Thirty-Six Years

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December 2001

An intense year of racing and riding had given me my first gold medal in a state competition (first in Virginia and second in Maryland state). It might seem small, but I knew that for one year, I was the best in my class. I'd been racing for 13 years and I just wanted to be able to say that once.

I'd ridden nine rides of 100 miles or more, dominated every club ride, had guys begging me to join their teams and put in more mileage than in any year since 1986. 2001 was a special gift from God. I felt great but the year had been another lonely one. The competition made it all worthwhile. For the first time in years, I felt young, although lonely. I was looking forward to keeping my energy level up into 2002, but it wasn't to be. In four days I'd be leaving for a fun-packed 2 1/2 months in Germany! Unfortunately I couldn't bring my bicycle and was heading into a tumultuous 2002. At this point I didn't know I smiled as my friend and subordinate, Scott, shot this picture of me at work.

Mr. Horsey sees his shadow and goes back inside for another 36 years