This has not been a memorable Spring break, typically Shauna and I take a little spring break getaway, and I try to incorporate lots of cycling into my week off of school. This year we decided to save our money and stay home. Last week the forecast was looking dry and 60 degrees, but its been below freezing in the morning and warming up to 40 with rain popping up every now and again all week To make matters worse for the Dirty South Sunday has been a whirlwind of various forecasts, anywhere from 0% up to 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms and the comfortable 50-60 degree high has been downgraded to the 40s.
So I’ve sat around and thought about riding the last couple of days, and fretted about the weather, but pro racer Taylor Phinney didn’t have that option in this year’s Tirreno -Adratico. Mike sent me a link to a great article about Phinney finishing dead last on stage 6, 37 minutes behind the pack. It was a 230KM day with brutally steep climbs and awful weather that forced nearly 50 riders to abandon the stage. Phinney had no real reason to finish the second to last stage, other then that he wanted to do well in the next days time trial, when everyone in the group he was riding with quit he was forced to try and finish the race alone, unfortunately he didn’t make the time cut.
Taylor says he gutted out the ride for his Dad, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. It’s a humbling realization that Phinney made, “I knew that if my dad could be in my shoes for one day—if all he had to do was struggle on a bike for six hours, but be healthy and fully functional—he would be me on that day in a heartbeat,” Taylor Phinney said. “Every time I wanted to quit, every time I wanted to cry, I just thought about that.” Taylor’s Dad, Davis Phinney was on my mind before I even read this story; at the end of the new Sufferfest video “Blender” there is a short piece for the Davis Phinney Foundation which has footage of Phinney and some of the uncontrollable tremors that Parkinsons’ causes.
It makes me wonder why I’ve spent the last couple of days looking out the window…