It truly is amazing how fast an action can cause a reaction. In this case the action was a simple 126 character tweet:
"Hey Vermont - let's ride!! 4pm in Waterbury. Corner of Main St & Warren Ct at what looks like a park to me (on Google Earth)."
The reaction, cycling enthusiast dropping anything and everything to pack their gear bags and get the bikes on the car ASAP. Any tri-athlete would have stood in awe to see the transition time it took Bruce, Ashton, and myself (Jeff), to unload two car and compile everything to one. Pretty sure I had to run after Bruce and Ashton with the rest of my stuff so we could catch the 1:30pm ferry.
*taking a moment to take a picture and come back to reality.*
Thinking of how well we know Waterbury, VT and all the times we've been there, we should have been able to find the meeting location pretty easily. But no. People saw three cycling hooligans wondering around parks, with their printed out Google maps, and pointing in all different directions. But we were also not expecting to be the first ones there either.
*After finally finding the correct intersection it's time to get ready*
I don't know if its because we were in kits, had bicycles, or looked like we were a big deal, but news reporters flocked to us. Immediately chaos ensued and only by a third part could this mayhem be caught on tape:
Okay, so pretty much the news reporters got along okay and started joking around with each other and the team. Bruce was interviewed by Fox 44 and a little later Channel 3 News interviewed Ashton.
We were hoping to be the only three to show up, but people soon started to roll in. Even a locale day care brought out a bunch of kids and riders from all over were showing up. Saw a couple riders from Dartmouth. Soon the crowed had to be near 200, from kids all the way up to cat-1 racers. As 4pm rolled around...no Lance....4:15pm no lance. I think this was the time a kid thought it was a good idea to yell out "THERE HE IS!!!!" And like a pack of alpaca, heads turned and eyes widened, to nothing but passing cars. 4:30pm...no lance.....
*the anticipation of lance's arrival is nail biting*
4:40pm LANCE!!!!!!!!! okay so he was 40 minutes late, but come on the guy was in NYC at 2pm. Like any popular figure, he was swarmed by media and adoring fans. Within minutes of his arrival we were off, and on the GMSR stage 2 course, except going backwards on it. The group was shaky seeing there were riders of all abilities and people were just to eager to see lance, crossing the yellow lines when there was oncoming traffic. I think about 1/2 way into the ride there was a crash and other times people were riding in ditches because they were pushed off the road. But even with all the distractions in the world, WOE riders found themselves around lance.
*Bruce and myself riding next to lance, while Ashton shows off his photography skills*
It seemed like as soon as the ride started it was over. Lance had a commitment at a cancer fundraiser at 7pm. So all in all we only got to ride 8 miles with him. Nevertheless a once in a life time opportunity. That's right can you say you have ridden next to a 7 time Tour de France winner. I can!
After the ride it was off to our favorite watering hole in Waterbury. And as always, we were on our best behavior. Our waiters again must have thought we were crazy, especially with Bruce stabbed me with his fork as i was going for a nacho. To our amazement the staff also didn't know who lance armstrong was! To say the least they soon found out.
*Thanks for coming Lance!"
"Thanks to the 100's of Vermonters (that's correct, right??) who came out for the #twitterride. What a beautiful part of the world!" ~Lance armstrong via twitter