Events: Trek Travel’s Spring Classics Bike Tour with Fabian Cancellara
(2016) Bill Murray suggested the usage of a regular citizen to act as a baseline for athletes in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He means that Olympic organizers should have plucked a regular citizen and put him on the blocks to swim in the same race as Michael Phelps. She should have gotten on a time trial bike and raced Kristen Armstrong. Or perhaps, amusingly, have had an Average Joe stick his butt in the air in anticipation of the starter’s pistol to race the 100-meter versus Usain Bolt. As it stands, watching the cream of the crop race each other is hard to gauge just how good they really are.
Growing up in a hockey rink it was always a debate, too, whether I could stop a slapshot from Al Iafrate. Let me back up. I always wondered if I were to actually make contact with his shot, would I be severely hurt? Other topics of conversation included whether my teammates could knock an NHLer off his skates. Yes, most likely, and yes were the cocky conclusions in that locker room.
For my cycling audience, imagine these events separately: being in northern Europe during the Spring Classics, riding the courses beforehand, meeting Fabian Cancellara. Now imagine doing all of this. This event is just the package Trek Travel is offering for the Spring Classics season in 2017. I hardly need to mention just how impressionable an experience that would be.
A few years back I was in Placid Planet bike shop in Lake Placid, NY. They were a Cervelo dealer at the time, and the company flew them to the Paris-Roubaix, provided them with bikes, asked Thor Hushovd to hang out with them, and then they watched the race unfold from the care of Cervelo’s caravan. One of the participants told me his experiences crossing the cobbles involved hitting them at 25 miles per hour. He said he was so jostled that it caused his vision to blur and the only course of action was to slow down. He finished with a bewildered feeling of how pros don’t mess up more if it’s the case for everyone.
I thought of how enjoyable a spring classic campaign could be with Mr. Cancellara. I would ask him so many questions. I would have our hero, Mike, Cancellara’s stunt double, stand next to him and act like his brother. I would also feel amazed to be in his specialty during a ride. (In the feature photo Sep Vanmarcke even looks happy to have ridden with Mr. Cancellara.)
At the same time I would struggle to know what to do climbing the Muur de Geraardsbergen as it returns to the Tour of Flanders. Just how many times would I ride the Forest of Arenberg? I guess it depends on how rattled I was the first time. Is crossing the cobbles as romantic as it sounds? Or is it something carried out for the sake of tradition? Would the conditions give me the long sought after dusty shoulders and dirt patterns through the helmet to the head? Oh I have so many questions!
But naturally I would have one final question, a Bill Murray situation of sorts. I’m sure Mr. Cancellara will be slightly slower next year. However, how humbling would it be to sit on his wheel knowing the moment is approaching when he puts increasing pressure on each pedal stroke. Simultaneously my gadgets begin questioning if I’m entering cardiac arrest. Only in that moment would an Average Joe find out the difference in cycling abilities. Interestingly enough, I think I would be immensely satisfied to watch that happen.
Trek Travel's Spring Classic Bike Tour is currently priced at $3299 per person. The Trappist beer and flights may be separate fees. Being dropped by him is free. All photos are from the Trek Travel website. I do not own the rights to them.