This morning I awoke to the sound of pouring rain. I didn't want to get up because it was perfect sleeping weather. I decided to drag myself out of bed and take a quick trip to Starbucks. As I ran into the rain I couldn't believe how deep the puddles were. I was thankful I had parked in a high spot of the parking lot, because a few cars down from me ( my friend's media car) the water was all the way up to the door! He had a golf cart help him get to the car and finally get inside.
I got to Starbucks and ran into my good friend Floyd Landis. I had been hoping that I would run into him because I wanted to see how he was doing after his flat on the first epic stage. It seems like he is doing well.
He said his back was hurting, and I asked if it was because of the crash that happened before the day the race started. He laughed and said "no" that he was sore from being frozen and stuck on his bike for a few days in the same position just trying to stay warm.
He said that he was so cold after the first stage that it was actually comical how he had no control of his body. He was past just being cold, and didn't feel bad anymore, he just couldn't use his fingers or move his hands. We laughed a bit, because we both knew that he had another cold, wet, day ahead, and there was nothing to do but grin and get through it...
Floyd cracks me up, and I had to laugh again later when he went on the stage at sign-in and they asked him about the conditions. He laughed and said they weren't that bad.
That's what I like about bike racing: You have to get through the bad days. Whether you are suffering with an effort, or whether you are suffering because of an environment. The sport is all about overcoming adversity. Sometimes you can have great form and no luck, and sometimes you have luck because you don't have great form.
The moral is that you have to work hard to set yourself up for success, and then deal with the hand you are dealt. And for those who are just getting through, it is just remembering to survive to fight another day. I always think that patience in overcoming adversity is the sign of someone who has raced a long time versus someone who is just starting. Those who have been through the ups and downs know that they just need to get through it. Those who are new, have to learn that the bad days are never the end, and that the struggle will pay off with time.
It is the struggle that makes those who have been around awhile as tough as nails. It is what makes someone laugh and make a joke about going out to deal with another day of rain and cold.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a nicer day. I sure hope the sun comes out for these guys. They deserve a bit of sunshine!
Here are some shots from the starting line in San Jose...
Here I am looking "official"
Kids chaulking the road.