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Now that I think of it, most of my cycling career was dedicated to being a solid domestique. Some cyclists are born to be sprinters, some climbers, and some general classification contenders. But for my racing career, I was a domestique.

But what is the work of a domestique? The job is simple: look after your designated rider, or riders.

While I was racing as a part of the elite team with Foundation NYC, we would have various leaders depending on the race. If it was a climbing stage, my job was to stay near the captain to provide water, food, keeping watch for mechanical issues and covering attacks so the leader didn't waste energy. Overall, the task was to make sure the leader reaches the finish safely. We would work as a team, with each member having their role they were committed to, so the team as a whole can succeed.

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So when one of the organizers of the of the Best Buddies Challenge, Richard Fries, reached out seeking assistance from a domestique for their Hyannis Port ride, I was ready for the assignment. The fundraising ride had been arranged by Best Buddies, a wonderful charity that is close to our hearts at Signature.

They are dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, inclusive living, and family support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). This was more than just a great ride in the sun with close friends old and new, it was about raising funds for Best Buddies.

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With no expectations for the event, I found myself in a room with 40 other riders, waiting to hear about our duties. Initially it was enriching to hear from experienced domestique riders about the job and what would be expected from us.

I was assigned to the first group, leading the Challenge's celebrity guest, Alberto Contador, to the finish line safely. I must say, this is a role that I could never have dreamed of when I agreed to help with the ride. But, despite my adoration, it was clear that Contador was not the star of the event. Every rider was just as important as him, and our job was to keep watch on everyone in the group.

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The 100 mile route from Boston to Hyannis Port in Cape Cod was expected to last 5 hours, stopping every 20 miles to rest at some of the most well appointed rest stops I've ever seen. The roads were excellent, with great support from local police, proper markings and safe crossings of intersections, with help from the domestiques. We connected with two other groups on the journey, arriving all together at another incredibly well organized and enthusiastic finishing line, filled with even more food, massages and a DJ.

The finishing village had a great party atmosphere, with the blue waters of the Lewis Bay tempting us for a refreshing swim before heading to the post-ride celebrations.

The food, drinks and support were some of the best I've ever seen at a cycling event. The New England lobsters, beverages, and a live performance by the Eagles was unreal!

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We can't thank Best Buddies enough for all of their hard work in organizing this event, which is now celebrating its 25th year. We will of course be returning next year to organize a Signature Cycles team, and hope that you will join us!

With this event finished, we're already looking forward to the Best Buddies ride on June 12th, at Harriman State Park in upstate New York. A shorter ride at 30 miles, we'll be joined by Cyclocross National Champion Curtis White. We'll be there, and hope that you'll consider attending too.

Click here to register for the ride, and click here to RSVP to the evening reception.

See you on the road!
— Abraham

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