My 16 year old daughter Clementine came down the stairs this morning wearing an old Team Paris Sport embroidered warm up jacket that I got when I started racing in '73. I let her wear it to school... It has a really good repair on the back of the right sleeve that my Mom did after I crashed wearing it.
The crash happened the first time I ever rode on the track. A few guys that I had been training with had gotten track bikes and started racing at The Zigfried Stern Memorial Velodrome in Kissena Park. These guys had been placing regularly in the junior races the previous season. They kept telling me how fun it was and that they thought I could do good. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful Jack Taylor track bike in my size for $200. Man that bike was sweet!
I went to a track work-out to see what it was all about. It was early in the year so we were all in long sleeves. There were 6 of us. We did a long warm-up then lined up for some group sprints. I must have been pretty motivated because I won the first 4 of 5 planned sprints. When we jumped for the last one I just couldn't get going. I was cooked from the previous efforts and crossed the line at the back of the bunch... good thing too because the next thing it did was take my hands off the bars, sit up and stop pedaling... At about 30 mph. Luckily I escaped with just road rash; but man it was from head to toe... And deep. It oozed for days and days.
It took a while before I went back to Kissena but I did... And I turned out that I was much better on the track then the road. I raced there until Clementine was born in 1987. I showed her where my mother had fixed the right sleeve.. "That is cool Dad! Here comes the bus. Have a great day."
Jamie Swan - Northport, N.Y.