18 June 2023

Hitching A Ride

 I have a confession: In my youth, I grabbed onto cars, buses and trucks while pedaling Manhattan streets. 

So, I can’t be too judgmental of 31 similarly jejune cyclists who took similar rides in Italy.  I’m even a bit sympathetic toward them: They hitched themselves while climbing the Stelvio Pass.

Going up Stelvio ain’t easy. I know:  I did it—on a bike laden with full panniers and a handlebar bag.

But they were disciplined for their rides. On the other hand, I sometimes got tips for mine.

By now, you’ve figured out that those riders in Italy were in a race. I wasn’t-except, perhaps against some lawyer’s, business owner’s or other professional’s deadline.  You might say that I was aiding and abetting another kind of race:  the Rat Race.

The riders in Italy, on the other hand, were in one of the most prominent contests for young racers:  the Under-23 Giro d’Italia, which ends today—a couple of days after the seasons and, possibly, careers of those riders.

I have to admit: when I heard there was “cheating in a bike race,” I was surprised and a bit relieved that it didn’t have to do with drugs.

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