In September of 2022 I accepted a last-minute invitation to kind of a charity ride-cum company team-building trip within the Swiss Alps. Upon my return I wrote a narrative about it for Bicycling, which I’m happy to report they lastly printed yesterday:
To this present day I’m nonetheless unsure why Plume (the corporate behind the trip) invited me. I obtained the sensation possibly their PR individual plugged “biking journalist” into a preferred search engine and my identify 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 trip 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 way in which, it appears like Pogačar got here again for this 12 months’s trip, 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 unsure if I used to be actively hiding or simply distracted by my cellphone.
Talking of this 12 months’s trip, the CEO of Plume stated he was planning to make it even more durable 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 deliver the Homer and do the entire trip in sandals. Nevertheless, video of the earlier 12 months’s trip it was clear to me I ought to at the very least use some form of highway 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. Nevertheless, 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 suppose I form of figured if I used to be gonna get dropped then at the very least 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 purpose I used to decorate the way in which I did in highschool: for those who can’t look as cool as the opposite children, then take the other tack and are available to highschool trying such as you obtained run over by a using lawnmower. Additionally, to not examine 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 have the ability 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 joyful to pose for images:
However I’ll all the time 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 attainable. Someday I’ll have to return and take a look at it with regular gears…