I'm sure nearly everyone in Tucson is sick of El Tour stories at this point, right? The weather was miserable, nearly half of those who registered either didn't finish or just stayed home, etc. etc. In the age of social media, our attention for any particular event isn't much more than a few blinks of an eye.
Well, I rode the damn thing - sure, the shortest non-kid distance, but I trained for a whopping two months and hadn't really done anything that resembled exercise in three years, so screw you - so I'm going to take at least this moment to thank all of the people who made that frozen hell-ride at least somewhat tolerable. I'll go back to being a cynical jackass next week.
First, the wacky people who took time out of their Saturday to hold up some sort of funny or encouraging sign. Most of those people where likely waiting for a friend or family member, but there were quite a few signs out there that made me laugh long enough to forget the pain in my thighs for a moment. Person holding up a "You're Awesome, This Is Awkward" sign (and the rest of you)? Thanks.
Second, all the aid station folk. Yes, the Rotary Club people were a little cranky and it would have been nice if more of the stops actually had somewhere to put your bike other than the ground (kudos to the LDS youth group that had kids assigned to be human bike racks), but never has an orange slice or a piece of banana bread tasted better.
Third, thanks to the bike patrol guy at 4:00 p.m. who told me that if I had made it most of the way, that I'd kick myself for quitting. I stopped another dozen times before the finish, but I'm pretty sure he was right.
Third, to the people who made me get out there in the first place. Mike McKisson, who is almost a bike apostle, my far-healthier bike riding pals (who mask their irritation with my slowness well), Jared Perkins, Nathan Saxton and Austin Scott, and my wife, Tara, who is generally awesome and was especially patient waiting for me to finally finish.
My son had a sign at the finish line that read "Damn, Dad, how'd you ride this?" I have no idea, but I couldn't have done it without the help of the city I love.