59“Dont worry is ok… just let me know what u need and when, I glad to know people like you, please keep in touch!” Santiago Lopez, Mexican Team Director
The transition of the aging professional from paid athlete to retirement and a new place in the world can be an anxious time of searching: one’s soul, for a job, and a new identity. My decisions were 60tranquilo, pretty relaxed. I knew I’d never leave cycling, but I was ready to retire from racing as a participant. I was more interested in developing talents in others.
So my first gig was as a Team Director in an international stage race that traveled deep into Mexico. Just me, over a hundred Latino correros, and my team of wholesome Midwestern boys. Even though my vehicle had a position number on it, there was no strict assignment in the caravan. I had to fight like an aggressive classics rider with my rented cargo van against compact Central American cars to hold my spot at the front! I thought to myself what kind of initiation is this? Yet we were well treated by the organization, and I made friends there. We also brought home the U23 jersey despite the cooperative efforts of favored teams of the region.
The culture of the race was as chaotic and despotic as perhaps the governments in Central America. Not exactly precise, a lot of unplanned last minute, we-weren’t-told stuff happened. For example, the race bible said we finished after a sharp right on the main boulevard. So our team led-out right, and the entire peloton kept straight. True this fiasco could’ve been a result of my neo-director amateurism. But I could find no printed change on any document and it wasn’t mentioned on race radio. A little band of los directores worked this out in some dark corner and neglected to tell us. Would I go back for the tours that ride all over this region? ¡Si hermanos! But with prayers to be tranquilo in all circumstances. Vaya con Dios.
Prayer for Central American Cycling
“But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” 61Psalm 37:11
We are thankful that the discipline of quiet strength brings an inheritance. We confess we find safety in structure and at times complain about spontaneity. We pray for dignity under pressure and ask blessing upon Central American cycling.
Ponder Do I take matters in stride in appropriate situations? Affirm I can be dignified at all times. Watch for respect when behaving honorably, even in chaos.
59Conversations with Santiago Lopez, whose translation, good will, and brotherhood saved me a few scrapes in Mexico.
60Tranquilo- Peaceful, Quiet is used as a gentle command to relax, don’t worry
Correros – racers
¡Si hermanos! Yes brothers!
Vaya con Dios – Go with God, God bless you.
61The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society