Of course, not all River Riders started off as juniors - though we plan on having a River Ride history of the Juniors like Justin Morgan, Troy White, Chad Gerlach, Marty Woy and Chris Baumann. Dan Glass. as a masters rider, began doing the ride when it was probably the fastest it has ever been. He's a little bit older now, and a regular on the "B" rides. He is also one of our recommended attorneys for cycling related issues (see his link at the bottom right of the blog!).
I did not begin to seriously ride a bike until about 1990, at the age of 33. After a year or two of working my way up to finishing a “century”, and being a regular customer of the Bicycle Business, I found the south RR on Tuesday and Thursday nights. At 34, I was pretty much the “old guy” back then. Chuck Hutcheson was still in high school. From what I remember, the true leaders of the ride were Scott McKinley (I think John McKinley also showed up now and then), Vince Gee, Dominic Anderson, Declain Lonegan, John Brady, and of course - young Chuck, Chad Gerlach, Chirs Bauman, Alex Holt, Cory McCracken, Steve Gorley. The ave. speed of the ride was never less than 25 mph and I had times when we covered the 12.5 miles at an average speed above 29 mph. Most times, about 27 - 28.
I was not one of the “chosen ones” and remained “pack fodder”. About 25% of the time I was lucky enough to just be in the pack for the sprint, although it was probably only 5% of the time that I was close enough to actually contest the final sprint finish. Most of the time, because I had little bike handling skills as a beginner, and a great fear of crashing, I would be dropped by the Ferrari tower and then spend the next half hour time trialing to pick off people - which is really what I did well.
One time I am trying to catch a guy in front of me - I see him, and I chase and chase, and get closer, and see HE IS ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE going 24 mph. I am pissed. No one on a mountain bike is gonna beat me!! I work harder, I get closer, and I see that the guy is on a mountain bike and his left arm is in a friggen sling. The guy is riding a mountain bike with one arm and he is kicking my ass. I catch, I ride with him for a mile, he says “lets go get that guy in front of us” and he drops me like the old man I thought I was.
I was devastated. Why ride a bike when some guy with a broken arm on a mountain bike can drop you at will??? Anyway, about two weeks later I am in the Bicycle Business telling my tale of woe when Bob Johnson tells me - oh, that was Norm Alvis. He rode for 7-11 or Motorola at the time. He crashed in Europe and broke his collarbone and was home recovering - so he just came out for fun.
Well, at least I wasn’t beat by a “wing nut” on a mountain bike - so I started racing - and did crits and road races for the next 8 years. It was great, and it all started because someone told me - you gotta try the South RR.
For those who do not know Norm, he was a fierce racer and pro for years. He held, and my still hold, the U.S. one hour record.