How exactly did Lungboy end up going on a bike ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 3 other NASCAR drivers?
UPDATE! See full story below, but the update is that I was listening to Dale Jr.’s Download, his weekly podcast, and what do you know…Dale Jr. told the story about riding with me too!
Here is my story fresh off of race weekend at NHMS.
Here’s how the whole thing started…
My son Sam and I love going up to NASCAR at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, My Dad has had season tickets at NHMS since it opened. Since Dale Jr. has announced his retirement, what am I going to do without my favorite driver to root for anymore? Make the last July race count, that’s what!
Dale Jr. has been making news for his new interest in cycling, there are groups of drivers that go out on group rides during race weekends at the different tracks, they are endurance athletes! Since I’m in training for the Pan Mass Challenge again this year, I thought what a great blending of 2 of my interests! When I told my wife about my plan to bring my bike up to NHMS to try to ride with Dale Jr., she thought I was crazy! (She’s right)
So Timmy G, Wicked Fast Podcast Co-Host, and I were up at NHMS covering the Overton’s 301. I had the chance to chat with Dale Jr. after the final practice on Saturday afternoon. I asked him if he planned on going for a bike ride at some point, Dale said, “Yeah, this afternoon!” I told him I was training for the Pan Mass Challenge and would be riding 165 miles, plus I brought my bike with me, and he said, “We’re riding at 3:45.” And off he disappeared into the Team 88 Hauler.
Now I have a decision to make, am I actually going to attempt this? I know the place, I know the time, I have my gear!
I figured, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take! I’m doing it!
About 3pm, I got my gear together and rode down to the exit from the infield.
My heart was going crazy, I kept thinking…is this actually going to work??
The minutes ticked by…
And then, 3:40pm…I see a group of riders coming through the tunnel. It’s go time…I jump in behind them as they go by, and leading the pack on his bright orange bike, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
I hung at the back of the pack for a while, we made our way right through the packed parking lots at NHMS, do they even know that it’s DALE FRICKIN’ JR. riding by as the fans yell, “Go get ’em Lance Armstrong!”
We made a few lefts (naturally) and I had the chance to ride up next to Dale and said hey…he turned and looked at me (like I was a crazy person) and said hey, I asked him if it was ok that I tagged along and he didn’t seem to mind. I looked around at the other riders, I wasn’t just out with Dale, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne were all along for this ride too! We wound our way through the back roads around NHMS and I attempted to keep up with a pack of actual professional athletes (they are in good shape!)
I even had the chance to get a quick selfie at the top of a hill with Dale and Trevor, and rode alongside Dale for a couple of miles. It was an amazing thing to ride along as these elite NASCAR drivers rode along, chatting about life in general. We even stopped to check out some Maple trees all hooked up with lines for collecting sap, I had to educate the Southern boys about how they make syrup…hehe.
After about 17 miles of brutal hills, I lost the pack…but it didn’t matter, it was an amazing ride! I may or may not have ridden Kasey Kahne off the road, I don’t think it was me. Check out the route we did, Dale posted the ride on Instagram.
I had the chance to catch up with Dale on Sunday too, to thank him and wish him luck in the Overton’s 301.
Thanks for reading and if you would like to support my ride, thank you!