Last month's Gran Fondo Hincapie had a surprising twist–a deer bounded out from the tree line, vaulting over a cyclist with inches to spare. You may have heard rumors of George Hincapie in the deer's path, but George was at the front of the peloton, well ahead of the woodland high-jump exhibition.
So, who did the flying deer nearly collide with? The cyclist was Edwin Gonzalez Montoya, a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon from Mexico, an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon originally from Mexico, now residing in Chicago.
We reached out to Edwin and asked him to recount the event. Here’s his story:
“I saw the deer at the moment it was jumping. My immediate reaction was to lean back slightly, which I believe saved me because the deer hit my arms. Everything happened so quickly that I never felt scared. It took me a moment to realize that nothing had happened to me. I didn’t lose control of the bike and only had a tiny scratch. It felt so surreal."
Edwin captured the event on his GoPro, showing undeniable proof of the close encounter. "I felt a little over the top with the chest-mounted camera, but it was totally worth it in the end," Edwin admitted.
Even seasoned cycling Pro Bobby Julich was astonished that the deer and Edwin escaped unscathed, telling Edwin that he'd never seen anything like it in his entire career. “We could both tell the story and laugh about it,” Edwin said. We are both so fortunate! I can’t wait for the next Hincapie Gran Fondo next year! VAMOS!”
Edwin’s journey to the Gran Fondo Hincapie started on his Peleton bike during the COVID pandemic while gyms were closed. He recalls the moment he realized the Fondo was for him:
“After watching a class with Matt Wilpers where he mentioned the ‘Grand Fondo Hincapie,’ I decided I wanted to participate. I got a smart trainer and a road bike and began working towards that goal. I joined the local bike club.”
Thankfully, Edwin finished the ride safely and now has a fantastic story. 2023 was his second year participating in the Gran Fondo Hincapie, and the close encounter won’t stop him from joining again. According to Edwin, “Riding with George Hincapie and Bobby Julich is always an incredible honor. They are both legends, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to ride with them.”
The moral of the story–
1. Stay alert while cycling outdoors.
Always expect the unexpected as Edwin did–keep your eyes up and scan the road ahead. Practicing quick reflexes can help you react in a pinch. Edwin's slight lean backward was a split-second decision that made a big difference.
Not all cyclists are as fortunate as Edwin. If you are ever in a bike crash or experience a cycling injury, these guides will help you know how to respond:
2. Indoor cycling can help you achieve your performance goals.
You can use indoor cycling to build stamina and technique like Edwin did on his Peloton. Then, transition from indoor to outdoor cycling to apply your honed skills to the open road. Use these three indoor cycling workouts to make you faster and stronger.
3. Join a Gran Fondo Hincapie near you–the rides are full of surprises!
You can ride with George and celebrity cyclists and enjoy good food and fun with the whole family. You never know what story you'll have to tell by the end, perhaps even one as unique as a flying deer!
4. Santa and his flying reindeer may be real.
So make sure you’re on the nice list. And watch out, Grandma.
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