Endorphin Fitness

Vetoing a Staff Meeting

Weekly Staff Meeting @ Endorphin Fitness Cycling Studio 

Weekly Staff Meeting @ Endorphin Fitness Cycling Studio 

One of the many great rights we have as an US citizen is the power of the veto. Vetoes cannot and should not be called for unless the end result is sure to provide benefit for all involved. Over the last few winters, Michael, Quinoa, Thin Mint and I have been doing our weekly trainer rides together. At one point, someone joked and asked if we were conducting a "staff meeting". The name has stuck ever since.

As we were all preparing to meet for this week's meeting, the string of text messages started to get sent around that the staff meeting should be held outdoors this week as it was actually sunny and the tempurature wasn't cheek chilling cold. One of us voted for indoors while another voted to veto the indoor ruling. With the support of the final two of us, the veto passed and outside we went. 

The adventures began straight away with Quinoa showing up with no clothes and Michael playing in traffic while he got his feet into his shoes. About half way down to West Creek, I about fell off my bike laughing as Michael and Thin Mint had this exchange 

  • Michael - "Is your powermeter installed on your bike?"
  • Thin Mint - "Yes"
  • Michael - "What is your current power?"
  • Thin Mint - He stated his power which I won't say
  • Michael "WWWHHHHYYYYYYYYY ?!?!?!"

After arriving to West Creek, we knocked out 3 of our 4 intervals without issue. As we were about to start our last one while turning back for the shop, a gun shot like noise came off of Thin Mint's rear wheel as a spoke broke which sent the wheel into a seizure bouncing from one side of his frame to the other before he could come to a stop. A quick inspection, we knew it wasn't rideable and the sag wag would need to be called to pick him up. 

Moments later I would join him in the sag wag as I suffered a puckering blowout at over 30mph as Michael, Quinoa and I were time trialing down Patterson to ensure we got back to the shop to open on time. Looking back, that was the most fun I have had on the bike in quite some time. Probably because we were all together and we were OUTSIDE. Now if only Spring would stop playing peek-a-boo with us so we can do it again without the need of a veto. 

Hey Mr Bicycle Rider!

Growing up my brother, sister and I were taught by our parents to trust in people. We were taught a person's word means more than anything. Even when all clues want you to believe they shouldn't be trusted, we should give them a chance to prove the clues wrong. Given a chance people more often than not will rise and surprise.

Over the years while leading group rides, I have heard many comments about how calm I am while riding amongst traffic. I've heard it is because I spend so much time on the bike. I've heard it is because I ride to work many days. I've even heard it is because I secretly wish to die by getting hit by a speeding vehicle. None of those are true. The truth is I am able to remain calm because I love the game of Frogger (one of the greatest games ever) and because I was taught to trust.

I trust in the best of people. I trust that the driver of the vehicle no matter how close they may pass, doesn't want to hit me anymore than I want to be hit by them. I trust very few people in this world wants to actually bring harm to me because I am riding a bicycle. Lastly, I trust in the great plan. The plan which I often don't understand, but has been laid out for me to follow.

We all hear the awful stories when tragedy strikes but we hardly ever hear the stories of when someone in a vehicle does it right. When was the last social media post you read where someone was excited that a car moved an entire lane over to make a pass? Sadly those posts aren't made. That is until today. I am here writing because despite MY mistake while on the bike, I am still here to write.

Last Thursday you may have seen the picture I posted on Facebook. If not here it is for your viewing pleasure.

It was the result of me trying to do "bmx tricks on a speed machine" despite Thin Mint's recommendations that I not. That maneuver sent the bike into a slide resembling a bike entering a turn in a Supermoto race.

Entering a turn in a Supermoto race
As you can imagine, I ended up on the ground but not until the bike was almost completely stopped. Thankfully, my cleats and skin are best of friends. The type of friends who take beatings so the other does not have to. Instinctively, my left cleat sacrificed itself to be ground into a plastic pulp so my skin didn't have to. The frightening part of the whole thing wasn't the actual slide. It was the fact it took place in the middle of Midlothian Turnpike. Thankfully, the gentleman who was driving a red late model Jeep Cherokee, had not crowded me after making the turn onto Midlothian and was able to come to a stop with a lot of room to spare.

He stopped long enough to make sure I was OK. I assured him I was perfectly fine and the bike had taken all the damage. After clearing the road, I made a call to get a ride to work and sent the "I'm OK" text message to everyone who receives the Garmin Livetrack link each time I go out for a ride. About 10 minutes later as I was taking my picture to be submitted for the cover of the never been published Endorphin Fitness "12 Men of Christmas" calendar, the gentleman reappeared. He had come back by to check on me again. He said that he wouldn't have been able to think of anything else that day if he didn't make sure I was taken care of. I thanked him but this time for being so caring and thoughtful.

Fast forward one week and now it is Friday. For whatever reason, the incident was replaying in my head as I traversed the same route into work. I thought about how lucky I was to have had that gentleman behind me and not someone who was distracted. While sitting at a stop light on Boulevard, I heard "Hey Mr Bicycle Rider!" I turned around wondering what was about to be said to me when I saw the familiar red Cherokee with the driver hanging out the driver side window so he could get my attention. He was curious if I had gotten my bike fixed and let me know he was glad I was back on the road.

As I made my turn off Boulevard and toward work, I said a prayer acknowledging my gratefulness for the existence of "Red Cherokees" and for affirming my beliefs in how I want to continue to trust in both man and the plan.

Day 2 Recap

The first night was a huge success with a few rest breaks and morale was great. We took a long rest break before heading into the Fort Davis mountains and let the sun come up and warm everything (and everyone). Andy had a lot of tough climbs in the mountains and it took quite a toll on him mentally to not see anyone for miles and miles and miles (and miles and miles). But, he ate really well and took very few breaks off the bike and finally reached the end of the 90 mile time station.

After that we were able to hit several more time stations in quick fashion and Andy's morale just kept getting better and better. We saw so much wildlife today: elk, deer, a HUGE tarantula, wild boars, snakes, and horses. The most entertaining encounter was the face-off of Andy with a loose cow. They had a nice staring competition for a minute or so. 

When the night crew took over Andy was moving strong and had a very upbeat mood. He is excited and really motivated to reach the halfway point tonight. 

TS 4 to TS 5: Marfa to Ft. Davis

Time Station Miles: 21.2; Accumulated Miles 306.3

From Marfa, Andy headed north on Highway 17 to Fort Davis. The weather in this area of Texas is unlike most of the other places Andy will ride because the elevation in the Davis Mountains makes its much cooler. The town itself is known for being stereotypical old West Texas: windmills, old fence posts, cattle, and horses.

After going thru the Fort Davis TS we have stopped at the next picnic pullout to sleep. We will sleep for a couple of hours till the sun comes up and the relief crew arrives. It has gotten VERY windy and the outside temp is 40. We feel rest would be better now instead on using energy to keep warm and fighting crosswinds. He has a very steep 90 mile climb around Fort Davis which will be easier on him with some rest and sun, with warmer temps. We are hoping all goes well and he can finish this section before it gets real hot. Andy is tired and slept well during that time.  He is about a 3 of 10. His stomach is doing alot better and he has been eating and drinking well.