…We Now Return You to our Regularly Scheduled Programs

Built to climb.

And you may find yourself…hopefully, joyfully, at the tail-end of a pandemic. And you may find yourself headed to another part of the World. And you may ask yourself — well, how did I get here?

Literally, letting the days go by. But here we are “Once in a Lifetime” getting on a plane tomorrow to fly to Lyon, France, drive a couple of hours South to Vaujany, and participate in a dream race through the French Alpes. And you may ask yourself — seriously? Is this happening? This is happening. This is real, and the reality is, are you ready….I’m not sure I am ready. To be sure, I have been putting as much time into training as I have ever been able to. It’s been enjoyable, it’s been focused, and it’s been paying off in many ways. But it would be a falsehood to say that I don’t feel just a wee bit out of my league on this one. There are some who can climb, some who can climb slowly, some who can survive and suffer, but still climb. Rides of the past few weeks put me in that third category, so this will be a huge test.

But who cares? Of all the problems anyone can have at this point, gratitude for worrying if I can do something wonderful, well, is probably in the top-tier category of desirable problems. And so, it’s happening.

Putting a slight pause in the GFNY Marathon Florida Sebring training for a moment, we are focused solely on the bike. It’s a new rig, a special climbing rig. Built to ensure that old knees have what they need to keep climbing. Relaxed geometry, big gears, and a long throw on the chain. Disc brakes for the technical descents, and this is how a not-so-elite amateur will get up and down one of the most iconic courses ever designed.

The New Rules of Travel

There has been a slow introduction to the new rules of travel of late. Flying only domestically twice since the pandemic hit, there is now a lot to remember. But to miss a chance, over protocols would be absolutely impossible. So here I sit, with a vaccination card, negative PCR test, Excelsior pass (likely worthless past Newark), and a ticket to France. I have no idea what to expect yet at the airports, no idea what the scene will be as I work my way through Shenegan Passport Control in Portugal. But I am as ready as I can be. Whatever it is, if it’s a new normal that allows us to get back to racing, I will take it.

Putting an accent on all that I have missed, the racing, the travel experiences, the perspective, the learning, most of all I have missed meeting new people, and sharing the experiences. To see the familiar colors of GFNY in a new place will feel like a modern miracle. It will remind me of the legions of friends we have all made in this process, as well as starting the process of making new friends. I just ran a contest on my finish time. In the end, if I finish, who cares what the time is, it will be the friends made climbing those mountains that will be the biggest prize.

Maciej getting it done, while I ham it up at the start in Argentina! This is what it’s all about!

More from the road as it evolves!

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Chris Geiser

Chris Geiser

A family guy, tech-pro, and cycling enthusiast.