Americane, DAY 1: The rain storms rolled through with authority, which delayed the arrival of some, and the start of events, but soon enough the skies were clear, the track was dry, and the first annual Americane' Vintage Track and Road Bike Festival was underway. We have been reminded that both the Cirque du Cyclisme and RAGBRAI, among other giants on the bicycle event calendar, started small and quaint ... as did we, with only a select handful of vendors, displays, and riders. Still, we had some respectable guests, including Alan Bernstein of New York City and family, with his local nephew who rode the track for the first time with aplomb, Paul Lewis, wife and friends from Marietta Ohio, Matt Churches from Ann Arbor, and Larry Tesch from Saginaw ... he's the person that supplied us with what became our event flyer photo ... thanks Larry. List member Gene Diggs, a regular fixture at the track, was there and is always fun to hang out with. Tom O'Rourke came up through the Wolverine ranks, and competed in cycling the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. Tom began racing again a few years ago, and was there for "photo ops" and to sign autographs. Some of the steel to be ogled was as follows, in no specific order:
'42 Urago with pedigree, now restored, but also seen original in our event photo, taken in 1943. '74 Masi California G.C. pantographed, with special Mario-like frame touches. '60s Cinelli track tandem with skip-tooth gears. At least I think it is a '60s bike. '77 Raleigh Professional in wonderfully unrestored and original condition. '83 Basso Pista with Record Pista gruppo. '80 Moser with Super Record, built by Bottecchia. '74 Piemme Pista with Record Pista gruppo including milled cranks. '89 Battaglin TT bike with curved down/sloping top tube. '77 Poggiali Tour De Suisse, made by the same hands as Montelatici frames. 1890-1910 Pelham Track bike. '65 Schwinn Paramount Track, full chrome, with skip-tooth gears. '61 Schwinn Paramount Road, refinished in '70s Team Schwinn silver livery. '55 Torpado Corsa with early Gran Sport. '60 Torpado Sport Tourer with early Gian Robert gears and Simplex rod-shift front der. '74 Torpado Pista, from Montreal when the Track Worlds were there. '84 Torpado Superlight with Super Record.
There may have been some others, but this is what was registered. Some people showed bikes, some swapped, some bought and sold, some rode track, and some watched and cheered others on. The rain never showed again, and the weather remained sunny and hot. Soon, the day was nearing its end, as cyclists in modern gear, on modern track bikes began to be seen warming up for the official racing that evening. Some of the core crew made it to a local restaurant/pub in downtown Rochester for dinner and beers. A good day was had by all. Following the official track racing, We had the opportunity to go over to one of the track VIP's home for food and bike movies, but only Tim had enough energy and gumption to say yes to the offer. The highlight of the day, for me, was the Cinelli track tandem that some of us had the chance to ride stoker on ... what a blast! End of day one...
Americane DAY 2: Sunday saw expectations for an early start of the time trial event at Stony Creek Metro Park, but once again, unexpected delays were to be had. When we arrived starting at 8 am, our selected and park approved area, already had a HUGE conglomeration and constant flow of people participating in some sort of obstacle course charity event, blocking, crossing over, and routing right through our time trial path ... and I mean likely over 1000 people! After coming to grips with the fact that holding our time trial there as planned, would be impossible, those in attendance decided to do the road ride around the park first, instead of AFTER the TT event conclusion.
The road ride was very nice, with a couple of people kicking it up a couple of times, and a couple of smooth and steady riders bringing up the rear. Soon we were back at the TT location, when the bulk of "Nutty Buddies", as the charity event people were called, had moved out and were gone. But, still too many stragglers and cars remained. So, we relocated to the next parking lot down the way, added on an extra lap of the course to (try to) make up for the locale change, and our time trial was underway. Tom Cox and Clyde Esbri handled time keeping, while five cyclists competed, starting in the following order, and with finish times:
Mark Agree (84 Torpado Superlight) - 23min54sec Todd Schaefer (75 Colnago Super) - 24:36 Tim Potter (80 Moser) - 22:17 Dennis White (86 Batavus) - 23:42 Chuck Wicht (77 Raleigh Pro) - 28:19
The course was an out and back, with cul-de-sac turnarounds at each end. Out was predominantly up hill, with one climb almost at the turnaround point, that turned into a real leg killer after several laps. Kind of felt like a miniature version of the Fle`che Wallonne (if that's the European professional race with the difficult climb thrown in lap after lap .. the Mur de Huy, or something like that). A simple wristwatch was used for time-keeping, as riders were released in one minute intervals. The distance covered, much to our surprise, ended up being only 7.68 miles for the one rider who had a computer mounted. Chuck, the last starter, missed the road ride, never got in a warm up lap, and got stuck behind a slow and indecisive truck at a sticky area. This prevented him from going around the truck, and thus a good deal of time was lost there. Our head organizer Tim Potter was the powerhouse of the day, shattering the next closest competitor's time by one minute, twenty five seconds. His average speed was round-a-bout (as Paul Sherwin would say) 21 mph. My injured shoulder was giving no complaint, so I went ahead and gave it my best, which netted me third place, and a spot on the podium.
We were lucky enough to have the group of four from Marietta, Ohio come out again, specifically to watch the TT event, and they cheered us on wonderfully ... thanks so much for that, Paul and company!!!
Following the conclusion of the TT and tabulation of results, the tired souls remaining, went for a nice sit down at a local family restaurant, after which, most went home. Tim Potter still had tables at the track, and went back to collect them, where he met up with even more people, and got a look at a Serotta built Murray, 711 team bike that just recently had a front end impact, and came away with folded forks.
The assistance of folks who came out special, regular track marshals, and the use of the track & infield, was very much appreciated. We already have ideas for streamlining next year, and hope it will turn into an annual event, as the name this year implied.
Link to photos posted by Tim Potter:
Or, TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/
Link to photos taken by Aaron Gonya, a visitor from day one:
And I too have a large bunch of pics from both days to post, including more views than needed of the orange Cinelli tandem, but with Wool Jersey down, I'm going to have to send them to Tim for posting, and will send a link to the CR list soon.
Ciao, Mark Agree Southfield MI USA
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