Every year, a handful of the tech elite gather in Aspen, Colorado, for the Fortune Brainstorm conference. A pre-conference bike ride, sponsored by the NYSE has become the tradition.
This year, the folks got an added surprise, Aspen’s most famous (notorious?) cyclist, Lance Armstrong, joined the group.
(We understand he’s associated with the company that led the tour.)
He was the subject of a ongoing parade of selfies, including one taken with yours truly. The group did the annual 25-mile bike ride to Maroon Bells, a steady climb that gained about 1,600 feet to an elevation of about a 9,500 feet. Some of the people in attendance included Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus, NYSE president Tom Farley, Quatrics CEO Ryan Smith, Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky (the editorial director of the conference).
Armstrong led the descent down the mountain, telling the group, “Take it easy on the downhill.” People have been clocked doing 70MPH on that stretch of downhill on a road where the speed limit is 30.
Naturally everyone ignored that advice and took off as fast as they could to stay with Armstrong, including the author of this post, who managed to stick with the lead group for a few seconds.
As Armstrong was leading by example and going easy, others managed to keep up, including Banjo CEO Damien Patton (who just raised $US100 million for his social media company from Softbank in May, $US121 million total raised. Patton knows a thing or two about going fast. He was a former Former NASCAR chief mechanic. After the ride, he tweeted this: