Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Eastern PA
Bikes: Croll 531c/Campagnolo and Schwinn City Bike
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Was on a late-night, invite-only ride -- me and perhaps 4 other riders from the cycling publishing company where I worked. One rider wasn't really a "rider" -- he was on his way to being vice-president of the company (if you get the picture).
We continued along Route 78 in New Jersey heading for NYC around 2:00 a.m. in the morning (give or take). ABC wide world of sports support trucks providing the highway lighting, along with sag wagons, press vans, and a police escort. We were all in a line behind the main rider who was the star of the show. I was behind Mr. future vice president.
I noticed he was getting very unsure of himself during a downhill run. There was an expansion joint running parallel between the highway and the shoulder. I watched at high speed as his rear wheel would nudge ever so close to it. I no sooner said to myself that he was going to go down (and for me to back off), when his front wheel finally went into it . . . and down he went. I went right over him and was sent up into the air. I kept straight, but my front wheel totally collapsed when it made contact with the road again. I went down. Hard.
The entire caravan came to a halt. We managed to pick up the pieces, but my ride was over. I told the star of the show that I was OK, and since we were close to an exit, I'd get off and call home for a ride back. He told me to take my wheel off the bike, and had one of his assistants bring a new wheel for me from his support van. It was getting cold, my jersey was frayed and ripped from the asphalt, so he also gave me one of his Peugeot shirts.
I still have the wheel. The shirt is packed away up in the attic.
The rider was John Marino, and the ride was his first transcontinental record attempt (to become the Race Across America).
So whenever you see John Marino's time for that first historic ride, just knock off another few minutes . . . due to the screw up of a few riders that rode along with him.