Yes. I know that an intoxicating evergreen scented wreath adorns your front door, you are envisioning prancing reindeer on top of your roof, and you are currently enjoying an egg nog latte at your computer desk. But to me, I am still dreaming of Thanksgiving. Christmas may be coming upon us, and we are supposed to be sending holiday cheer, but I am going to keep relishing those people and things (my bike does have a personality though) that I am most thankful for.
I am thankful for the support. Support could mean team. Support could mean all of the other people dedicating their time into the sport. The mechanics. The soigneurs. The officials. The media. But in this instance, for the sake of this post, I am going to call it, the friends. The fans. The hosts. The cheers. You all know who you are.
Those that have motorpaced me. I know it may be super exciting to ride around on a scooter at blistering speeds, and it is probably a great way to pick up chicks (who doesn’t like a guy in leather and a bicycle helmet), I have a feeling those that help me out aren’t concerned with their “cool factor”. Not that a scooter isn’t cool, and I know that I am super fast, but driving around at 50kph can get old. So thank you. I am sure I got faster from it.
Those that have “hosted” us. Thank you for host housing! What I wouldn’t do for a “princess” room (one which I have to share with NO ONE else and is sometimes decorated in pink and boas and large signs that proclaim it is “princess parking only”) and a limitless kitchen available for our creations from carnitas street tacos to tri-tip and brussel sprouts. Thank you for opening up your hearts and homes to my team and myself over the years. Thank you Mr. Novitsky for the use of altitude training in Tahoe. Thank you to the Fowler’s who have the best home in Silver City, and the Mansour’s for allowing me to call Bend home for a couple of weeks (and the princess room)… and the list goes on. I have a plantation home in Augusta, and an Apsen getaway… Just opening up your home is sometimes the best support! You are each in my heart, and I thank you for extending yours.
Sometimes the only thing you need is that little bit of cheering. A cowbell. A yell. Anything to make you press on those pedals just a tad harder. To dig a little deeper. I love going out to a race that is well attended and full of energy. I like hearing the cheers, and sometimes the heckling. It is all in good fun. Thank you for supporting the races!
However, please beware if you ever tell me to “move up” or that I am “almost there”. I may throw a sideways glare your way, I apologize. It is just in the moment. There are times I am not sure if I am going to make it, and other times I am well aware I am going to survive, but will I win? Will I be fast? Will it be enough? These are the questions I ask.
One of my favorite hosts, Jack Apple, decorated the incredible Maroon Bells TT with chalk for me. Yet, at that time, nothing helped. Oxygen would have helped, but at that altitude I would have had to have it transported in. I was feeling more like a marmot than a mountain goat. Yet, that was one of my favorite. Nothing like a little “Allez Alison” that doesn’t get your heart pumping. Whether I am in Europe, Aspen, or just in Norcal, I love it.
So there you have it. Even as you enjoy that peppermint bark, carmel corn, and a candy cane, just know that I am thankful for your support. Sometimes I don’t have a lot to give to show my appreciation. Sometimes the results don’t even exemplify that. Sometimes you may just get a bottle of wine or a jar of peanut butter. But know that I thank you.
We thank you.