So far this season I’ve done 14 days of racing, but only three of those in a Jetfuel jersey. During my time in California I was lucky enough to get set up with two great teams that let me ride with them for a few events. This year we will have guest riders at certain races, it’s an amazing part of the sport that one day you are racing your guts out against a guy, and the next will be wearing the same jersey at a different race. I think it’s one of the really cool things about the sport, that during a race you want nothing more than to make the guy behind you suffer until he cracks, and then before he has had the chance to clean the snot off his face you can be planning a coffee shop ride for the next day. Not often you see an Ottawa Senator and a Toronto Maple Leaf planning to go for a light skate together the morning after a brutal playoff game. Although this year it would just be the Senator going for a skate after a playoff game. Ha. Taken a level further, last season our fearless DS Andrew Randell was coaching me, while also racing against me. Some friends of mine would joke that he was going to give me one less interval than he was doing every day, just to make sure the protege would never catch the master. While I don’t know if that’s true, I had the best season of my life, and don’t think I would have wanted to do one more interval anyways.
All this is to say, cycling is a unique sport, especially in Canada, where there aren’t many of us, and where in my experience everyone goes out of there way to help everyone else. It’s pretty cool, and a far cry from my experience as a much younger man playing hockey, where everyone’s goal was to eat as much as they could off of everyone else’s plate before they noticed. In a hypothetical sense of course.
On a completely different topic, last night I had the pleasure of attending the Jetfuels’ 20th birthday party, along with most of the rest of Cabbagetown. It was my first time attending, and was great to see and catch up with many of those involved with the team past and present. Along with Johnny and Heidi, there was probably a representative of every year of the team’s existence in attendance. Randell, Rico, Kevin, Steve, Pete, Byer, Freeland and Thorben and probably a hundred other riders made their way out to have a beer and have a laugh. Jetfuel has a long history, the stories from my generation alone could fill books, and this year we hope to make all those guys proud and add some new stories for next year’s party!
Only a few days now until Good Friday, and after that it comes hot and heavy, with racing nearly every weekend for the next 5 months. Till next time…