Thursday, June 5, 2008

Davis Phinney R2V

Hi ya'll:
Not a race report, but a ride report. Last Saturday (May 17th) Drew and I and a bunch of folks I work with did the Davis Phinney ride to raise money for his Parkinson's organization. It was an amazingly perfect weather day, a gorgeous ride, and I fought back tears through the first 20 miles watching this man I admire ride his bike and knowing that in some way the work I do has enabled him to ride again. 20 miles in the ride broke up a bit as we hit the hills but for the first 20 it was quite the pace line...
There's a news video linked below. In it you can see how deeply his Parkinson's was affecting him weeks ago before he had deep brain stimulation (navigated by the technology we develop here). And, even better you can see how solid he is now. And, about 1:08 into the story there is a shot of him with his arms around two gals in Medtronic jerseys... The one on the left is me...
Pretty cool!
I'll add in my two cents here. I always think its interesting how people given the opportunity to talk with celebrities feel they have to have big tough questions for these people. I think many of them are happy just to do their thing and talk about the weather if anything and not be hounded with questions, be just a regular guy. When I ran the Boston Marathon I kind of got the impression that Lance really wanted to just run his own race and not be distracted by people asking him questions during the race. Some celebs are hard to pick out of a crowd when they aren't in their element, like athletes, I think these guys kind of like being recognized. For example, I and a buddy and his wife went to the Altanta Olympics to watch track and field for the week. We were sitting up in the stands during one of the early rounds of prelims I think, and I noticed a guy at the end of our row (maybe 10 or 12 seats away). I asked my buddy to double check and indeed it was. At the end of the row was Dave Johnson, the decathlete (from the Dan & Dave pair). Anyway, no one around him recognized him until we went down and asked for his autograph. I guess my point is, I think Davis likes being out on his bike and I just happened to be right up front when the ride rolled out. I had planned on riding with Leslie in the middle or back of the pack, but everyone seemed to be afraid to be up front to start. Well we rolled out and a couple miles in I was 4th man back (we were riding in pairs for awhile) talking with a legend and then next thing I know I'm riding next to Davis, Andy Hampstein was in there also. We talked but not really about anything specific and it wasn't like I'd planned any questions for him, but I really got the feeling he was happy to be on his bike and I think he really appreciates the support he is getting.
Anyway, til next time

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