So on Friday I had a really interesting opportunity to participate in the Cycle for Science benefit (benefiting the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History). The benefit offered the rare opportunity to ride shoulder-to-shoulder with 2 top pros (Levi Leipheimer and Jason McCartney – both formerly of Discovery Channel) while supporting a great cause. The benefit also included performance testing from Carmichael Training Systems and dinner with the riders the night before the ride.
The ride was a great time and really let you see just how strong pro riders are (they picked up the pace a couple times – several stretches of 30+ mph). We also stopped at a local elementary school along the route and the guys spoke to the kids for a few minutes about the importance of being active and healthy, etc. These kids had no idea who we were, but in our flashy cycling kits and $5,000 carbon bikes, they were still pretty impressed.
What really became clear is that these guys are just like the rest of us (recreational cyclists and amateur racers) – guys who just really love to ride their bike. These guys just get paid to do it, have more drive and more genetic potential than the rest of us. However, they have definitely made a lot of sacrifices to get where they are today. I’m glad to see both of these guys land good contracts (Levi with Astana and Jason with CSC) with Discovery coming to an end.