I've actually been racing longer than 20 years. I've held a USCF license for 23 years, and started racing 25 years ago. I became a cat 3 in 1990, and I've been there ever since. woohoo.
I was looking through pictures an memory stick and going down memory lane this week when I came upon some pictures taken of me in about 1990. Really, I'm not sure, I was trying to stitch together the faded memory fragments, rendered into such a state by the years and the abuse of my body and brain I was still subjecting myself to until long after that lost weekend in 1986. (there's only so much blow you can do in a 72 hour period before you either die or simply pass out from lack of food - fortunately (or not) for me it was the latter).
I ran across these (click to enlarge):
Yes, that is a nashbar funny bike, Circa 1985....ish. I don't know for sure because it isn't mine. It belongs in fact to Ed Kross (The Nicest Guy In Cycling (the only guy I ever raced with that blew his nose into a hankie during a race)), and who bears a large part of the blame for this obsession.
The Funny bike is so named because it looks fucking ridiculous. It had a small 24" wheel in the front and a 27" wheel in the back. I put a 700C campy record wheel on the back, and slapped on a wheel cover. Like those stickers? it's all alternative/punk bands from the 70's/80's
Public Image, Ltd.
English Beat (yes, a Ska band but totally awesome)
Souxie and The Banshees
You'll also notice a flat front tire. I was attempting to race the District Time Trial, and flatted the front tire about 1/2 way through, just after the turn-around. I also found this picture from that same day:
Those are two guys I used to race on NEBC with. In the skin-suit is Tom Scanlon. He doesn't race anymore, and for a while I thought he was a friend, until I found out he really thought I was socially beneath him. Tending to the bike is Ray Johnson, who is still my friend. Ray is one of those phenoms that started racing as a cat 4, upgraded to cat 3 before the end of the first year, then had enough points to upgrade to cat two halfway through the next year. He decided to sand bag it for a few months and finish the year as a 3, and won the Killing 5 day stage race. He raced fora few local elite teams over the years. He still has one of the old course records at the Charlie Baker time Trial old course, as well as the mens non-aero record on the new course. He still races occasionally, he trains for about a day and a half then places in masters races against former pros.
I kept digging, and found these pictures:
Fitchburg, Longsjo Classic 1990 - criterium stage. My very first race as a cat 3. That's Ed Kross in the center of the picture with the blue/white helmet and me behind him in the same kit.
Notice in these, all the bikes had down tube shifters and many still had exposed brake cables. I'm still riding toe clips, but I was pretty much the only one.
Damn, Could I be any fucking skinnier? Oh, wait, I still am....
Then I found these:
Still 1990, The Nashua Criterium at Holman Stadium. In the first picture I've circled Chronoman, The test case for Negacoaching techniques. On his right _could_ be Duane Skofield, but he may have been racing as a cat 2 then.
Well, that's it for _this_ installment of "The Zen Of Memory Lane". Next time I'll put up pictures of the car that almost got me arrested - for not even driving it.