| August-September 1990:|
Higher and Higher
|August 25, 1990|
I drove through the fog to the top of Mount Spokane early in the
morning. The summit was completely shrouded in heavy fog. It was only myself and a white supremisist (they were all over
Spokane) on the summit of the mighty mountain. We struck up a conversation and when he found
out I was engaged to a Japanese lady, he said the Bible forbid it. He said the Japanese were heathens and that the U.S., white anglo-saxon countries were the new chosen people.
We debated for 30 minutes, quoting Bible passages. I paraphrased mine because I wasn't too well versed in Bible, but I'd been listening to Christian radio a lot by that time. Soon it was over. Spooky...I felt like Jesus tempted by Satan in the desert.
(above)Hours later, Alexi Grewal, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist (with the number one between his legs), led Mike
Engleman up Mount Spokane in the 1990 Washington Trust Classic, a stage race around Spokane. Grewal was the defending champion.
I tried to talk to him before the next day's race but he was puking in an alley,
so I let him have his privacy. Racing can really be very stressful.
The next day I raced the Washington Trust criterium in downtown Spokane with the amateur field. And sure enough, another rider crashed in
front of me, and I lost contact with the speeding pack field, just like a year before in Matsuyama, Japan. But this time I was able to catch up.