Wear a helmet. Ride at your own risk. Obey the rules of the road. Bring a pump, tube and tools. Be courteous towards your fellow riders and the public.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Linda Elgart - 1994

Cue in deep movie voice:
In a world where men's egos roamed, there lived a woman, a woman who was not the first, nor the last of a line of women who would ride the River Ride.  Witness this woman's tale.  A story or tragedy, triumphs, and betrayal ...
Cue out movie voice.
Play grainy real to real and action..
I remember the first time I did the Tuesday night River Ride. It must have been in about 1994, before John and I lived in Sacramento. We were in town on business, calling on City Bicycle Works and The Bicycle Business. When we arrived at McClatchy High, I was a bit intimidated looking around at all the pros. John Brady was there, Harvey Nitz, and I think at the time maybe Bobby Julich. Chad, Chuck. I didn't really know anyone at that time. But everyone looked cool, tanned and lean, old jerseys with sleeves cut off for the hot summer weather.
We rolled on down Land Park Dr. I was concerned about hanging on, as I didn't even know the way. On to Freeport, we crossed the bridge, and all hell broke loose! Oh my god, this was fast! Somehow, I clung on for dear life. I remember looking down at my computer after we crossed the dreaded diagonal tracks and swooped through the underpass. 37.5mph. Yikes. This was the limit!
Back up the levee, deeply in distress, yet I managed to maintain contact with a group. I know there were riders up the road. I didn't care who they were. Just get me to the finish with someone so I don't have to find my way back alone! There was the final sprint, and we all coalesced by the time we got to the Tower Bridge. I found John up ahead of me somewhere, and we drifted back to McClatchy with the group.
I got back to San Jose, and reported back to my Alto Velo teammates, "There was this ride! There were all these pros there!! And we were going 37 mph!!! It was intense!!!!"
Soon after, we moved to Sacramento, just a 3 minutes by bike to the start of the south River Ride and 8 minutes to the start of the Saturday ride. While we now ride in the mountains on Tuesdays, I will always have a fond spot in my heart for the infamous McClatchy ride. And it surely helped me win some national championships along the way.

1 comment: