Thursday, November 06, 2008

Introducing Lily .... a bright little light!

Recently (and completely out of the blue), I received an email and photo from Lily's dad, Jim. It was a real treat to get this email and photo.

Here is the story....
This picture was taken after The CSC Invitational in 2007.
Let me explain a little bit about this day, leading up to the moment I met Lily.

I had a very frustrating race (all my Lipton teammates were up in Montreal). After this race was over, I realized that I REALLY love racing with a team and not alone(!), and just how spoiled I had become by being on Victory Brewing and Lipton, racing with some of the best riders in the world! I was all on my own on a day where there were strong teams represented in a race that had always been hotly contested....and historically, a break was known to go up the road.
Prior to this race, we Lipton ladies had just completed a round of three weeks of racing in Europe. We had a great racing streak (and an amazing trip!), and all of us were gaining some great form from that "block" of racing.
I, personally, was anxious to get back to some U.S. racing (criteriums especially!), so I asked to be left off of the Montreal roster, and took it upon myself to race a bunch of east coast criteriums ---solo.

In this particular race, the break went early. I went after it and bridged up with one rider (playing defense)in tow. I caught the break in a hard, lap and a half effort, only to have Laura Van Gilder attack...just as I was making contact (she is such a savvy rider!!). She got off the front at that moment, and took Rebecca Larson with her.

That would be the race.

I was pretty knackered at a crucial moment...and ultimately, missed the move of the day! The rest of us in the break were reabsorbed by the pack shortly thereafter, and although I felt strong and capable in the race, and made several unsuccessful attempts to bring back the pair...I would not have a fruitful day of racing. If my memory serves me correctly, it seemed that the field was just letting them go. And the two teams defending were doing a great job at that! Anyway....long story short, I left the course feeling a bit bothered by the outcome of the race on a day that I knew I had good legs.

Then.... along comes Lily.

This smiling, jubilant, little lady... shining brightly in the crowd (always big crowds at CSC). Her dad asked if he could take our picture together. Our conversation was brief, but Lily made me smile. It made me happy again....just to see so much excitement coming out of this little gal, and her pure love for bicycles.

That's what it's all simple.

Meeting Lily reminded me to check myself, and my attitude. She made my day. I left the course with a smile on my face after all (little did she know what an impact she had on me!). I was happy that I met a new little gal who loved bikes as much as I do, and happy to have the life I have. I am a bike racer, and that's a dream come true....regardless of the day's outcome.

I hear from Lily's dad that she is super pumped about getting a new bike for xmas this year. That Rocks. Go Lily Go!


Jet said...

very cool.

Jim Clausen said...

Of course I'm biased, but I think this is one of your best posts ever! Best of luck in all future races...

- Lily's Dad