Here is an inspiring story to help all the bicyclists out there who are enduring another cold, gray March day. Spring is coming, maybe not soon, but it will get here!
In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal has a story that will make your day.
This story captures one of the reasons that I truly love bicycle racing. Sure, there are stories that we are not proud of (the doping scandals of recent years, topped by the spectacular fall of Lance Armstrong), but there are many, many stories like this of strong, brave riders exhibiting the best qualities of sportsmanship.
One strong, brave rider is Taylor Phinney, the son of legendary riders Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney, who was competing recently in Italy’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage race. The 22-year-old bike racer from Boulder, Colo., finished last in a stage that was so difficult that many riders quit.
But Taylor didn’t quit. He kept going for his father, who is battling Parkinson’s disease. His legs were weary and he lost ground when his first bike busted its chain, but he finished. He was 37 minutes behind the winner of the stage, but it didn’t matter.
He had finished. For his father.
The emotion flowed at the news conference after the race, and his achievement went viral online.
“I knew that if my dad could be in my shoes for one day—if all he had to do was struggle on a bike for six hours, but be healthy and fully functional—he would be me on that day in a heartbeat,” Taylor Phinney told Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal. “Every time I wanted to quit, every time I wanted to cry, I just thought about that.”
Davis Phinney didn’t learn about his son’s tribute until after the race, but his heartfelt response will leave a lump in your throat:
“I have almost no words for how amazing it makes me feel,” Davis Phinney said. He wrote in an email to his son: You make me so happy and beyond proud—and that is better than any medicine and can defeat any disease.
I don’t want to give away the last line of the story. It’s perfect. You’ll have to read the story. You won’t be sorry you did!
Thanks for reading.