AGING UP.

TODD BROWN


YOU KNOW WHY BIKE RACERS DON'T MIND GETTING OLDER?  It's not that they generally look younger than their peers.  Nor that they feel great.  No, it's something only a bike racer understands...

... every 5 years we age up.

The first time a racer ages into the masters group and thinks Well, this will be easy...

... it's a big slap in the helmet, as the youngish master racers are so fast they generally kick the snot out the new kids aging in.

And after figuring out these cats are pretty fast, and finding one's way, well ya start to get the hang of things.  Maybe get a couple of wins,  Have some success.  And as one gets to the upper end of the 5 year group and starts to slow a tad, well...

... Golly, I'm gonna be aging up next year! We say with a grin.  I'll be sticking it to those old guys in no time.

And so the racer rides through life getting a reset every 5 years.  It's a heckuva nice thing when ya think about it.

Anyway, this guy pops in who I figure is about my age.  And we're chatting.  He's seen our kits around town and saw the sign and wanted to get a kit.  I'm thrilled, of course - we barely opened.  I ask him how old he is, thinking maybe we'll do some riding and racing together.

I'm gonna be 75.

75! I'm floored.

Yeah.  And next year I'll be aging up.  Can't wait to go to Nationals... plus, Worlds is going to be at Carson.

Well, how'd you do last year?

Pretty good, 2nd.

That's amazing.

Yeah, but nobody knew who I was.  They paired me with a guy and I wound up lapping him twice in a 2k race.  

I bet that through you off.

Yes it did.  The first time I came up on him on the second lap and thought I messed up the start.  Lost the race by .9 seconds.

Dang, that had to cost you several seconds.

Easy.

Well, who are you?

Oh, I was National Champion in '72.

I looked him up, Tom Sneddon was one of the first racers to compete in Europe in the early 70's.  On the ride tonight, one of the guys that knows Tom said he even beat the great Eddy Merckx once upon a time.

**Update below from Tom**

I have a feeling they'll all know Tom next year.

Would you like to know which kit Tom purchased?

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/pedal-all-gray-kit

All gray... for people who smoke the competion.

I gave the locals discount... and I'll give it to the rest of ya's if ya order by end of day Sunday.  The code is LOCALS

Every dollar spent gets you an entry into -> Ultimate RaceDay Bag™ Giveaway

---

162.8 lbs
StretchNRoll
8 hours sleep 
https://www.strava.com/activities/4074792675

** I appreciate the mention however I will never say I “beat” Eddy Merckx. That implies it was just the two of us .
I did have the honor of racing against Eddy for four years in Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and Switzerland and in those four years finished races ahead of him four times .
I never won a race during my years as a professional (I think my highest road placing was 13th but am very proud of having measured myself against the best riders in the world between 1972 and 1977. I rode in three world championships representing the USA.
In 1975 I documented mileage of 32000+ between March 1 and Oct 15.
Unfortunately recognition is not given to many riders who came before the world got smaller with tv coverage and the internet but I’d like to recognize Tim Mountford especially because I rode with him in my earlier amateur days and he signed with Raleigh of Holland showing me a pro career was a possibility.
Ray Matthews, John VandeVelde ( Christian’s dad) Jackie Symes, Skip Cutting, Harold Halsey and Bill Kund were all contemporaries of mine who were US pros and then Jonathan Boyer , the first American to ride in the TDF ( I have a letter somewhere in my files of him requesting training advice from me ) and Mike Neel all before Lemond , though you’ll never hear it from him .
Again thank you 
See you on the road .



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