The outpouring of support has been overwhelming and is appreciated more than you can imagine.
some truth to this. Since 1997, the bike has been first. Tyler has been a cyclist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without exception.
This means that everything about our daily lives has been centered around his career. The way we eat, what we eat, where we live, how we rest, how often we see our friends and family, how often we go out to dinner, where we go out dinner, where we go, what we do - has all depended on what has been most suitable for Tyler's legs. This takes discipline and dedication that we have often times found ourselves having to explain over and over. "Yes, I know it's Christmas, but Tyler has to ride his bike today". "The wedding isn't until . He'll be back from his ride in time." "I know you spent all day preparing dinner, but Tyler can't eat that."
But the sacrifices have been worth it. Every season Tyler has managed to set the bar a little higher for himself and reach a new height that he hadn't reached before. But he has also been very "human" on the bike. One thing that separates Tyler from other athletes in my mind is that he has never been afraid to fail. So many times he has finished a race several minutes behind the leaders when it would have been easier to climb into a team car and go home.
If his career has proven nothing else, it's that cycling is a humbling and unforgiving sport. One that no human being can be good at 100% of the time. Tyler accepts this. This is why he has always said that you can't get too carried away when things are going well, and you can't get too down when things aren't. The racing season is nearly ten months long. Peaks and valleys in performance are as prevalent as peaks and valleys on course profiles.
This season has been no exception. Tyler was very disappointed to have to abandon the Tour de France with his back injury. Although his efforts in the 2003 Tour reinforced the valuable lesson - that no one should give up on anything without a fight, Tyler also recognized that he punished his body by pushing it through that race with a broken collarbone. He paid dearly throughout the rest of the summer and fall. It took him a very long time to recover from that effort. So this year, he knew from experience what the consequences could be if he continued on with his injury. That's why he stopped the race, rested and refocused his fight on the Olympics. He still fought back, but in a different place.
At the end of the day, Tyler will tell you he loves his bike, his career, his team, racing and his life overseas. But he will also admit this is just bike racing. He has proven he is willing to dedicate his life to this sport, but he is not willing to risk his life for