I Am Going To Miss You Anna!

17 Jul
anna Getting Ready For RAGBRAI

Getting Ready For RAGBRAI

For the past five summers I’ve ridden with Anna, a female cyclist who lives near me, as she trained for RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Anna is not only a great athlete, but she has also written several product reviews for this blog as well (Lululemon Cycling Clothing, Panoptx 7Eye Briza Women’s Cycling Sunglasses, and Sip, Clip and Go Coffee). Before our first ride this summer Anna informed me that she and her husband will be moving out-of-state before long, so this would be our last year of cycling together. Even though I ride with a lot of different cyclists every year, both male and female, I am really going to miss riding with Anna!

I remember the day I met Anna quite well—I had just returned from several weeks of photographing archaeological sites in the Middle East the day before and was not only tired, but my legs were stiff from being confined to a small vehicle for a few weeks and then cramped into an airplane for the 21-hour trip back home. I was only a few blocks away few my house when I got passed by a young blonde woman who passed me like I was sitting still! No one ever likes getting passed on a bike, but getting passed by a woman was more than I could bear (sorry folks, I’m Old School). It took me a mile to catch up to her and I just said, “You caught me sleeping” as I passed her. Two miles later I stopped for some road construction and Anna pulled up next to me and introduced herself—then asked about what route I was taking and asked if she could join me. Since then we have ridden a lot of miles together between the time in mid-June when she gets out of school (she is a teacher) and the time she leaves for RAGBRAI.

I am not sure where she is moving to yet, but I am certain she will find someone else to ride with her next year as she prepares for RAGBRAI (she goes every year). Therefore, I would like to give that person a warning: Hiding behind that lovely smile Anna has a mean streak. Over the years I have learned that you should never tell her that you don’t feel well or that you are tired. When you say, “Anna, my legs are sore so let’s take it easy today,” she hears, “Anna, drop down into your aerobars and set a pace that will make me puke before we hit 20 miles!” Last year I had to spend a few months off the bike due to a medical problem and then ended up having surgery on my esophagus just a week before I met up with Anna for our first ride of the summer. A few miles into the ride I told her I was having trouble keeping up with her because of the surgery—she just smiled and said, “Just sounds like an excuse to me!” Like a gladiator in the Colosseum—no mercy expected and none given!

If you are one of the thousands of cyclists heading out to Iowa next week for RAGBRAI you can look for Anna in her “Team Big” jersey. If you see her, please tell her “Hello” for me!

Anna, I wish you well wherever you and Nate end up moving to. May the wind always be at your back!


Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Life On Two Wheels


Tags: , , , , ,

25 responses to “I Am Going To Miss You Anna!

  1. Sue Slaght

    July 17, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Anna sounds like a wonderful riding friend and someone who pushed you to your best. A lovely tribute to your friend.

  2. Jeff D

    July 17, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Damn, I was hoping that you were going to write that Anna is single and is moving to California central coast wine country where I live.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 18, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Down boy! Anna is a happily married woman (and her husband is big enough to break most cyclists in half with his bare hands).

  3. unsportywomencanrun

    July 18, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Sounds like you are going to miss her very much. Always good to see the girls keeping the boys on their toes 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 18, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      She is definitely faster than the other woman I’ve ridden with (she could kill me going up a hill due to her lighter weight).

      • Anna

        August 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        But what about my12 year old steel bike with the rack… Put me on a Damone and we’ll really see!

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          August 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

          Just sell your motorcycle and get a new Domane (you really didn’t need the motorcycle anyway!).

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    July 18, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Ouch! She is going to be sorely missed! Good luck at RAGBRAI, Anna!

  5. mtbtokyogirl

    July 18, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    Sweet story! Anna must be a wonderful woman and a great riding friend!
    I’m sure she will miss you too!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 18, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      It is really hard to find suitable people to ride with and she will be very hard to replace!

  6. Mountainstroh (Tony)

    July 18, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Sounds like she should come with a warning lable! Riders beware! Sorry to see her go pal

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 18, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Love it! I am going to suggest that she put a warning label on her jersey!

      • Mountainstroh (Tony)

        July 18, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        Ride with her at your own risk, surgeon general has determined that riding with this person is NOT conducive to recovering from surgery!

  7. vesselsministry

    July 18, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    No Excuses ~ I like Anna ~ Amen :Y

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 18, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      I really didn’t think having surgery was an “excuse” until Anna mentioned it—I was afraid the stitches were going to come undone!

  8. rantsrulesandrecipes

    July 26, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    Photographing archeological sites in the Middle East!?

    You got “chick-ed”! Go Anna!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Yes, I’ve been “chick-ed” three times in the past 14 years and haven’t enjoyed it a single time. As for the photos of archeological sites—are you ready for some scintillating conversation on life in the Ancient Near East? I am a blast a parties!

  9. Anna

    July 31, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Anyone know good people to ride with in Philly? I promise I’ll be sort of nice!

  10. Sandra

    September 1, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Just so you know, we miss you. 🙂

  11. rantsrulesandrecipes

    June 14, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    My Husband Still speaks fondly of his RAGBRAI experience from his 20s.
    he, his cousin and his sister road it GROSSLY unprepared. but the stories and memories were worth the saddle sores he claims!

    Always sad to lose a good training partner

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 14, 2015 at 11:56 PM

      As you said, it is always hard to lose a training partner. Finding someone who can ride at the same time of the day as you can is hard enough, but finding someone who can ride at the same speed is a lot harder. If you are paired up with a slow-poke then your ride is miserable—but if the other person is a speed demon and you’re the slow-poke then their ride is miserable.

  12. Mike

    December 20, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    wow!Anna is a strong bike rider in this age.


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