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The GreenArmBandits Ride with George Hincapie
On a special occasion the Green Arm Bandits and a few friends went out for a ride with George Hincapie.
Have you every awakened from a dream and wished the events were reality? Well... recently one of my dreams came true.
My wife, Kristin, and I had been planning my 40th birthday for a while. She advised me that we would be having an open house at our home the night before the celebration as a low key way to kick off the weekend. When my GAB mates started to file in, along with a few other cycling friends, I was looking forward to a nice evening. Then, my best friend Sonny and a ring at the door. In stepped a tall dark featured slim fellow in European dress with a smirk on his face. After the blood returned to my face and I lifted my jaw from the floor I could only muster, "is that who I think it is?" When it finally computed, and he approached me with a firm handshake, the only other thing I could think to say was, "holy shit!". My son Conor exclaimed, 'it's George Hincappie!'
"Are you Chris?", he asked. If it wasn't just enough to meet my cycling idol, he then asks, "How about taking a ride with me tomorrow?" She did it! Kristin invited Big George to my celebration and made it even more special by including my GAB mates as well.
The conversation flowed effortlessly as George obliged our wide eyed childlike enthusiasm. As the evening culminated we decided to meet at my home 7:15am the following morning for a modified Early Birds North training ride. I thought I was the only one whose anticipation and anxiety prevented anything greater than five minutes of uninterrupted sleep. When my doorbell started ringing at 6am I knew this wasn't the case. We rolled out around 7:30 and eased into a steady...brisk training pace. A great ride with multiple opportunities for the GABs to cultivate their cycling fantasies. I seem to still be doing that now.
It was hard to say bye to my new friend "Big George." I wonder if he realizes how much he made my 40th birthday a day which I will never forget? I know my family, friends and GAB mates do.
PS -- by the Camera-Rider Py: Enjoy the ride video below taken with my helmet camera and also check out further photos on my Blogspot.
Ride Video Review: