BIKERS' BEACON
Tuesday, April 21 '98

Three graveyards. If a driver were to negotiate the roads that
constitute the BBC training route, he would pass three
graveyards. (It's true: you count 'em.) They are small country
plots, mostly the final resting spots of specific families.

Feather. Wilson. Schmidt. These are the family names of those who
lived and died, agrarian folk who loved, were loved and now are
no more.

If they were still with us, if there spirits could give counsel
(fortunate are we who do not believe in this popular
superstition) what would they tell us? "Carpe Diem!" the Latin
phrase goes, or, in English "Seize the day!"

Ten members of the BBC did just this on the Tuesday training
ride. We were alive, and we proved it by pushing the envelope of
our mortal human frames. No better way to do this than on a bike.

The weather could have been better, but, to quote Doug Fattic,
it could have been worse. Overcast and a bit on the chilly side,
the conditions did not keep ten hearty souls from coming out,
including some first-timers for the year. Riders were Scott and
Jerry Thayer, Doug Fattic, Randy Mack, Jason Lange, Richie
Forrester, Jack Stenger, Marc Samuel and this-year first-timers
Erik LaBianca and Ricky Robertson.

Due to some last-minute mechanical needs on the part of both of
the this-year first-timers, we got a later start and did not
leave until around 7 p.m. Besides being a strong (and impulsive)
rider, Ricky is also a wild-eyed optimist. Who else would come to
the Ad Building parking lot with a disassembled bike over his
shoulder, no front wheel and fully expect to bike? His optimism
paid off because a wheel eventually showed up.

We stayed together at a civil pace for the first of the ride.
Most held together up to Five Points. Matter of fact, the group
held up to Shawnee and even up Singer Lake. Predictably, the pace
was quickened as we reached the Hinchman Bend and made our way up
the "Hinchman Speedway." There is no more cruel part of our route
than this road, particularly its late-route inclines. They are
harbingers of lactic acid and cardiovascular strain. This road
separates the BBC us as no other speed corridor can.

Jason and Richie led a group. Hinchman hills caused a few more
"drops" (including the retreat of your humble correspondent).
Into this drama entered Scott Thayer who nearly staged a biking
coup that could've joined the annals of BBC history. Our
President stayed back -- way back -- from the crowd to ride with
his dad. At some point, though, he dug in and sought to reclaim
the considerable distances that separated him from the leaders.
Riding alone and averaging speeds of 25 m.p.h., with only
tombstones and a stiff headwind as witnesses, he eventually
caught the leaders' pack at the Hinchman-U.S. 31 intersection. A
real feat of athletic endeavor!

Other ride standouts were Eric and Ricky who were both strong for
their first times out this year. Together, they both seemed to
scoff at the notion that winter and inactivity means diminished
performance. Get that Cannondale fixed, Ricky, and you're gonna
be a force to be reckoned with.

The weather is supposed to be great on Thursday. Sunny and temps
up to the 60s or 70s. It promises to be a great ride so we hope
everyone can get out there. Remember BBC, "Carpe Diem!" That's
what they would tell us if they could

Until Thursday, I remain,
Jack Stenger
BBC Chief Propagandist

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