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August 1, 2005

Another hot ride

Tonight after work Dan talked me into riding with him at least down to the Mendota Bridge from Downtown St. Paul. I was planning on just going straight home, but decided to try it and see how it fealt. It was hot. We kept up a fast pace all the way there, between 18-25 MPH. Then at the bridge we parted ways and I tried to keep up the fastest pace I could. I did slow down a lot but that's because there is a lot of up-hill riding, including the highway 13 hill headed back to the West Side. The slowest I rode on that hill was 10 MPH, so I was happy with that. I did use a whole bottle of water riding the 13 miles home. I was really hot! But my heart, lungs and legs fealt pretty good! I'm really happy I decided to ride with Dan tonight.

On the topic of Dan, I just want to say how great of a mentor he is. I really appreciate his gentle prodding to get me to do more, and to not give up. It's great to have a friend that's willing to go the extra mile to help someone develop. That's Dan. There is more to Dan though, and to me he is a hero in everyday clothes. Dan commutes by bike every single day from Brooklyn Park, about 17 miles every day each way. He doesn't ride all the way during the winter, but does ride to and from the bus stop about a mile and a half away before and after work. He's also a fantastic bike racer.
I want to share Dan with you because this is what happens to some pro athletes who no longer race as pro's. Dan not only has a good heart, he's a superb athlete who has a history of winning races. I went to his house once and saw his trophy shelf with probably fifty-some trophies, mostly for Triathlons he won when he was younger, like the Turtleman and others. I also know that Dan used to be a pro bike racer but quit after he was diagnosed with diabetes. He still rides and races but has to plan his insulin to adjust for riding hard.
In Yesterday's State Championship Criterium at the U of M, Dan took 4th place I believe. Then he decided to ride another race a little later in the day and took 10th or something. And that's after riding in the front most of the way! He told me he was just trying to avoid a crash because the course was kind of technical. Another little-known fact is that Dan has been racing an old steel Bianchi that outweighed almost every bike in that race and has down-tube shifters! He says that's a real problem on courses with hills. I can imagine how much of problem when you have to take your hands off the handlebars to shift. You could lose a lot of momentum! But these were hot bikes in the old days. It takes a confident, special rider to use one of these in a race now. Dan is that kind of rider. Sadly his frame is cracked and creeks when he rides. Did you hear it in the race? He already has a new bike ordered (much lighter) and hopes to have it before the Dakota Crit next weekend. I can't wait to see him race it. I hope he gets it in time.

In today's newspaper's there was not a single word about this bike race at the U of M. To me this race and the people who are riding it is better news than some of the ignorant reporting they call news. (ie. Bob Sansevere and Joe Sucheray) Why is it that our papers totally ignore Cycle racing? Unless it's something major like a historic Tour de France win, and then probably only because they knew every major paper would carry that one so they didn't want to be the only one's who didn't.

Of course the local and national bike racing scene is not football, basketball, Hockey or baseball; the American pie sports. Only recently has American newspapers started to open up to Soccer even. And then only briefly with events like the Olympics and World Cup finals (If Americans are playing). The rest of the world is in love with Soccer. Tennis seems to make an appearance occasionally with Wimbledon and Serena Williams. But I'm sure these sports go on all year round with many other exciting and tournaments. And there are many hero's like Dan, and many other's who will go unreported because it's not 'newsworthy.' I guess it depends on what is important to the readers, right? So I'm reporting it here for those cycling enthusiasts I know that read this.

Today's hot ride was great and gave me a total of 26 miles today. Thanks Dan! I needed that boost and it fealt really good.

Posted by carl1236 at August 1, 2005 8:08 PM | Cycle Racing

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