Cycling’s Beautiful Story

Bike racing seems to be a great canvas for telling so many of the stories that encompass the human condition. Words we use around my house that are so important for our family values include: perseverance, courage, integrity, respect, value, hard work, team work, and fun. I have used a bike racing to discuss these so many times. Last Monday was the national championship road race. I was happy to learn it would be broadcast live via the internet and settled down to watch it. Of course, one of the great things about watching bike racing is that it can become background noise when I am playing with the kids and then when something happens I can refocus to the race and watch the drama unfold. This particular race was unfolding very similar to past races on the same course. A somewhat sizeable group split and then a smaller group attacked that group and created a 5 man break going up Paris Mountain the final time before a series of 3.8 mile circuits. As I watch Timmy Duggan attack the 5 man group and give it a go solo against 4 other super strong riders, I quickly gathered the kiddos together and talked about how brave a move it was. No way in his shoes am I going to try and beat the likes of Tom Danielson, Tejay van Garderen, Matt Bushe, and Ben Jacques-Maynes by myself. Those guys are all excellent time trialists and I can’t imagine how fast they can go together. Duggan didn’t attack them in the last mile. No, he went with 10+ miles to go. Guts. Now Timmy isn’t going to beat anyone in a sprint at that level so he had to try his luck. But 10+ miles out against that group seems just insane. I remember asking the kids, “Do you think his legs are hurting?” and them responding “YES!”. My 2 oldest both have raced bikes and done triathlons, so they know just how hard it is to push yourself when your legs are tired. Then I remember how Duggan had a really bad crash a few years back and received a major head injury. I talked to the kids about persevering even after such a traumatic injury and many years later how he was able to make this attack to try and win. We talked about going for it even though it was likely he would get caught and how sometimes in life you have to take chances. We talked about how even though the group was making up time on him that he still kept going and didn’t give up. And we talked about how winning as cool, but how he got there was even cooler. Thanks bike racing and Timmy Duggan for giving me a good story to tell to my kids.

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