Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Veronica Vega is my team mate  
and friend. We have gone to a few bike races together, a movie and she lets me practice my Spanish with her. She is the one who looks a bit serious in the middle of the photo with the yellow Sunnyside Jersey on.
We also went to the same University (Humboldt State), I was there 30 years before her.
Earlier this year our team had a little incident about one of our riders not stopping to help out a rider in need on the side of the road. Veronica was pretty vocal in her belief that we should always stop to help a fellow cyclist. Well on Sunday she proved how deeply she felt about that. We were at the Bear Springs Mountain Bike Race near Mt Hood. She is an expert woman and so started with the pro men, pro women etc. About half way in her race, while she was in first place, she came upon one her teammates in distress (Mike Schindler). He had flatted for the second time and did not have a tube. She stopped, took out her supplies and gave them to Mike. Mike then told her to go on. He would return the pump after the race. 
I came upon the scene a few minutes later (I too was leading my race). I grunted at Mike and then a few yards later I saw Veronica. I managed another grunt and kept going. Veronica was standing on the side of trail and she encouraged me on. 
What I didn't know is she had just crashed and bent her derailleur and she figured she was done for the day. Well after Mike got his flat fixed he came on her again (she was walking by this time). He asked her what was wrong, and when he found out he bent back the derailleur. This is called good Karma. She rallied back to finish second. 
I could have stopped for either rider but didn't. I probably would have if they would have asked. Veronica did not need to be asked, and Mike well he had no choice but to return a favor. 
I have been racing mountain bikes as long or longer than anyone in the State of Oregon. One would think I have nothing new to learn, but on Sunday I learned more of what it is to be a teammate. 
Gracias por la leccion la Senorita Vega. 


Eric said...

I wish OBRA did not copy the rule about assistance from NORBA. The OBRA rule is pasted below. I'd give Veronica my spare tube in a minute.

17.2.3 Racers shall complete the entire event (or individual stage) on the same bicycle upon which the event was begun. All repairs during an event shall be performed by the individual racer. No outside support is permitted. All spare parts and tools shall be carried by the individual racer. Cannibalizing: any part or component taken from one bicycle to repair or improve the performance of another is not permitted.

chrisD said...

what goes around comes around

Gina said...

Love it! Veronica, you've got a lot of class...