Friday, September 14, 2007
A GREAT PHOTO!!!!
Left is a great photo showing Doug Swanson leading out across Rosie's Field a couple years ago. A careful examination of the photo reveals Tilford (in chase), the Eppens (on Tandem), TJ Woodruff, Jeff Hall (on the right), and all the rest of the 'usual suspects'. Also, the most amateur of racers can be spotted at the far end of the photo (second to the end bringing up the Caboose.) While this is just the very beginning of a long two hour plus effort, crossing Rosie's Field in good shape and in a good position is key...Many of the guyz in this photograph that are bunched up and in hot pursuit will ultimately cash out and be relegated to limpin' 'er in...Essentially at the early stages of this classic race, we have a lot of pretenin' goin' on... but really only about 40 or so guyz are really contendin' for the top 20 spots!!!!
My sentimental favorites include Doug Swanson, Steve Tilford, and Eric Simmonson. I want Doug Swanson to win because I know him and really like him and his wife. They are super nice, amicable people, and Doug is very unassuming and always quick to support cycling. I don't know Tilford per se, although I rode with him for a few brief moments last year as he suffered a flat which put in out of the running for a top spot. Yet in my world, his misfortune allowed me to ride along with him for awhile. Just as he was finishing up fixing the flat, I caught up to him and so I started up a little conversation with him and he was very nice. After a couple of minutes, I remember him looking back at me and saying, "itz been very nice talking with you, but I suppose I better get back to racing." And with that very polite good-bye, he put 'er into an overdrive that I can only dream about and left me like a was standin' still. However, the fact that he's a nice guy is not why he made my top three. Nor is it the fact that he's an old guy, like me (we are both 47); the reason he made my top three is because he rides a rigid 29er made by Kent Erikson. Kent Erikson was born in Wisconsin and is in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. I love the idea that both Erikson and Tilford are riding bikes made in the USA by a committed craftsman that has roots in Wisconson. Both Erikson and Tilford are back this year. I know even less about young Eric Simmonson, but I love Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Beer and Bell's Expedition Stout can only be described as "nectar of the gods." Young Simmonson rides for Bell's Mountain Bike team on a Quiring rigid 29er made by Steve Quiring. Again I love that kind of thing!!!!!!! Quiring won the fat tire about ten years ago and now makes high quality bikes in a little shop in Michigan. How great is that? Great Beer by a local brewery and Great Bikes by a local craftsman...The American Dream?