So it’s true! Whatever you might think of Lance Armstrong and his fame, he’s still a damn fast rider. And he likes the CYCLEBUTTCRACK Jersey. Let me explain….
I wouldn’t have met him, except for some logistical issues. Had to pack up the rental car and take it to the airport, then ride the 9 miles to the start in Council Bluffs. Between taking a wrong turn and having to ride cautiously on underinflated tires, I didn’t get to the start until 9:30. Only to find all the support folks packed up and gone. Seriously? I wasn’t THAT late. The hand pump wasn’t going to get the tires filled up for the long miles ahead, and luckily I saw another slacker group of cyclists at the hotel next door. Perfect! “Hey, you guys have a floor pump?” “Yes, we do,” says none other than Lance Armstrong. Whoa, Lance Armstrong is riding RAGBRAI? And his buddy is loaning me a floor pump? And as I walk over to get the pump, Armstrong says, “Hey, nice jersey!” This is the way to start out a week of riding, for sure. Of course I had to get a photo…
So tires properly inflated, I left Lance and his entourage milling about and set off across Iowa. I thought that would be the last I saw of them in the thousands of riders on the road. But the next day, I somehow ended up close enough to jump on the back of their pace line. I think I outweigh those dudes by about 80 pounds, but for 10 miles I hung on the back, racing 30-35 mph on the flats and gasping up hills at 22 mph. I almost passed them coming down a hill (those pounds come in handy sometimes!) but there was too much traffic. Damn traffic.
If I wasn’t worried about moving into stalker territory, I would totally track him down and give him one of my CYCLEBUTTCRACK Jerseys. So Lance, if you’re reading this, there’s a CYCLEBUTTCRACK Jersey with your name on it. And thanks for the air. You can draft off me on the next downhill.