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Ever Encountered a Pro While on a Ride?

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Ever Encountered a Pro While on a Ride?

Old 02-03-24, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
Got dropped in a Cat1-2-3 race outside of Austin (Dripping Springs, TX maybe?) in 88 or 89. Armstrong was in the race.

Saw Floyd Landis while riding near Escondido, CA (he waved back); then a year or two later he sprinted past me going up the steeep incline of Mount Baldy just before the finish line at l'Etape du California. He was just out enjoying the day, but I was pedaling my guts out. Got to shake his hand.

My neighbor, Olympic gold medalist Steve Hegg (84 medalled in individual and team track pursuit). When I was moving all my bikes into the garage, he said his name was Steve and mentioned he is also a cyclist. I immediately start rambling off my puny achievements on the bike and asked him what kind of riding he does. "I was in the Olympics a long time ago, but now I ride mostly for pleasure."
"You're not Steve HEGG?!?!"
"Yeah, I'm totally Steve Hegg."
I reached into my garage for my Steve Hegg poster and said, "You don't have to sign this right now, but I hope you'll sign it soon."

Also Nelson ("call me Nellie") Vails, John Howard, and Thurlow Rogers. They live near me and I see them out on the road sometimes.
Did Steve ever sign your poster?

Thurlow used to show up for some of the fast group rides in my area when I was a racer-boy. We all suffered more when he did.
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Old 02-03-24, 03:32 AM
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Bicyclist no, before my feet got bad I rode with a retired off road motorcycle racer that is in the A .M.A. Hall of Fame a couple times a year. I was able to ride some this past summer so I hope to get to ride with him this summer. He will tell you that he wasn't the fastest person on the trail but he was in the best physical shape.
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Old 02-03-24, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Did Steve ever sign your poster?

Thurlow used to show up for some of the fast group rides in my area when I was a racer-boy. We all suffered more when he did.
Alas, no. And Steve just recently moved up to Long Beach. He was a cool neighbor. Used to call him "Golden Boy".

I did the "Wednesday Worlds" ride once with Thurlow and some very fast people. I was the only guy on a steel bike. It was desperately fast once they got going. Fun as hell sitting in on such a huge & fast pack, but they were blitzing stop signs and one redlight through Camp Pendleton, as well as lane-taking, which I wasn't comfortable with at all. Thurlow looked like a pseudo-human animal the way he pedaled. He had a rounded, muscular back that seemed to contribute to his pedaling. Or perhaps his lungs are so huge, they were flexing his back up and down? Whichever it was, he was a beast.

I dropped off after the main northbound climb in Pendleton. If enough of we cyclists abuse the rules through Pendleton, the camp's commanding general can simply say, "Nope, no more civilian cyclists on my base." A few years later, we all had to get the ID cards to ride through Pendleton.

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Old 02-03-24, 04:49 AM
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In 2015 around the greater Richmond Va area, leading up to/during the World Championships, they were out thick as thieves.
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Old 02-05-24, 10:52 AM
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Ooh, just remembered another one! Lon Haldeman and Pete Penseyers on a tandem on our way to Palm Springs! This was back in the days of toeclips, straps, and friction-shifting. Pete was on the front with his table-bars (which were the first version of aero-bars, back when the TdF pros were still riding funnybikes in time-trials.) I was a shirtless young dipstick of 16 or 17, but I'd decided I was going to ride from Walnut/Diamond bar to Palm Springs, but they were very friendly. They even hung back for a few minutes to chat, but then they had to be moving on. They were really hauling the freight, so I was unable to hold their wheel.
These guys smashed the RAAM record by quite a lot back in the 80s.



I ended up running out of cash and calories, and cruised around Hadley's. Fortunately there was half a plate of gross, droopy nachos sitting on top of a trashcan, which I scooped up and ate up. I still dry-heave at that memory, but when you're bonking and broke in the middle of the desert in the time before cellphones... Geez, I was a dumb kid.

Edit: Found a pic of Pete's original aerobars. He was quite the innovator.

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Old 02-05-24, 11:17 AM
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In the spring of 1993, while touring the French Riviera with my wife and her parents, we were in Nice, and while out on a run along the waterfront, I encountered the U.S. Postal Service team. Not sure who all was in company. But there were 10-12 of them all in their USPS kits, and on the identical USPS Trek bikes. — Dan
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Old 02-05-24, 11:52 AM
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I do believe I was overtaken by Lance doing a group ride in our local State Park in 2013. I don't know for sure but the face was a doppelganger in not him...

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Old 02-05-24, 12:54 PM
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Franky.... a couple times


I've ridden with Franky Andreau very briefly about 3 times. Last time was a ride of silence during the COVID, I think. He made fun of my Brooks saddle on my touring bike as I was track standing waiting for a train.
In this pic, 2004, I came out of racing retirement (very briefly) and had the USCF bump me down to Cat4. I scored a couple of primes at an office park crit, and was waiting for my new sun glasses as Franky got interviewed by cycling news. www.cyclingnews.com - the world centre of cycling
-- the highlight of my racing career, and I'm looking away from the camera......

Another time I rode behind Franky on a New Year's Day ride in his hometown, D'born, MI. I got genuine TdF road spray in my face for 45 minutes! .... so proud.... don't be jelly....

ciao!
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Old 02-05-24, 02:24 PM
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Do football coaches count? I had Bo Pelini pass me on a ride going the opposite direction with his typical "stick it in your ear" scowl going on.........
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Old 02-05-24, 03:21 PM
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I've never encountered a pro on a ride but I've seen them out riding from my car.
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Old 02-05-24, 04:25 PM
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I was fortunate enough to go to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. While riding along PCH through Santa Monica and Malibu, teams from all over the world were blasting up and down the coastline. It was really thrilling at the time to be riding along the same stretch of road. The Olympics were still technically an amateur event in 1984, but lots of future pros were out riding.
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Old 02-05-24, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 13velos
I was fortunate enough to go to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. While riding along PCH through Santa Monica and Malibu, teams from all over the world were blasting up and down the coastline. It was really thrilling at the time to be riding along the same stretch of road. The Olympics were still technically an amateur event in 1984, but lots of future pros were out riding.

I vaguely remember watching and envying some guy riding on a parallel road next to the peloton in the footage. Maybe it was you?
Aw man! I was happy to see an American win the race, but then he turned out to be a little ...mercurial. Alexi ended up becoming a carpenter with some mental health problems, while Steve went on to a pretty successful pro career, and I believe he even wore the Yellow Jersey once or twice.
I watched him in person pedal past in the Tour of Flanders in 90 or 91 and nearly screamed myself unconscious. The Dutch and the Belgians (who are monstrous cyclist fans) even stopped to look at me: "Dude. Settle down."

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Old 02-05-24, 08:14 PM
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The title says “pro” and not “pro cyclist.” I know someone who encountered Boston Bruins (now former) player Milan Lucic who has been an avid cyclist for many years.

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Old 02-05-24, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
The title says “pro” and not “pro cyclist.” I know someone who encountered Boston Bruins (now former) player Milan Lucic who has been an avid cyclist for many years.

Dan
Pretty much any adult out there is gonna be a professional something. Looks like everyone else grasped the intent here. I'll give you bonus points for the part where it wasn't even you who encountered Lucic though.

"I know this guy who knew a guy...."
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Old 02-05-24, 08:43 PM
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I played HS basketball and football against future NBA and NFL players but I do not consider that an "encounter."
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Old 02-06-24, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531
Yesterday I was out on The Loop here in Tucson, and I got passed by a rider in a lot of yellow on a really cool bike. Second glance reveals a Jumbo Visma rider in full kit on what I assume is his new trainer for 2024. He'd already gained a few seconds on me when I decided a chance like this doesn't come around often, so I got up out of the saddle and hustled up there to grab his wheel. Back of the jersey said Simmons, and a little research turns up a young guy from Durango CO who trains down here, first name Colby. Anyway, I hung around back there for three minutes, maybe four, just sort of digging the vibe, then fell back and let him do his thing. But it was a pretty cool highlight to the day's ride.
BF version of a Penthouse letter?
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Old 02-06-24, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
BF version of a Penthouse letter?
Well played sir!
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Old 02-08-24, 12:02 AM
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Took a friend and her son to a criterium. Wandered off, came beck to check in with her. Said she'd been talking to this nice red haired lady. She seemed to know a lot about racing. Had been talking to Connie Carpenter. 7/11 was racing. Davis Finney was there. I'd got to talk to Eric Heiden while he was putting his bike together. Was a great guy.......
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Old 02-08-24, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by gorillimo
Took a friend and her son to a criterium. Wandered off, came beck to check in with her. Said she'd been talking to this nice red haired lady. She seemed to know a lot about racing. Had been talking to Connie Carpenter. 7/11 was racing. Davis Finney was there. I'd got to talk to Eric Heiden while he was putting his bike together. Was a great guy.......
That's 8itc#3n'. (Ha! suck it, mormon mods!) What year was it and where was it? Must have been 85-86? Heiden didn't stick with the team long. Went on to become a doctor as I recall.
I must have watched all the Coors Classic DVDs half a dozen times.

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Old 02-08-24, 01:17 AM
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I was riding a local route in Korea, in the reverse direction to the ways it's usually ridden, and I got to the summit of a long climb to see a local pro team up there, but the younger guys who compete in the younger pro competition that they have here sometimes. I was shattered, and one of the trainers from their team car called out to me and gave me a spare bottle of their homebrewed sports drink, all electrolytes and glucose-fructose in some mad scientist's ratio. One of the best drinks I've ever had on the bike that was.
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Old 02-08-24, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gorillimo
Took a friend and her son to a criterium. Wandered off, came beck to check in with her. Said she'd been talking to this nice red haired lady. She seemed to know a lot about racing. Had been talking to Connie Carpenter. 7/11 was racing. Davis Finney was there. I'd got to talk to Eric Heiden while he was putting his bike together. Was a great guy.......
Phinney.
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Old 02-08-24, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
Ooh, just remembered another one! Lon Haldeman and Pete Penseyers on a tandem on our way to Palm Springs!
I did the Solvang Century several times starting in 1989. They always invited the winner from the previous year's RAAM to ride the course. One year Penseyres was there on the tandem with his wife. They rode up to me as I was struggling with "The Wall". They were both very friendly and chatty and eventually rode off, I was too slow to chase. I then found out they were on their second lap of the course.

I was at the Great Western Bicycle Rally and Penseyres gave a slide show presentation about RAAM and his brother working hard to finish. His brother was a Viet Nam vet and amputee and it was a very good tribute to him.
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Old 02-08-24, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
I then found out they were on their second lap of the course.

I was at the Great Western Bicycle Rally and Penseyres gave a slide show presentation about RAAM and his brother working hard to finish. His brother was a Viet Nam vet and amputee and it was a very good tribute to him.
Jesus. A beast marries a beast. I wish I could have seen that GWBR presentation. I must have been in the Army then.
I've done Solvang 3 times and the Prelude once with my Pa. One was my best ride ever. I finished in 5:00:47, because of an unlucky stoplight near the finish line. It was great: there was a CHP cruiser waiting with a smiling cop in mirrored sunglasses just waiting for me to run it, and my whole bike shuddered at the braking force.
But the best part was on Foxen Canyon Road: the swirling headwind was fierce and no one (out of about 20 riders) wanted to help up at the front; just sat on me. I was in the honeymoon phase with my powermeter, so I ignored them and just focused on the HR and Watts.
Kept working and focusing on balancing the two. Hurt longer than I'd ever hurt before, just keeping my HR at a steady 175 climbing up the hill against that gd wind. But then Foxen started steepening and so did my HR. Focused on breathing, fluidity, and it helped to ignore the guys back there. Even though I eased off lightly to control my HR, no one came up to help, and my HR continued to climb.
When it gradually got up to 192, I finally pulled to the side: Dudes, I can't pull anymore. Someone get up here please.
Nobody there. Looked back down the road; nobody there either. Rode them all off my wheel.
I know it's a petty, vain thing, but that was one of the triumphs of my life. And it turns out I had a genetic heart defect when I did it. (Oh, wait... still do. )

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Old 02-08-24, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris
Jesus. A beast marries a beast. I wish I could have seen that GWBR presentation. I must have been in the Army then.
I've done Solvang 3 times and the Prelude once with my Pa. One was my best ride ever. I finished in 5:00:47, because of an unlucky stoplight near the finish line. It was great: there was a CHP cruiser waiting with a smiling cop in mirrored sunglasses just waiting for me to run it, and my whole bike shuddered at the braking force.
But the best part was on Foxen Canyon Road: the swirling headwind was fierce and no one (out of about 20 riders) wanted to help up at the front; just sat on me. I was in the honeymoon phase with my powermeter, so I ignored them and just focused on the HR and Watts.
Kept working and focusing on balancing the two. Hurt longer than I'd ever hurt before, just keeping my HR at a steady 175 climbing up the hill against that gd wind. But then Foxen started steepening and so did my HR. Focused on breathing, fluidity, and it helped to ignore the guys back there. Even though I eased off lightly to control my HR, no one came up to help, and my HR continued to climb.
When it gradually got up to 192, I finally pulled to the side: Dudes, I can't pull anymore. Someone get up here please.
Nobody there. Looked back down the road; nobody there either. Rode them all off my wheel.
I know it's a petty, vain thing, but that was one of the triumphs of my life. And it turns out I had a genetic heart defect when I did it. (Oh, wait... still do. )
I think the year of that GWBR was 1989, or thereabouts.
There were many different weather events at Solvang. Wind so strong it was a struggle to go 13mph downhill. Rain, hail, and even freezing cold.
One year the winner of RAAM in the female division was Cathy something, can't remember her last name. She rode up to me on an easy section and we had a lovely chat. She was pretty small and when she got in her aero bars she had the flattest back I had seen. Like a table, actually. She must have had the lowest aero drag of anyone out there. She was wearing baggy pants that looked like pajamas. When it was time for her to go, she politely excused herself and just motored away.

Are you still riding? I met you at Mt Baldy village years ago, don't know if you remember that. You were wearing the famous La Vie Claire jersey.
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Old 02-08-24, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
I think the year of that GWBR was 1989, or thereabouts

Are you still riding? I met you at Mt Baldy village years ago, don't know if you remember that. You were wearing the famous La Vie Claire jersey.
Yep, I was a PFC in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood, (blech) TX in '89. I raced for the Bell County Bike Club and we usually raced around Austin. I made Cat-3 that year.

Of course I remember. Every ride up Baldy is memorable, especially if you make it to the chairlifts. Did we do the chairlifts that day? Was I with my ex-gf Terah? It was always nice to have her along as an excuse to hang back and keep it from turning into another hammerfest.

Alas, no longer riding. My heart valve has deteriorated (unknowingly beat on that poor little deformation long and hard enough; resting HR has gone from 41 to 110) and other health troubles. But it's all good. Especially the memories. You still climbing GMR and Baldy?
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