In September of 2022 I accepted a last-minute invitation to kind of a charity ride-cum company team-building experience within the Swiss Alps. Upon my return I wrote a narrative about it for Bicycling, which I’m happy to report they lastly revealed yesterday:
To at the present time I’m nonetheless undecided why Plume (the corporate behind the experience) invited me. I obtained the sensation possibly their PR particular person plugged “biking journalist” into a well-liked search engine and my title got here up, however I simply tried it and that doesn’t appear to be the case:
They completely ought to have invited Henri Desgrange.
Anyway, I want I’d been capable of share extra in regards to the experience right here instantly upon my return, however I figured it was higher to attend for Bicycling to run the story, and I had no concept that wouldn’t occur for over a 12 months. By the best way, it appears like Pogačar got here again for this 12 months’s experience, and because of this I can now boast that there’s a photograph of me on his web site:
See? There I’m:
I’m undecided if I used to be actively hiding or simply distracted by my telephone.
Talking of this 12 months’s experience, the CEO of Plume stated he was planning to make it even tougher this 12 months, and judging from the route it appears like he did simply that.
As for why I selected the Vengeance Bike as a substitute of 1 that really made sense, my unique plan upon receiving the invitation was simply to convey the Homer and do the entire experience in sandals. Nonetheless, taking a look at video of the earlier 12 months’s experience it was clear to me I ought to not less than use some sort of street bike (you already know, pacelines and stuff), and as I say within the story I used to be having fun with using the Kestrel a lot simply earlier than my departure I figured “What the hell,” and simply threw it in a bag. Nonetheless, I suppose a part of it was additionally my very own insecurity–I had no concept what I used to be moving into or who any of those folks had been, and I assume I sort of figured if I used to be gonna get dropped then not less than there could be extra honor in it if I used to be using a 35 year-old bike with a six-speed and no climbing gears. This is similar cause I used to decorate the best way I did in highschool: in the event you can’t look as cool as the opposite youngsters, then take the other tack and are available to highschool wanting such as you obtained run over by a using lawnmower. Additionally, to not evaluate myself to Jobst Brandt or something, however I knew he used to tour the Alps with like a 46×19 or one thing loopy like that, so I figured (hoped) I’d in all probability be capable to handle.
As for Pogačar, I used to be secretly relieved that I by no means obtained to interview him as a result of I had no concept what to ask him (“Uh, so what’s it wish to be a extremely good bike rider?”), however he did appear fairly gracious and was blissful to pose for pictures:
However I’ll at all times take into consideration these climbs. Perhaps it was simply my dumb gearing, or possibly my life’s too straightforward in any other case, however they made me really feel elated and like something was doable. In the future I’ll have to return and take a look at it with regular gears…