Ride Report - CIBA Ride with Christian Vande Velde June 01 2014, 0 Comments
I first met Christian Vande Velde while riding up Alp d'Huez a few days after he crashed out of his final Tour de France. We rode together for about 30 minutes up the famous cycling route and talked about bikes and riding and what was happening in the tour. He came off as a "normal dude" although, he had a loose screw in his shoulder, road rash and was pumping out 350 watts leisurely up the mountain while I was gasping for air to keep up.
We met again at George Hincapie's house during the Hincapie Gran Fondo. George had invited my wife and I over to hang out at the pool and meet some people. When Christian walked in I had to tell him about our ride and he said "Oh yeah! I remember that!" then gave me a pound and hug like we were bros from high school. From that moment I knew we were going to have some fun.
Over Memorial Day weekend, my wife and I invited Christian and his wife Leah down to go to Carb Day and do some cycling. Carb day was a new experience for them both and they couldn't believe the size of the track. Christian shared stories of racing at Major Taylor Velodrome as a youth and told us the stories of how he almost went to Marian University.
Saturday morning, Christian and I drove over to the CIBA ride (Tour of Three Counties, hosted by Tom and Laurie Schmacher) unannounced. Christian didn't want to create a fuss about him being there. When we arrived, he couldn't believe how many people showed up. "You guys have group rides like this all the time??!?"
I had told a few of the juniors in our club to make sure and come out because I had a surprise for them. One of our riders (Spencer Miller) was in awe and fought hard all day to stay with the front group as close to VDV as possible. A few times on the ride there were gaps developing and Christian would grab Spencer by the saddle and power him back to the front.
We stopped at one of the rest areas at about 45 miles and again, Christian was floored. "You guys have rest stops with killer food too!?" - Yep, that's how we roll in Indiana with CIBA rides Christian!
I wasn't aware, but the entire ride, Christian had been talking to our juniors and other riders on the group. He told Spencer at the end he was going to launch a massive attack and lead out. Spencer was super excited. As we headed up Lafayette Rd towards Fishback school, Spencer went FLYING by me at about 30mph. I laughed and yelled "GO SPENCER!!!". I looked over my shoulder and Christian was smiling and stood up and jammed the pedals back up to him.
We rolled into the parking lot and got together for a group photo. Christian told one of our riders that he hasn't ridden that fast in about a year. It was a fabulous weekend with a great CIBA ride to cap it off. If you missed it, you can ride with Christian again at the Rollfast Gran Fondo, September 14th in Carmel Indiana.