How I saved Tinker's life
So I wanted to share this short story with all of you other riders who have ever been passed by Tinker.
I was on my second lap of the 12 hour race, feeling quite ill and seriously considering dropping out, when I heard the rumble of a faster rider coming up the climb that just zapped the last of my energy. The rider coming was the one and only Tinker Juarez. About 10 feet from the top he spun and had to dismount after almost hitting the deck. I said my hello and goodbye as he jumped back on and rode away. I decided to jump back o. And follow as long as I could. Being that the next section was rolling and slightly downhill I kept him in sight. The next climb, which was not difficult but about (but did me in) I saw Tinker go down at the top and topple over. I figured he would pop right up and ride off. As I approached I found I was wrong and he was laying there with his bike on top of him and kicking his feet in an attempt to un-clip from the pedals. I stumbled up to him (barely able to walk at this point) and just looked at him for a second. Then my brain kicked in and I asked what he needed me to do. He said to just twist his foot out. (Duh, did I mention I was sick?). I did as asked and he popped up, said thanks, and road off into the sunset. Now the kicker; the real reason I paused when I first approached was not because I was nearly ready to fall over, but because I was wonder if I should pull out my phone and snap a shot of this once in a lifetime situation. I mean, there wasn't anyone around and what could he do? Of course my morality kicked in and I did the right thing. By the time I made it back to the trailer though, I had convinced myself that I had just saved his life. All in a days work. And I did retried from the race after just two laps.
Still wish I had taken that photo...