Friday, September 4, 2015

Lots of Firsts

I've had a lot of firsts on my bicycle this year. I'm not talking about podiums, although I did win a race outright, and also stood atop the cat 3 podium at the Tour of KC this year. But individual glory is not what I set out to talk about today. Nobody wants to read about that anyway, right?

One of my firsts this year was in having a taste of what it's like to travel with a team as a roadie. I think this is legit too, because I was one of seven on a team that traveled a lot. We had full squads for the Old Capitol, the local Omaha weekend, and Gateway Cup, and all other races had at least four of us.

Traveling with a bonafide racing team has been a tremendous privilege, and I am glad to have experienced it. Especially when we did it right. I'm thinking of those races when we traveled in the Trek Bicycle Stores sprinter van, and when we rented a house so we could all stay under one roof. With only one vehicle or one place of lodging, you can forget about having any privacy. I think I wrote about it sometime earlier this summer, where I described it as the closest thing I've experienced to a family road trip in our 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix station wagon back in the day. Gawd, those were the days. Anyway, I used to wonder what traveling with a racing team was like. I think Shim summed it up best at one of our early team meetings when he said that his motivation to join the team was that he wanted to have the experience of racing for a real team before he gave it up. I shared that sentiment. I'm glad to have lived it.

I also raced at several venues that I've never raced before. Here is the list of raced I did for the first time:
01) Chris Lilig Memorial Road race
02) Old Capitol Criterium
03) Snake Alley Criterium
04) Melon City Criterium
05) Tulsa Tough Brady District
06) Tulsa Tough Cry Baby Hill
07) Tour of Kansas City Cliff Drive Classic
08) Tour of Kansas City Stadium criterium
09) Tour of Lawrence
10) Tour of Lawrence Downtown criterium
11) Nebraska Omnium Ashland Criterium
12) Bicycle Blues and BBQ Road Race
13) Bicycle Blues and BBQ Clear Lake Criterium
14) Sakari Road Race
15) East Village Criterium
16) Bellevue Arrows to Aerospace Criterium
17) Gateway Cup Tour de Lafayette
18) Gateway Cup Tour de Francis Park
19) Gateway Cup Giro Della Montagna
20) Gateway Cup Benton Park Classic

20! Wow, until I just typed that out list out, I had no idea it was that many. They were all good races. I cannot say enough about the promoters and the officials that give us the opportunity to have these moments. But one stuck out above the rest, and it was also a first experience, so I will share it. After the Flyover series was complete, I received an email message from someone I had never met, stating that if  I was the Brady Murphy who participated in the race series, then there was a check for $225 waiting for me for finishing in the money in the series Omnium. Upon receiving this email, I felt like it was some sort of scam. I mean, who else but Nigerians send requests stating you've won something and they want to send you money? I wasn't even aware that I was in the money. That's a true story. My goal was to get upgraded as quickly as possible to race with the team. I wasn't even keeping track of the Omnium points. But it turns out that I did enough to earn the final paying spot. This cash basically fell out of the sky and into my lap. All I had to do was reply to the email with my address. Three days later, I deposited a check that had no strings attached and didn't bounce. Seriously, who does that? I have nothing but positives to share about the Midwest Flyover. They've got their act together. We Midwestern folks have a good thing going there.

There were other firsts as well. Like the times I wanted to choke each and every one of my Harvest teammates for their unique personalities and quirks. Haha. I'm sure the feeling was mutual. But again, I suppose it goes back to what I said earlier, where the proximity to each other is not unlike the feeling of a family road trip. On top of that, throw in a bunch of naturally occurring testosterone, carbohydrates, and of course, proper Skratch Labs hydration, etc, and you've got yourself a potential for a hot mess on bicycles. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I learned that I could also chill out some more at times.

Anyway, good times. Speaking of time, I gotta get packed and hit the road for the Gateway Cup in St Louis.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.


  1. Brady, as I recall I also said that if was going to have the chance to participate in this adventure these were the guys that I wanted to do it with as well as the sponsors I wanted to do it for. Ryan and Kent have been such great friends and so supportive I can't imagine putting the same type of efforts forward for anyone.
    The whole experience is one that I will always cherish, I was sincere when I said it then and I am now when I say, there is nobody I'd rather have spent the season with. You've been great friends and teammates.

  2. I mimic Shim's sentiment here. We have a great thing going on and even better people supporting us in Ryan and Kent.

  3. Unfortunately your first crashes and injuries racing.