Providence Cross Festival: Tales from an Achtervolger
|Lined up with Chet Geschickter at Boston's
Lowenbrau criterium back in 1981. Sunday we
found ourselves in exactly the same position.
After one spanking, back on the grid Sunday, I was contemplating how I was going to weave my way though a forest of tall, lean willowy 45-55 year old greying guys - most of whom I swear look like they ought to be cast in a Cialis commercial - when I realized guy next to me calling my name was my old friend, Chet Geschickter.
I hadn't seen Chet since 1983 or so. He was one of the best road racers in New England back in my day, now lives outside Boston, has a family, and is racing again.
|The uphill grind after the stairs was a killer.
Now he was on my left on the grid, staddling a just-purchased Specialized cross rig. We just shrugged and laughed off our back of the pack placement, "just pass as many guys as you can... that's our race"
Halfway though a stop-and-go lap one, Chet came flying by me on a grass section, missing a squirrel by about 2 cm in the process. Trying to hold his wheel was as hard as it was in 1979, I had to let him go... He did a great ride, though. Class.
Richie Fries and his gang of collaborators organized a fantastic weekend, on days of record heat here - about 85 degrees F. I was very excited to see that my old CCB teammate has become the English announcing voice of preference at UCI races: Yes, that was Richie's unmistakable voice you heard trumpeting Cav up onto the podium in Copenhagen a few weeks ago.
The circle turns. As I was on the grid Sunday, I got a warm greeting from Richie's predecessor as the 'voice of cycling' - Dick Ring. Dick looks as ageless as Dick Clark to me - I swear he hasn't aged one iota in 25 years. He was there cheering on many, and man-o-man, he knows many! His public announcing voice may be retired, but his enthusiasm and love of the sport and all those who love it will never retire. As I a gasped round with the backmarkers, I could hear his voice hollering at us everytime I came by the pits. It was a few second burst of feel-good nostalgia, a once-a-lap adrenaline bolus that would help dilute a cloud of pain and suffering.
|Luke and Jesse Keough going fast around some Tom Stevens whoop-d-doos.