I had the pleasure of attending a symphony recently. What I appreciate about a local live performance is you see the warm up, the preparation, development and finish. It’s a cacophony of notes and measures, tuning and banter. It struck me how similar this is to what we do before a bike race. You can see each musician finding their independent marks, like we might check a line through a corner or count our pedal strokes to the finish. A mixture of messy, unbridled power and years of precise training. The bike. Our instrument.
The conductor walks on stage like the starter of a bike race. A few small words are said. Chairs shuffle, sheet music pages rustle then go quiet. A nod or two to each section. The players are ready. But they’re not ready to start yet. Something important has to happen. The first violin stands just to the conductor’s left and draws the bow across the strings and plays a concert pitch for the rest of the orchestra to tune their instruments to. That momentary solo provides all the leadership that the players need for the rest of the event. They are, from that point forward, connected to the whole and servants to that violin.
We start racing this weekend in St Louis. Just a few Scholars Inn Bakehouse riders are going but enough to make some real noise. Like the first violin in the orchestra, one of our riders will have the opportunity to come to the fore and set the tune for the others to follow. That, will be music to my ears!
Good luck and Bravo!