During races and tours, I'm normally riding my bike whilst a convoy of cars follows behind with supplies, spares and luggage. These cars need to be driven be someone and I always pity those that have to drive for hours at the speed of a bicycle. It makes for a long day.
This week, we had a visit from a cycling group from Hong Kong and are responsible for transporting their gear from place to place as they ride. It seems that the shoe is now on the other foot.
Yesterday was a relatively short stage of 50km, however, this included a lunch stop and a final 30km climb! With the gap between the fastest rider and the slowest rider being like Lance Armstrong riding with my mother, the group was spread out for kilometers. I was given the job of driving the broom wagon; the very last car in the convoy. To make the job more difficult, the broom wagon was a 16seater bus with a box trailer big enough to fit about 30bikes in it! It was a long day.
In the group, there is a young boy only 12yrs old traveling with his parents. His bike is clearly too big for him and his kit resembles a t-shirt and shorts rather than Lycra. Most people were certain that he would hop into the bus during the 30km climb and I agreed as I drove slowly behind him. But we didn't know about his motivation.
Before the trip, his father told him that if he was able to ride the full 5 days without getting into the bus, he would get that brand new Samsung Galaxy mobile phone that he has been wanting. That is all the motivation he needed to get up that hill and there is absolutely no way on Earth that he is going to get into the bus. Trust me, there is no greater determination that a kid that wants a new toy.
He made it up the hill. VERY, VERY slowly, but he made it. He is currently 70km into the second day and doesn't look like he is anywhere near giving up. His dad better be prepared to pay up.