speed: 37.0 mph
Average speed: 14.9 mph
Distance: 50.58 mi
Map and details can be found here.
ETA: I left out the most crucial detail of the day: at around mile 40, I ran over a goddamn (dead) snake. My instantaneous reaction was a scream and shuddering, the latter of which lasted for the next several minutes. It. Was. Awful. I felt it under both tires AND, as it was all windy, multiple times. *shudder*