This entry is for Hottie. It is special for him because it wasn’t until the day after the ride, that I realized how amazing he is.
Sometime between last year’s ride and this year’s ride, he found out that most of my riding time in 2010 was alone. Hottie had already completed the ride across America in 2009 and came back to ride with me in 2011 for the sole purpose of riding with me.
He flew from Liverpool to Champagne, rode with me 1200 miles, flew back home, and then in eight days, will fly back to California to ride the Death Ride for the second time. (Death Ride = 129 miles, 15,000 feet elevation, over 5 mountain peaks.)
He could have chosen to ride at a faster pace. He could have chosen to be the first person in each day but, he chose to ride with the turtle and be the last one in each day. When we were out on the road he slowed down and was never more than a foot away from me.
Sure, he might have stayed close to me because I had a cue sheet but he also could have ridden with the front of the group to get the same directions. I wasn’t always the best navigator and we were lost twice. My temper was short and it is now that I look back and regret that I gave him the silent treatment.
The day would start with a wakeup call. We would be on the road all day and then share our meal times together. After that, we would do laundry or hang out.
I didn’t always understand what he was saying. Would we go back and forth with, “what did you say” and “I don’t understand”, and “say it one more time”. I could figure out what he was saying when he was looking straight at me, but because of the bikes, that didn’t happen too often. He doesn’t show too much emotion and would walk away from my tears but that never meant that he didn’t care.
The night of the banquet, we sat by the lobby fireplace and shared some stories. He told me about how he values his family business and how he would take the shirt off his back to help his friends. It took me 18 days to figure out what a giving and caring person Hottie is and that he was doing what he does best- helping out a friend.