Team We Go Both Ways
What happens when you put together a bunch of cyclists from all over the country, of various origins, and who’s only real tie to one another is relationships built through the love of bicycles? You get a hell of a lot of fun !!
In a few weeks, seven men will leave my house in Evergreen, and ride over six mountain passes in two days to complete the “Double Triple”. These men, known only by their nicknames, will come from sea level, completely unaware that the first climb will last close to an hour and a half, and wind up at over 10,000 ft.
Actually, to be fair, two of team We Go Both Ways have done the Triple before. As a matter of fact, they attempted it a few years ago in the snow storm that July decided to throw our way.
As introduction to some of the team, it is important to meet a few. “The Big Lion” is the glue that holds this band of merry men together. He is a cyclist of renown, who is often used by others in place of motorpacing, as he rides as though his bike is motorized. Come to think of it, maybe we should check. Didn’t they accuse Fabian Cancellara of the same thing?
“TT” from Virginia is a tri guy. He has ridden the Triple from Evergreen to Avon. He gave up a beautiful cycling life in upstate NY for one where he spends a lot of time on a trainer.
Then there is “Gee Dog”. Be careful of this guy. He is a retired South African bicycle racer. For clarity, that is retired from racing, he still has a job. He is powerful, competitive, and loves a good joke. Last year he, the Big Lion and Pizza Pie were successful in completing the Queen Stage of the Giro during the Grand Fondo. This was no small accomplishment, as the last climb was the Mortirolo, 8 miles of hell, including a 3 ½ mile stretch at 18 degrees of pitch.
Speaking of “Pizza Pie”, he is an Italian American (as you might imagine), who is the protégé of the Big Lion. He can often be seen sucking off the Lion’s wheel. Don’t let that fool you, however. He is a powerful cyclist in his own right. His motorcycle racing days make him a formidable descender, with zero fear of speed.
Where Pizza Pie is fearless and willing to endure whatever is thrown at him, “Weatherman Joe” is the opposite. He is calculating. He checks every detail and has been known to slip in a ride between thunderheads. We shall see if that skill is transferrable to monsoon season in the Rockies. He is a powerful rider, challenging the Big Lion for KOMs whenever he can.
Finally, we have “Kidney”, a British transplant, living in NJ. I am not sure which exit. While the smallest member of the team, he should not be underestimated. He is a serious cyclist who rides with other team members regularly.
And then there is me, “The Navigator”. I am Harry Rhulen, an Evergreen resident. I gained my trail name many years ago by having a particular knack for losing my way in the woods. Since that time I have become the coordinator for many trips to exotic locales. As the designated driver, I am also responsible for getting everybody where they are supposed to be, safely. That was no easy task last year in Italy where I was driving a van on roads designed for chariots. As the weakest rider in the group I am praying that altitude comes to my aid.
The people of Team Evergreen put on a spectacular event in the Triple Bypass. It was my pleasure to put together team We Go Both Ways to participate in this event. Our eclectic group of riders are all looking forward to good food, great scenery, awesome people, and memories to last a lifetime. Who knows, maybe we’ll do it again next year.