The Official Newsletter of the Tyler Bicycle Club
Vol. 19, No. 5
June 2001

June meeting—06/12/01—Tyler Bicycle Club meeting, 7:00 p.m. at the Tyler Chamber of Commerce building at the corner of Broadway and Line, in downtown Tyler    NEXT RUDE DOG TIME TRIALS-JUNE 7, JULY 12— 6:30 AT SANDY BEACH. . SPIKE SAYS:BE THERE OR GRRRRR!!      

Talking Cycling
            The Deutsche Telekom team will be one of the top three strongest teams in this year’s tour.  Spear headed by Jan Ullrich, this team presents an arsenal of firepower.  Ullrich’s eating habits over the winter were under control and he did a series of training runs in South Africa and Spain, to get him ready for the season.  The team has implemented “Operation Yellow Jersey” to get Ullrich at 100% come July 7th.  As for the past five years, Erik Zabel (2001 World Cup Champion),  will be aiming for the Green Points Jersey.  Unlike Ullrich, Zabel may not receive the help of the entire team to help him accomplish his goal, but he will be taken to the last 200 meters of every sprint  by the best lead-out man money can buy, Gian-Matteo Fagnini.  The rest of the team looks like a “Who’s Who” of the cycling world.  Alberto Elli (2001 Yellow Jersey wearer), Alexander Vinkourov (1999 Midi-Libre winner), Andreas Kloden (2001 Olympic Bronze Medallist,  Paris-Nice and Basque Country winner), Giusseppe Guerini (1999 Alp D’ Huez Stage winner), Udo Bolts (1998 Mide-Libre winner and finisher of the 2001 Hawaii Ironman), Kevin Livingston (signed from USPS as super mountain domestique).  This team’s goal is YELLOW.  If you can speak or read German, visit www.team-telekom.de  


            This article circulated last year towards the end of the Tour.  It was attributed to Kelme’s Colombian climber, Santiago Botero, but he has denied any links to it.  Nonetheless is a very nice piece and it puts cycling into perspective….Enjoy…
"There I am all alone with my bike. I know of only two riders ahead of me as I near the end of the second climb on what most riders consider the third worst mountain stage in the Tour. I say 'most riders' because I do not fear mountains. After all, our country is nothing but mountains. I train year-round in the mountains. I am the national champion from a country that is nothing but mountains. I trail only my teammate, Fernando Escartin, and a Swiss rider.  
Pantani, one of my rival climbers, and the Gringo Armstrong are in the Peleton about five minutes behind me. I am climbing on such a steep portion of the mountain that if I were to stop pedaling, I will fall backward. Even for a world class climber, this is a painful and slow process. I am in my upright position pedaling at a steady pace willing myself to finish this climb so I can conserve my energy for the final climb of the day. The Kelme team leader radios to me that the Gringo has left the Peleton by himself and that they can no longer see him.

            I recall thinking 'the Gringo cannot catch me by himself'. A short while later, I hear the gears on another bicycle. Within seconds, the Gringo is next to me - riding in the seated position, smiling at me. He was only next to me for a few seconds and he said nothing - he only smiled and then proceeded up the mountain as if he were pedaling downhill. For the next several minutes, I could only think of one thing - his smile. His smile told me everything. I kept thinking that surely he is in as much agony as me, perhaps he was standing and struggling up the mountain as I was and he only sat down to pass me and discourage me. He has to be playing games with me. Not possible. The truth is that his smile said everything that his lips did not. His smile said to me, 'I was training while you were sleeping, Santiago'. It also said, 'I won this tour four months ago, while you were deciding what bike frame to use in the Tour. I trained harder than you did, Santiago.  I don't know if I am better than you, but I have outworked you and right now, you cannot do anything about it. Enjoy your ride, Santiago. See you in Paris.' Obviously, the Gringo did not state any of this. But his smile did dispel a bad rumor among the riders on the tour. The rumor that surfaced as we began the Prologue several days ago told us that the Gringo had gotten soft. His wife had given birth to his first child and he had won the most difficult race in the world - He had no desire to race, to win. I imagine that his smile turned to laughter once he was far enough not to embarrass me.   The Gringo has class, but he heard the rumors - he probably laugh all the way to Paris. He is a great champion and I must train harder. I am not content to be a great climber, I want to be the best. I learned much from the Gringo in the mountains. I will never forget the helpless feeling I had yesterday. If I ever become an international champion, I will always remember the lesson the Gringo taught me."

            We have secured permission from Tyler State Park  to have our family club picnic there on Sunday, July 8, 2001.  We will use the same location as last year, which is known as the "amphitheatre".
            We will start at 1:00 p m, and as always, ask those attending to bring  a covered dish or other food item (chips and dips).  The club will furnish burgers and dogs, and drinks.    Mark your calendars!!

     Many of you may know that TBC Member, Dick Wright is currently on a cross country cycle tour with a group called CrossRoads Cycling.
A telephone report from Dick (May 29, Tour Day 18) at Dalhart, TX:  The 96 mile route from Tucumcari NM to Dalhart, TX was several thousand ft. of climb into a headwind. Dalhart was under a tornado alert at the time of their arrival. The next day’s route (Dalhart to Guymon, OK) will be 72 miles with a total elevation change of 6 feet. Dick did not say if it was uphill or down.
     At the time, the group is about 1/3rd way (1,000 mi.) across country on the tour from Riverside CA to Boston having passed through such places as Blythe, AZ, Flagstaff, Gallup NM, Albuquerque, Santa Fe…...
     Dick is in good spirits, fit and having a great time.  His 3,000+ mile training since 1st of year here in East Texas has paid off. At the time of this writing. The group was in McPherson, KS

Prezz Sezz
By Galén Williams 

     Beauty and the Beast 2001 has gone by, and a good bunch of us are in need of a break from volunteer work. We need a vacation! Well, by the time you read this, a group of TBC members (I’m included) will be riding the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. You’ll hear all about it in our next Spoke Signal.

     The Texas Bicycle Coalition reports that the Matthew Brown Act has passed the senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.  Also, Bad Bike Bill 238 has died in committee and is comatose for the remainder of this year. However, it is there waiting for the right opportunity to come back to life. This is where we come in, and this is a good time for some soul searching.

     “The Advocate”, the newsletter for the Texas Bicycle Coalition, contains several letters in which cyclists are critical of other cyclists for their arrogance and defiance on the roads. When we are trying to get cars to share the road, some of us are guilty of not sharing the road. When we hear “car back”, we need to go single file and let the cars pass. Courtesy and a friendly disposition will go a long way in keeping our 2-lane roads open for cyclists.
     The Texas Bicycle Coalition has done a great job in defending our cause, but it is up to us to build a good reputation that does not need defending. If we want to be treated like we belong on the roads, we need to obey the traffic laws. All the laws that apply to moving vehicles, apply to cyclists, as well.   I think that overall our club does a very good job in riding defensively, especially in light of some of the stories printed in "The Advocate".  It is just common sense to figure that 22 lb. bicycles do not match up well against 3,000 lb. cars, no matter who has the right-of-way.
     We had a situation this year at the Beauty and Beast in which 2 flaggers told Dave Starrett that they wouldn’t be back to help next year. The flaggers were at an intersection and stopped a group of riders as a car approached. What they got for their effort was a cussing for not stopping the car. All they were doing was looking out for the cyclists’ safety and following our instructions.
     I would like to say to everyone that one of the club’s goals is to create awareness in our community that cycling can help us imporove our health and quality of life.  Having a cycling friendly city with bike lanes and trails for the enjoyment of our community is an achievable goal. We are going after it! Once again we want to thank Gayle Cummins, Preston Tyree, and all of the Texas Bicycle Coalition for representing us in Austin.  Now, we need to represent ourselves.

Lake Tyler East Side Drive

                                                  04/05               05/03

                                                  TT #1              TT #2
Tony Lassiter                          17:42               17:17
Russell Cox                            16:16               15:36
Roger Pierce                           18:36
Joe Canal                                17:27               
Rick Uribe                               19:00
Jim Walker                              18:40
Steve Farris                            17:55
Tammy Rooney                      19:33
Kayla Bass                              20:55               20:21
Gary Skaggs                                                   17:40
Gary Lesniewski                                             18:46
Robert Ellis                                                     17:48
Eric & Galén Williams                                     17:02
Jim Kidd                                                          16:57
Mark Oh                                                          18:55

A View From The Rear 
by Jim Walker

     Riding solo for several years before entering a tour resulted in being strong enough to not really know or even think about what was going on at the rear of a tour. This year's Beauty and the Beast was an enlightening experience. Precisely when Bill Cornelius announced only ten minutes before the start, the rear tire on my bike blew. Three miles into the tour it blew again, and in about another mile, you guessed it, my third flat. I inspected the tire, rim, spokes, and rim strip every time, but found nothing. Thanks to Kevin from Simpson's Fitness and Adventure Sports, who was working sag support, the problem was finally solved when he found a small cut in the sidewall. I had a Park tire boot, which easily fixed the problem, and Kevin got me under way. No more flats, but by then I thought I must have been the last rider. To my surprise there were still riders approaching when I started the tour for the third time.

     Coming from the rear afforded me the opportunity to view a different class of riders, for whom I soon developed a respect. Few wore fancy jerseys or had clipless shoes, many heavy bikes with squeaky parts, and t-shirts on all body types. Young and old struggled to survive the twenty mile route.  I shortly came up on what at first appeared to be an accident with a big group walking beside their bikes. It turned out to be a small hill, which I would have hardly noticed otherwise. The look on these people's faces expressed determination and a strong will to succeed. They were all over the road. Most were red-faced, sweating, and breathing hard, and I was forced to swing wide due to their lack of road savvy. These were people on a mission, almost without expression and in deep concentration on the formidable task at hand with thoughts of finally reaching their destination. After witnessing rider after rider in a similar state, I was compelled to stop at the first rest stop just to hang out and soak it all in. I never understood until now why there was even a need for a rest stop after only ten miles, but it was packed. People were refueling and discussing the hardship behind them and the arduous journey ahead. They had made it to the half way point with no turning back.

     In spite of having a seemingly rough start with three flats and thoughts of cutting the tour short, the lesson gained from these people gave me the inspiration to finish the course and tackle the beast. While the elite riders leading the pack on the sixty four mile route deserve a lot of credit for their hours of training and level of fitness, the overlooked people at the rear are a group to be admired for their determination.


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