The simple things ……

Man there has been a lot of shit hitting the fan in the cycling world lately. It was only a matter of time though. Right now it is not looking good for the sport of cycling but I think in the long run it’s for the best. When did things get so complicated? Make sure you eat this, eat that, ride this hard, ride this long, drink this much water, take this much EPO, get this much blood taken out, get this much blood back in … etc, etc. The list goes on!

I remember as a kid, growing up in a small town, just riding our bikes around town. A childhood friend named Adam and I would ride our bikes all over the place. He had a Mt. bike at the time and I had a Schwinn Varsity. Man that was a good bike. We would ride all over the place. We would stop in a local pharmacy for a chocolate malt shake. Man those were tasty! We just loved riding our bikes. Nothing complicated, just out riding the day away. The only rule, I had to be home before the street light came on in front of our house. That was simple.

I guess as I got older maybe things did get more complicated. I mean I got more into cycling and wanted to race. I remember my first race. It was about 2 ½ hours away and the junior races always go first. It was the State Championship Road Race. My dad and I got up at the ass crack of dawn, drove 2 ½ hours, and I almost did not get to race. I just got my racing license the week before and I did not know there was a rule book or even a thing called Jr. gear restrictions. Gear restrictions? What are those? They did this test called a rollout and I was WAY over the limit (52×12 I guess is too big of a gear for a Jr.?). I thought I was done, pack up and head home. As I was riding back to find my dad I found some other guys from the local cycling club from back home, they decided to take my front chain ring off. I went back to do another rollout and I passed! I was in the race!

I lined up with the other juniors, not having a clue what I was in for. If I remember correctly it was a 20ish mile loop. I don’t remember much about the race itself besides I was by myself in less than a mile and it was HILLY!!! Ahhh those were the days my friend! The largest of my concern was a rollout test! Man how times change. I also remember being at the start line at the Junior Nationals when I was 16. Also lining up in that race was George Hincapie, Fred Rodriguez, and Kevin Livingston among others (More about that experience at a later time). Man how life has changed. If only it was just about riding the bike still!


Big George on the cover of the Nationals program that year.

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