Feb 2005
Sunday on the Road
with George
by Claudia Ribet
Photos by Robert Rasner

On Sunday, December 12, the Frostig Center in Pasadena, a school for children with learning disabilities, held a fundraising ride with George Hincapie. Touted as a ride on which no more than 100 persons would be allowed, the ride was actually somewhat smaller and, as a result, those of us who attended got to be with George “up close and personal.” Speaking as a true groupie, it was a great experience.

Other La Grangers who attended the event were Bennett Ross, of course, since he is the Executive Director of the Frostig Center, Charles Pollick, Bob Rasner and Tom Burns.

When I first showed up there were not very many people around. However, I was too shy (me?) actually to talk to George, and was even too intimidated to ride next to him until about an hour into the ride. At that point, I decided I would probably never have such a great wheel to ride behind (sorry, Nate), so I stuck to the back of him like glue. After about a half hour of drafting George Hincapie I built up my courage and came around at a red light to ride beside him. “You ride with the best in the world,” I began. “See that lady in front of you,” I said, pointing to a middle age chick ahead of me with whom I've competed at the Piru time trial. “That's my  competition, and when I see her, I have a Pavlovian response and want to jump ahead.” George laughed and said, except in a TT, you don't have to be the fastest rider in the race, just the one to cross the finish line first. (These exact words have been said to me by Bill Mock.) We then talked about growing up in New York (which we both did), and racing on the Kissena track (which only he did).

At the question and answer session after the ride, which lasted more than an hour, George put forth on the following topics, among others:

On whether Cheryl Crow was a “distraction:”
“She's a really simple person, actually. Very down to earth. She and Lance flew down to Greenville when we had our baby girl. They took time out of their busy schedule to do this. You wouldn't know she was a famous rock star.”
What he eats:
“On training mornings, oatmeal and a piece of toast. At the Tour: everything under the sun, including a large plate of pasta, and whatever else the chef has prepared.”
Personal goal: To win Paris Roubaix
Whether he takes naps. “Not after having our baby girl.”
On whether he has fun on the tour:
“On the bus, that's about it. Maybe at dinner if we've done well.”
Whether he still likes to ride the bike: “Definitely.”

The Group
The Group

La Grange with George

Claudia on the Road

Claudia with George







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