My wife Jamie gets credit for coming up with the idea for the Bookwalter Binge and for getting the project off the ground. In 2013, Jamie had just finished her master’s degree and was about to start work on her Ph.D. In true fashion, she decided to tackle yet another project, one that might use up all 24 hours of the day.
My emotions were on a rollercoaster this season. For what may have been the first time, I was confronted by my age: 34 years … old? Teams began to view me as one of the “experienced” or “veteran” riders, which was a nice way of saying “he’s older.” There were benefits from this reputation: maturity, experience, and depth. But there were drawbacks too. For the first time, I had reservations regarding my age. Am I too old for pro cycling?
I’d just reached the top of Gibraltar, and a guy with a local podcast immediately shoved his recorder in my face as I crossed the line. It was clear he lacked professionalism and even a remote understanding of what I’d just gone through during the Tour of California stage. I asked him if he could give me a minute to collect myself, but he was relentless.
I hadn’t even come to a stop and this guy’s already trying to force an interview.