Tonight, thanks to my good friend Kathleen King, was something of a banner night for me. After the finish of the Tour of California, I ended up going to a small reception for several of the folks involved with the event from Amgen, AEG and others. I'm still thoroughly a bike nerd, through and through, so getting to stand around with some of the folks there was pretty awesome.
The highlight though, without a doubt, was getting to meet the voices of cycling on TV- Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. When I was a struggling racer, dreaming of fame and glory, Phil's voice would echo in my imagination as I crossed fictional finish lines on my training rides. I never got to hear Phil say anything about me motoring along like an F1 motor car, or listen to him and Paul argue over what stages I had won in the Tour or where they happened. But meeting them both is still none the less cool. It's hard for most American cycling fans to imagine any other voices in cycling.
However, if you are actually attending a major event, the voice you are most likely to hear is not Paul or Phil, but actually Dave Towle.
Dave Towle is arguably "the American voice of cycling"- especially if you're actually at an event. Dave's voice and style of commentating have become legendary and iconic. I finally got to meet Dave this evening and I was floored by his humble character and kindness. Dave professed right away to being a regular reader of this blog and then went on to quote many things about it- from my accident, to my weight, my love of Breaking Away and the little Masidaughter. Dave even went so far as to introduce me to his wife as the writer of one of the most important blogs in cycling (huh?). Coming from Dave Towle, it's pretty damned flattering to me. We talked about Breaking Away, American Flyers and my trips to Taiwan. Needless to say, coming from a man I have a lot of respect for... I was grinning from ear to ear.
As I was leaving the reception and saying good bye to a few people, Dave and I shook hands again and he leaned over with a grin and said something along the lines of "it wouldn't offend me if you mentioned me on the blog". (Then I told him I had already mentioned meeting him on Twitter- which he thought was cool.)
So Dave, if you come back around to read this, it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you. I was and remain sincerely flattered by your comments and support. Now- if you are announcing at any of the races where our pro riders from Kenda Pro Cycling are racing, make sure you tell them that Masiguy wants them to win! Travel safe and I hope to run into you again soon.