September 20, 2008

From Andy Schwartz and Bunkie Miller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

My wife and I spent a lovely two weeks chasing the TdF this year and my wife walked away with an unforgettable experience largely due to the kindness of one of your support guys.

Bunkie fanTo start, my wife (right) is a big Garmin/Chipotle fan. She has an argyle jersey. We have all kinds of photos of the team cars, assorted riders in full flight, etc. We followed the Garmin/Chipotle support vehicles into Jausiers for the finish of that stage. We hung out in Borg d’Oisan to get autographs from Christian (very gracious) and Trent Lowe (also very gracious). But the biggest surprise came in Paris.

For the finale, we were stationed on the Rue de Rivoli just past the red kite as the sponsor caravan was coming through. We had climbed up on a ledge along the route to get a better view. My wife brought along her argyle jersey (now signed by CVV) and we were enjoying the spectacle. As the team support vehicles rolled through a little bit of a traffic jam slowed the team buses right in front of us.

Kevin RMy wife proceeds to wave her argyle jersey. As the Garmin bus rolls by, one of the support guys (pictured left) happens to see her, stops the bus, gets out, points to my wife in a kind of “Price is Right – come on down” sort of way and then jogs over and hands her a hat. The fans standing around us were just awestruck. As you know, no swag gets distributed in Paris. And here one of the team buses stops and delivers a great souvenir to my wife. She was just beaming.

And here’s the beauty part. Bunkie (my wife) works a few hours a week in a local bike shop and leads her own middle aged ladies bike group. She tells that story to everyone who enters the shop and she wears that hat into work every day she goes in. I’m also highly confident I have a Garmin 705 coming for Christmas. And, of course, since I’ll have a Garmin 705 I’ll need to upgrade my Power Tap from the wired version to the wireless version. Anyway, that’s what a reliable source in the shop has told me is going to happen.

Anyway, I’ve attached two photos. One is of your new middle aged groupie and the second is of the guy who made her day. If it’s possible, please express our great thanks to your support guy. He made one cyclo-tourist extremely happy.

Admin note: The support guy in this story is Kevin Reichlin, team chiropractor.