I started thinking about the term “Pro” the other day while riding around the Santa Ynez Valley with some of our Ride Camp guests. A small group of us were spinning up our favorite canyon, Martin and I handlebar to handlebar. Overheard behind me was, “Well, riding with guys like these makes you appreciate the fact that they are great bike handlers. You know Greg was a pro rider.”
I was taken aback briefly for the reason that I was never a Pro. Where did that come from? Pro and Greg Lyeki can’t be used in the same sentence! Was it the shaved legs? I think most wannabe hack cyclists would love to overhear the term pro used with their name in a single utterance. Me? No way! I have never put in the time. Never dedicated my whole life to something so intense, and given up so much in order to be at the top, to be the elite. It was a fantasy for a short time, but many other things sparked my interest and popped up along the way. But, wait a second. Maybe I am a pro…
“Riding with guys like these makes you appreciate the fact that they are great bike handlers. You know Greg was a pro rider.”
Maybe all Trek Travel guides are pro. Think about it. We get paid to ride bikes, amongst a gazillion other things that our chameleon lifestyles require. Guides actually give up a great number of creature comforts to live on the road, and we sincerely dedicate all of our time and efforts to what we love. We work all day rain or shine, and always with a smile. We don’t have our comfortable beds to come home to and curl up in at the end of the night. Our espresso machines are packed away until November. Phone calls to family and friends are few and far between. That’s the life of a Pro, right? (Ok, maybe sans the espresso machine being packed away.)
“We are consummate professionals on and off the bike because we are here to give the best we have to offer.”
I personally have ridden through snow, sleet, rain, blazing heat, and some of the strongest winds. I know I can speak on behalf of all the guides when I say that I have done that more than once. All the while, we are leading our guests on one of the best trips they have ever experienced. It’s about the camaraderie that you build while helping someone through the 45 degree rain over Puig Major in Mallorca, or pedaling squares up Ceasar’s Head while taking in the beauty that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. We are domestiques for our guests. Offering a bit of encouragement to finish the last 10 miles, or a little push from behind ascending Mt. Figueroa. We are consummate professionals on and off the bike because we are here to give the best we have to offer.