Before my evolution into Flash, way back in my 2nd Cycling Incarnation, I was known simply as Jim Gordon. There were few road riders back then as mountain biking was taking off like a rocket and what riders there were abandoned the pavement for the dirt. There was no blogging for there was no internet or computers, at least for civilians. I remember the fun of the hand drawn sketches of bike parts in the Nashbar catalogs back then. I was getting into distance riding, and did a few centuries, none of them easy or comfortable. I even did a hard climbing century in the heat with a full aero fairing on the front of my bike. I only tried that once.
One of my friends convinced me to try racing, so I signed on as a Cat 4, at that time the entry level position for wannabe racers. I did some local Oakland criteriums, and a few short road races---I never placed in the top 10, but then again I never crashed or dropped out either so that's something. I did witness some horrible race crashes and I think that informed me more than the actual racing. The following story occurred during these times. One day I found my phone ringing off the hook by local sports media people, and I had no clue why. Here's what went down as reporters and photographers descended on Alameda:
(Click to enlarge scan)
I found my old racing license recently, then this old article showed up in a drawer at my parent's house. I've been looking for a copy I had, and had given up finding it, then it just appears. A Flashblog story meant to be.
Note authentic period details in the photo:
Note in the article I referred to myself at age 32 as an old guy. I wonder what that makes me today? I also stated I was riding 150 miles a week which might have been an embellishment of the truth, but to be honest I can't recall actual mileage from back then. By the way, I still own that bike, a Novara 12 speed made in Japan. It currently lives in Tacoma Washington, slightly modified with flat bars into a commuter bike for my son Max. I still have all the original parts so someday I will restore it.
I hope you've been amused by this rare artifact of a by-gone era. All I can say is I'm very happy to still be out there turning the pedals a quarter century later. Such is the beauty of cycling.
Ride On My Friends