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US cycling scene in the 70s and 80s

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Tonton said:
Pontiac said:
To be honest with you guys, my best memory of the sport is being able to do his first P123 race with him and guiding him through it and riding in a break with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything I accomplished in my racing career, seriously.....none of the Nationals medals, any of my wins, etc.
This is one of the coolest statements that I have ever read. Sincerely. Awesome.

Thanks! It was pretty cool and unexpected, as he had just gotten his upgrade from the 4's a few days before and that was the last year I raced as a master. I was 60 then and he was 25 and was so nervous racing with the big dogs for the first time. It was a blast helping him learn how to position himself and what to watch for. By the end of the race, a break had gone up the road and in the last 10 miles I jumped away with one other guy, then he jumped and came up with two other guys. We rode all out and stayed away from the field. He told me after the race that when he jumped, he turned to the guy with him and said that's my Dad! I wish I could have seen the guys face! Good times for sure.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Pontiac said:
Tonton said:
Pontiac said:
To be honest with you guys, my best memory of the sport is being able to do his first P123 race with him and guiding him through it and riding in a break with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything I accomplished in my racing career, seriously.....none of the Nationals medals, any of my wins, etc.
This is one of the coolest statements that I have ever read. Sincerely. Awesome.

Thanks! It was pretty cool and unexpected, as he had just gotten his upgrade from the 4's a few days before and that was the last year I raced as a master. I was 60 then and he was 25 and was so nervous racing with the big dogs for the first time. It was a blast helping him learn how to position himself and what to watch for. By the end of the race, a break had gone up the road and in the last 10 miles I jumped away with one other guy, then he jumped and came up with two other guys. We rode all out and stayed away from the field. He told me after the race that when he jumped, he turned to the guy with him and said that's my Dad! I wish I could have seen the guys face! Good times for sure.

:D :D :D

Cheers
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Pontiac said:
Tonton said:
Pontiac said:
To be honest with you guys, my best memory of the sport is being able to do his first P123 race with him and guiding him through it and riding in a break with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything I accomplished in my racing career, seriously.....none of the Nationals medals, any of my wins, etc.
This is one of the coolest statements that I have ever read. Sincerely. Awesome.

Thanks! It was pretty cool and unexpected, as he had just gotten his upgrade from the 4's a few days before and that was the last year I raced as a master. I was 60 then and he was 25 and was so nervous racing with the big dogs for the first time. It was a blast helping him learn how to position himself and what to watch for. By the end of the race, a break had gone up the road and in the last 10 miles I jumped away with one other guy, then he jumped and came up with two other guys. We rode all out and stayed away from the field. He told me after the race that when he jumped, he turned to the guy with him and said that's my Dad! I wish I could have seen the guys face! Good times for sure.

....upon some further reflection...

....the post above is just a beautiful little bit of perfect...how perfect you ask ?....well....we could stop this forum right now, declare that is the best thing this forum will ever produce, and just turn off the lights, close the door , and go home, because there is nothing more to say...

...truth be known that brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye...

Cheers
 
Tonton said:
Pontiac said:
To be honest with you guys, my best memory of the sport is being able to do his first P123 race with him and guiding him through it and riding in a break with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything I accomplished in my racing career, seriously.....none of the Nationals medals, any of my wins, etc.
This is one of the coolest statements that I have ever read. Sincerely. Awesome.

Agreed. Awesome is the word.

I just started to ride with my 8 year old. We're nowhere near racing (and I am not the racing type) but these are some of the coolest and proudest moments of my life lately.

Tonton, don't forget one thing : whatever your kid wants/chooses to do, it's not as if he was entering a world of dangers on his own. He'll have his dad to look forward to for guidance. That's huge.
 
Pontiac said:
Tonton said:
Pontiac said:
To be honest with you guys, my best memory of the sport is being able to do his first P123 race with him and guiding him through it and riding in a break with him. I wouldn't trade that for anything I accomplished in my racing career, seriously.....none of the Nationals medals, any of my wins, etc.
This is one of the coolest statements that I have ever read. Sincerely. Awesome.

Thanks! It was pretty cool and unexpected, as he had just gotten his upgrade from the 4's a few days before and that was the last year I raced as a master. I was 60 then and he was 25 and was so nervous racing with the big dogs for the first time. It was a blast helping him learn how to position himself and what to watch for. By the end of the race, a break had gone up the road and in the last 10 miles I jumped away with one other guy, then he jumped and came up with two other guys. We rode all out and stayed away from the field. He told me after the race that when he jumped, he turned to the guy with him and said that's my Dad! I wish I could have seen the guys face! Good times for sure.

This is the best reason to love the sport. Kids should rule at all play...stay a kid.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Kimmage article with an interesting part about Grewal.
http://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/paul-kimmage-why-its-never-easy-to-tell-it-like-it-is-34853471.html

In January 1987, three years after he’d become the first (and only) American to win the Olympic road race, I shared a room with Alexi Grewal at a training camp in France. He was earning 35 times my salary at our team, RMO, but was still trading on the flair and potential he had shown in Los Angeles.

On our first night together, about an hour before we joined the rest of the team for dinner, he took a small portable gas stove from his bag and cooked a large plate of spaghetti in the room. On our first training ride, he rode alone, 100 metres behind the group, because he felt it served him better.

He believed in new-fangled concepts like yoga and stretching and I remember entering the room and finding him standing on his head, or lying on a special piece of wood to align his vertebrae. In a sport that has always been a magnet for screwballs and obsessives, Alexi was in a league of his own.

His career since Los Angeles had been disappointing. He had raced his first season as a pro in 1985 with the Panasonic team in the Netherlands but had fallen out with the hierarchy for refusing to take performance-enhancing injections.

Alexi had no objection to doping — he had used steroids and other performance-enhancers and tested positive a week before the Games (he escaped on a technicality) — but, like everything in his life, it had to be on his terms.

“It’s hard to regret it because I think regret can only be based on if it bothered your conscience at the time,” he told the journalist Scott Reid in 2009.

“And so, since it didn’t really bother my conscience at the time, I don’t feel like I regret it. In a sense, it doesn’t bother my conscience now.”

In 1986, he joined a new team, 7-Eleven, and started his first Tour de France, but abandoned it on the 17th stage and was thrown off the team for spitting at a CBS cameraman on a motorbike who had come too close. RMO in ’87 was the last-chance saloon for him and it was no real surprise when, six months after joining the team, he quit and returned to America.

He wasn’t made for France, or the traditional racing values that prevailed there, and could be an obnoxious *** at times. But I couldn’t help but like him. Nothing intimidated Alexi Grewal, and nobody spoke more unspeakable truth.
 
Re:

sniper said:
Kimmage article with an interesting part about Grewal.
http://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/paul-kimmage-why-its-never-easy-to-tell-it-like-it-is-34853471.html

In January 1987, three years after he’d become the first (and only) American to win the Olympic road race, I shared a room with Alexi Grewal at a training camp in France. He was earning 35 times my salary at our team, RMO, but was still trading on the flair and potential he had shown in Los Angeles.

On our first night together, about an hour before we joined the rest of the team for dinner, he took a small portable gas stove from his bag and cooked a large plate of spaghetti in the room. On our first training ride, he rode alone, 100 metres behind the group, because he felt it served him better.

He believed in new-fangled concepts like yoga and stretching and I remember entering the room and finding him standing on his head, or lying on a special piece of wood to align his vertebrae. In a sport that has always been a magnet for screwballs and obsessives, Alexi was in a league of his own.

His career since Los Angeles had been disappointing. He had raced his first season as a pro in 1985 with the Panasonic team in the Netherlands but had fallen out with the hierarchy for refusing to take performance-enhancing injections.

Alexi had no objection to doping — he had used steroids and other performance-enhancers and tested positive a week before the Games (he escaped on a technicality) — but, like everything in his life, it had to be on his terms.

“It’s hard to regret it because I think regret can only be based on if it bothered your conscience at the time,” he told the journalist Scott Reid in 2009.

“And so, since it didn’t really bother my conscience at the time, I don’t feel like I regret it. In a sense, it doesn’t bother my conscience now.”

In 1986, he joined a new team, 7-Eleven, and started his first Tour de France, but abandoned it on the 17th stage and was thrown off the team for spitting at a CBS cameraman on a motorbike who had come too close. RMO in ’87 was the last-chance saloon for him and it was no real surprise when, six months after joining the team, he quit and returned to America.

He wasn’t made for France, or the traditional racing values that prevailed there, and could be an obnoxious * at times. But I couldn’t help but like him. Nothing intimidated Alexi Grewal, and nobody spoke more unspeakable truth.

i've read that passage before...you sure that's not just a section from Kimmage's book?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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@gillian: You find the article under the link, as you see it's from today or yesterday.
Whether or to what extent its drawn from his book i honestly dont know.

@popular jams: per his own admission, alexi started using peds already in the late 70s. I have no idea to what extent his ped abuse correlated with recreational drug use. It's an interesting question, not just for alexi.
 
Re:

sniper said:
Excerpts from the LA Times piece on Steve Hegg's positive in 1988.
A pretty fun read.
Fits right into the "best excuses for dope" thread.

Hegg Contends Olympic Ouster Is Unfair : Disqualified for Using Stimulant Before a Race, Cyclist Disputes Validity of Test

Before he won his gold and silver medals at the 1984 Olympic Games, cyclist Steve Hegg had described himself as a competition junkie, saying the drive to excel "is in my blood."

But Hegg, a Dana Point resident, was disqualified from the U.S. Olympic team on Sept. 10 because something else was in his blood -- caffeine.
...

The United States Olympic Committee says that the use of caffeine in "an amount greater than 12 micrograms per milliliter in the urine is considered doping."

In other words, someone would have to consume approximately eight cups of coffee in one sitting and be tested within a minimum of two hours to fail the test.

Hegg disputes the test results, but a USOC sports medicine expert says his argument has no basis in fact.

"It was extremely hot down in Houston. It was in the 90s all day long," Hegg said during an interview last week. "I attribute the problem to the heat and the dehydration . . . that made the caffeine more concentrated," Hegg said.

"I used the same amount of caffeine in Houston that I have used in any other international world championship-type race, and have been tested a million times and never had a problem before."

"I always drink two large cups of coffee, from like the 7-11 or Stop and Go type before races . . . 16 ounce (size), probably.

"In the morning, I don't know, I had four to five cups at breakfast, three or four anyway. Then we had rain delay. I had warmed up once already. I was pretty dehydrated, so I started drinking Coke, because I knew there was small amount of caffeine in there and I wanted that.

"I lost track how many of those I had, but I mean we had a 3-hour rain delay so I'd been sitting there and it (the Coke) was free so I was drinking it."

"We finally got to race that night. I'd been waiting and waiting and waiting and drinking and drinking and drinking, trying to stay hydrated, and it never even crossed my mind that I would be (over the limit). "

...



http://articles.latimes.com/1988-09-18/sports/sp-3449_1_drug-test

Have no strong opinion on the veracity of Hegg's explanation, but can say that caffeine positives were problematic for the Anti-Doping Bodies at the time - There was the famous case of Alex Watson the Australian Pentathlon who was disqualified for a caffeine positive at the 1988 Olympics - Watson successfully appealed this positive and in later years caffeine was taken off the banned list.
 
Simple and incomplete chronology.
Marianne Bergalund( world champion) helped countless female and male racers improve, for free, asked nothing.
Members of Crest,Spago, Coors Light helped young riders for nothing, just because.
Oliver Starr ,Dave Fish,Dave Grylls coached or helped young, brand new riders for nothing.. Starr rode San Diego area roads and instructed at least one idiot how to train.
Danny Van Houte and Doreen Smith had a San Diego Velodrome development program that had results, many. Dirk Copeland went on to represent the United States after being coached by Doreen and Danny. No results but raced respectfully.
David Brinton went to the Olympics, he chased Woody Harrelson and Run DMC in a Miller Lite commercial campaign, he did stunt work in multiple movies and in his spare time showed a couple of clods crit techniques that lasted a lifetime, literally.
John Howard bicycle speed record holder gave away a billion dollars in good will to anyone and everyone. Guy is passed special!!
Eddie B( Borysewicz) touched hundreds of careers. Lance Armstrong on down. Was famous for giving advice " you don't know how to race your bike, you can't sprint, jump, go off for a few laps and get points, try to blend and hope what you got gets a result " " you are not fast"..
Paul Vine 7-11 mechanic gave parts and service to thousands, after doing the same for pros.
Danny Van Huate helped racers until he got caught up in a sex crime!! Guy raced lights out, became a director of multiple teams including a long run w Jelly Belly, Danny sexually confused, dressed a mechanic as a racer so his team would not be disqualified from rider minimum. Guess even w the tuck under, no go for the mechanic, who's tool was disqualifying!!
Tahoe, Big Bear, Mammoth camps, too much to list!!
Best man in cycling, ever, generous for no reason!! Champion of the sport, an absolute American national treasure!!
 
Re:



Can't agree with that....over my career I've done somewhere around 2 dozen stage races from 5-14 days each. Basically clean, no hard stuff and not really a problem to be competitive in them. The impossible lies in trying to compete and beat guys that were prepping with stuff and getting a boost when they wanted in the race. To me, the issue isn't as much the impossibility of riding a GT, as it is the impossibility of competing clean against dopers.
Fascinating reading everyone's comments. Sorry, I'm late to this conversation.

I was US Cat1 back in the US in late 80's and 90's. There was always somebody on roids and too much caffeine.

A local kid, 5-6 years younger than me, went and rode for a continental team in Europe when he ~17-18 yo. He and a guy who went on to win a grand tour gc, classics and monuments, major week long races, and so on, were roommates (actually lived together). My friend told me he won just about everything he did at this level. He says there was no doping. I believe him, he's been good friend for many years now. Eventually this guy (not my friend) tested positive.

The questions I have is does the doping start when they turn pro? At least for the A list riders? And, do you think part of the problem is he when he went to the top level, he found winning harder and people he crushed as an amateurs were beating him and that influenced his decisions? Or is it all nonsense and he was never clean?