RACE 2 REPLACE
I was privileged to spend a few hours at the Discovery Channel Cycling Team's "Race 2 Replace" event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. I did not race, though I now wish I had. I watched a few of the age-group races (10 laps, 25 miles) then participated in the "Lap Led by Lance" with several thousand cycling advocates. The day-long event was both a fundraiser for cancer research and a genuine effort to find new or emerging cycling talent. The rider with the best time will join the Discovery Channel Cycling Team as a guest participant in the upcoming US Cycling Championships.
RIDING WHERE RACERS FLY. I enjoyed the laps around IMS. Here's where Indy cars sail at up to 250 miles an hour on the straightways. My top track speed was a wind-assisted 28 mph. I enjoyed talking with riders from Bremen, Indiana, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania (the guy lives five miles from Floyd Landis' childhood home). As always, I was ready to brag on Indianapolis as a great place to reside, raise a family, worship, serve, and explore.
WITH GRATITUDE. While riding around the speedway in this setting, realizing it was for cancer research, I felt a sense of gratitude that our 15-year old daughter Molly is now over two years cancer free. It was a scary month in June 2004 when what was initially presumed to be a cyst on the back of her neck turned out to be a tumor of myoepithelial carcenoma--a very rare and particularly nasty-behaving cancer. The surgeon who removed it intact operated a second time to take out surrounding tissue. All testing since then has been negative for cancer, no chemotherapy or radiation has been necessary, and Molly's pediatric oncologist has indicated that she is in the clear.
GREETING LANCE ARMSTRONG. Coolest thing that happened for me today: I was standing at the right place at the right time and was privileged to greet Lance Armstrong one-on-one as he was making his way to a photo op. We shook hands and I thanked him for his work for cancer research. Impression: Lance is smaller than one imagines--maybe 5'7" and 145 lbs. Lance carries himself as a very intense and intentful person.
DOUBLE THE FUN. Race 2 Replace was a fun event. I didn't stay for the rock concert that was to begin after the laps around the track. I imagine if Armstrong and Discovery Channel decided to try it again, the crowds will be even greater. A suggestion: piggy-back the event with one of the practice or time trial weekends of the Indy 500. Maybe the second time trial weekend would work best. Both events and organizations would benefit. Synergize!