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Old 08-26-06, 07:18 PM   #1
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30 years ago today.

A couple of weeks ago,I was going through some papers from my time in college and found the receipt for the first bicycle I ever bought.

I was 19 ,living in Atlanta and about to begin my first year of college. I lived in a cheap flat above a bike shop in Morningside. In the bike shop worked this gorgeous chick. Since I didn't ride a bicycle I quickly ran out of excuses to hang out in the bike shop and pester her.

I had $500 stashed away to buy a car. My lower brain reasoned that $500 would either buy a real sh!tty car or a really nice bike which would get me next to the girl in the bike shop. So on August 26, 1976, I went downstairs and paid $488.73 for a used Condor touring bike, wool shorts , a wool jersey, 2 spare tubes and a patch kit.

I started riding and was immediately in love with that bike. I have had some great bikes since but nothing has ever matched the first day I rode that bike on the roads through Piedmont Park! That first weekend and after classes the following week I was riding everyday!

In the meantime I had not forgotten about the girl in the bike shop, I was finding every excuse to visit the shop. Cheapest thing in the shop was toe straps and I was already up to about 10 of them Then a couple of weeks later as I walked in one afternoon for my 11th toe strap, she was talking to someone about a ride she was going on the following weekend. I got bold and asked if I could go along and she said sure, It was a club event with various distances and I just needed to get to the start in Clarkston on Saturday.

The day of the ride came and not having a car I rode the 12 miles to Clarkston to start the ride. I got there late. There was several signup sheets for the different ride distances, I looked through them until I found her name , I signed up and got my map. I was told her group had left a few minutes before. I took off and began the chase.

I caught up with her about 25 miles into the ride when her group had stopped for a break. She was surprised when I rode up!. She starts telling the others about how I had just started riding 3 weeks ago and was already riding my first Century!. That was when I asked " By the way, how long is a Century?" After everyone recovered from laughing. She says "Century? it is 100 miles!" Being 19 and trying to be cool I said "Ok, that is what I thought". Inside I was dying.

I hung on till about 50 miles when I fell behind. By 70 miles I was feeling sick and barely turning the cranks. I rested for over an hour at a country store where I drank water, ate fruit and crackers till I finally had regained enough energy to get back on the bike. The last 30 miles must have taken me nearly 4 hours. I got back and everyone was long gone. The ride had taken me nearly 11 hours and I still had to ride home. I got home about 10pm that night having rode a total of 125 miles that day. when I crawled in the bed that night I stayed there nearly 3 days.

I never got a date with the girl, I soon found out she already was in a serious relationship(my usual luck). We however became good friends for many years afterward.
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Old 08-26-06, 07:32 PM   #2
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This is one of the best stories I've read in 50+!!!

"How long is a century?" Effing hysterical!!!!

Did the young woman in question ever learn the truth about you and the beginning of your cycling career?
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Old 08-26-06, 07:34 PM   #3
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30 years ago today I was 25
and living under a bridge in
Northern California.
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Old 08-26-06, 07:35 PM   #4
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You sir, are my hero. "125 Miles For Love." I may have to write a song with that title!
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Old 08-26-06, 08:16 PM   #5
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"Did the young woman in question ever learn the truth about you and the beginning of your cycling career?"

The day after the Century she knocked on my door but I didn't answer. I was embarassed after the century ride so I avoided her. She knocked on the door again about a week later and asked if I wanted to go riding. While riding she made it clear she had a relationship already but would like us to be friends. I wasn't really ready for being friends but eventually I got over it and we became friends for nearly 20 years.
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Old 08-26-06, 08:38 PM   #6
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OK, but did you ever fess up as to why you bought the bike in the first place...so you would have a reason to go into the shop where she worked?

And, did she have any inkling that you would go on to become "Bob" in the "male enhancement" ads???
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Old 08-26-06, 09:08 PM   #7
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These male enhancement products boast,"to go the distance."Could I mix this with a protein shake before I try my first century?Also I can,t afford that wide grin,as we have an abundance of road bugs in northern Ohio this time of year.

1988 Ishiwata
1976 Raleigh Sprite
1989 crapola mtb from a big box store
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Old 08-26-06, 09:56 PM   #8
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That's a beautiful story.

You should get a movie made based upon it.
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Old 08-26-06, 11:44 PM   #9
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That is a nice story.
Thank you.
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Old 08-26-06, 11:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedgoudy
30 years ago today I was 25
and living under a bridge in
Northern California.
Why?
And what caused you to move?
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Old 08-27-06, 12:00 AM   #11
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There are some really nice bridges in this area. I am not at all surprised.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Artkansas
That's a beautiful story.

You should get a movie made based upon it.
Yes, but in the movie the boy "has" to get the girl
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Old 08-27-06, 08:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milt
Yes, but in the movie the boy "has" to get the girl
exactly! I am like Tonto, I always end up holding the horses.
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Old 08-27-06, 08:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Paulie
OK, but did you ever fess up as to why you bought the bike in the first place...so you would have a reason to go into the shop where she worked?

And, did she have any inkling that you would go on to become "Bob" in the "male enhancement" ads???
everyone already knew why I bought the bike. I was pretty wet behind the ears at 19, I wasn't fooling anyone. . Perhaps if I had been "smiling Bob" then.....
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Old 08-27-06, 08:52 AM   #15
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What we do for love. That is indeed a ride to remember!
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Old 08-27-06, 10:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphin
There are some really nice bridges in this area. I am not at all surprised.
Generally, under the Forrest Hills
bridge, but under that is a 1870's
railroad bridge at the nexus of the
Middle and South Fork of the American River.

And I moved on! Fortunately.
That was about 4 lifetimes ago.
(metaphorically speaking.)

And PS: I am sorry to hijack this thread.
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Old 08-27-06, 10:59 AM   #17
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Now this is a warm-fuzzy kind of story!
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Old 08-27-06, 06:08 PM   #18
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Now this is a warm-fuzzy kind of story!

Very much so.
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Old 08-27-06, 08:58 PM   #19
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Great story. Being young was so much fun (in hindsight). So, are you still in touch with the girl?
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Old 08-27-06, 09:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Great story. Being young was so much fun (in hindsight). So, are you still in touch with the girl?
We lost touch about 10 years ago. We both became involved with raising our families and we just ran out of things to talk about so the emails got fewer and fewer. A couple or three years ago I sent a Christmas card that was returned by the post office so I don't know where she is now. I know she isn't on BikeForums because she would be busting my balls by now!
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