Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Pre-Flash 15 Mins of Fame---1987

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

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