thanks for the email. you should know how utterly confused everyone looked in your absence today — especially juan and pete: “so… who do i push today then?”. i ended up going long so i didn’t get to see who played otto on the regular ride, but i’m sure it was anarchy all around.
here is a conversation i shared with angelo…
angelo: ummm, so what do we do today?
sox: ummm, i don’t know. i kind of wish otto will show up in his car and beat us in the sprint. maybe even honk at us and ask us to push his car up the climbs.
angelo: yea, that would be really nice if he drove by to say hello but you know otto… he would never do things like that. he thinks stuff like that is too flashy or somehow inconveniencing for us.
otto, i don’t think it’s possible for you to be ostentatious even if you tried. please, inconvenience us whenever you’d like. whether you want to hear it or not, we owe.
“Tradition. So here’s the deal. Each year on the Thanksgiving day, our club members come out to do the same old ride we do every weekend except for one crucial difference. Otto, the spiritual leader of our club, wins the sprint at the end of the ride. We do this year after year without exception. It’s our small way of displaying our collective respect for someone truly special and dear to our hearts. Otto’s cycling career dates back to the 1940’s where he was a force to be reckoned with on both road and track. Basically he’s been riding and coaching longer than most of us have been alive. His father is in the cycling hall of fame. He’s got enough nuts and bolts in his legs to set off a metal detector. Whether it’s 100 or 20 degrees out, he’s out riding with us. He always reaches his back pocket for a banana at the same spot on the ride. He can still throw it down and hammer with the best of them out there. He’s the last person to point out your mistakes on the bike but the first person to answer your questions if you ask. But these things are not what impress me about him though. During the years I’ve known him, I’ve never known him to say a single bad word about anyone. He keeps it to himself and just rides. He’s earned his respect among all of us because he’s never once asked for it. So as I watched him cross the finish line today, I felt a great sense of pride to be a part of our little Thanksgiving day tradition. Sure we didn’t have any floats or marching bands accompanying us, but we all knew that we were celebrating a special day in our own special way.”—