Years ago, when we were trying to make our bid on the professional racing scene, we were always so interested in what a professional lifestyle would be like. The reality of it is that while we have all come to know Lance Armstrong and his amazing accomplishments, he is one of the very few who are making real money in the sport of cycling. He is probably the only one in the world making “Tom Cruise Money.”
At one race in California about a decade ago, a team mate of mine got into an altercation with a Nutra-Fig professional rider. This guy thought he owned the road and felt that we should all bow to him since he was a professional and actually got paid a salary to race a bike. I believe it was me that asked him the question, “how much money do you make anyway?” He looked at me, and with a very proud tone said, “twelve K!”
At that moment, we were surrounded by my teammates who were attorneys, consultants, physicians and of course myself, the professional student. I felt kind of sorry for the guy when all of my friends started laughing at his comment. The poor guy had no idea what he walked into. He was just another defiant professional athlete with a serious attitude, trying to get his respect. Truth is, I was the one making the least amount of money in the group. Himself, of course, being the runner up.
This is the silly little story about how the ridiculous “12k dreamer” phrase was born. It is something that is often used in the cycling community whenever referring to people who are spending huge amounts of time working on something where the payoff is only something that would be understood by the one performing the effort.
… guess you had to be there…
Fast-forward about a dozen years, and I just recently bought a new bike. It is a killer titanium Airborne/Zeppelin. Fully equipped with Campagnolo components and everything. This is way more bike than I deserve. The idea was that in purchasing this bike, I would be tricked into training mode. I just want to be fit again, and the only thing that seems to really work for me is cycling. It seems to be working since I have ridden every day of the holiday (three days in a row now).
Right now I cannot even get out of my own way, but if I do not quit or get hurt, I should hopefully be on the road to recovery. And, since I have a business, a family and other activities in my life, the only real reward for me would be physical fitness. Hence, I am now 12k dreamin’. It is just so hard not to want to drag race anyone who crosses my path.
Hopefully by my next post, I will still be in the saddle.
Many thanks to the folks at Airborne to helping me get my fitness back on the road to recovery.