[CR]The Eddy Merckx Experience(long and rambling).

Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2006 18:43:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: dave martinez <dmart84815@yahoo.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]The Eddy Merckx Experience(long and rambling).

Hello All,

Sorry about responding late to the Oak Hill School benefit ride with Eddy. I got to Marin City about 45 minutes before the official start. Lots of cyclists from local teams and other devotees waited and conversed with much anticipation. I met up with Todd Teachout saw Morgan and a fellow Park District employee who at 50 years is a high flying Cat 1 reliving his youth.
    As Morgan had mentioned, there were afew Molteni Merckx and Faema bikes. It was a good day to drag out your Molteni Jersey as quite afew people where wearing them (myself included). The topper was the appearance was a 60s Citroen DS(?) decked out in period TdF Pernod paint scheme and graphics! On the roof rack of the Citroen was a Molteni Merckx, as the car drove up past the devotees the horn sounded and emitted that distinctive Tour de France multi pitched sound, too cool! I asked the Citroen owner about the car. He said its a standard Citroen that he painted to replicate a TdF support vehicle. I told him that I have a 1969 Alfa Romeo Berlina and inquired about the possibilities of painting it Bianchi blue with circa 1969 Bianchi graphics....watch out, the SF Bay Area vintage rides may have team car!
    Eddy showed and was surrounded by his followers. He was patiently changing out a some handle bars while the crowd besieged him with digital cameras clicking away. It reminded of the scene in the movie Hell of the North when he was fussing with his saddle adjustment before the race. As Eddy moved to start the ride, he was standing beside me waiting to take off. I was awestruck, the man is towering and and commanded a real presence. He was on a modern carbon Merckx wearing a synthetic jersey and shorts and me in my Sergal Molteni-Campagnolo wool jersey and 1970 Cinelli.
    Eddy took off and the large group followed. I'm fairly out of shape, so I stayed back of the main group but always keeping them in sight. It was great because we had a motorcycle police escort which stopped all the traffic at the intersections and allow us to speed past. On a descent near an intersection I was beginning to catch the main group, when I hit an expansion joint with my front wheel and immediately got a flat front tire!! I quickly removed the front wheel (those bivalent hubs, yeah) stripped out the tub and had a support vehicle mechanic inflate the tire, now thats service! All I was missing was the push off from the mechanic. The group was long gone and I began a steady lonely climb up a wooded canyon, I went to shift into my 24t low only to misshift, it was getting warm and I stopped to take off my leg warmers. No riders in sight and I continued the climb, the route was vaguely familiar as I had done this on a Bob Freitas ride. I descended into a town and
   began looking for my map/cue sheet which I had stuffed in a jersey pocket. The map must have fallen out. In the distance I saw two female Belgian tourists who were riding route and joined them for afew miles, then I connected with 3 other participants and they sheperded me back to Oak School.
    When I arrived everyone was packing it in, Eddy was long gone.
    From what I understand this may be an annual event as Eddy is a friend of the organiser and supports the cause. I'll send pics to anyone whos interested.
    Dave Martinez
    Fremont Ca
    US of A