[CR] Rebecca Twigg

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Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 00:16:13 -0800
From: "Mark Bulgier" <bulgiest@gmail.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR] Rebecca Twigg


Bob Freeman wrote (about Twigg):
> We were both on the Velocipede team the summer she started racing, 1977
> [snip] We both switched to Rainbow Cycling club in 1980

True, but it leaves out a club she belonged to that's close to my heart, R+E L'Equipe in '79-'80 (my team at the time). She won some Natz gold medals while on our team, and rode on our training rides. Her first words to me were on a training ride: "You have a nice spin -- how long have you been racing?" Needless to say I liked her right away! My wife Laurie (who was at the time not even my girlfriend yet) went to road natz with Rebecca in '79. We felt she was part of our family.

She lived with Kay Henshaw for a while around that time. Kay was also an R+E member, a Masters World Cup gold medalist in cycling and a big influence on Rebecca. Rebecca and I were (briefly) team-mates and riding buddies, and I'd made up my mind to ask her out on a date -- until I found out she was 16 years old! (I was 22 at the time). Kay was very protective of Rebecca. Once at a party I was talking to the two of them, and I said something that I thought was clever but which Kay apparently thought a bit too risqué to say in front of Rebecca, because Kay poured her glass of wine on my head! I wish I could remember what I said, but Rebecca thought it was funny -- or maybe it was just the wine on the head that was funny. Anyway Rebecca must not have thought I was too rude, because she sought me out later at the District (WSBA) awards banquet, sat next to me and chatted with me during the dinner -- in between going up to the dais to receive her awards.

We weren't at all miffed when she switched teams to be coached by Michael Kolin and Denise de la Rosa (co-authors of "The Custom Bicycle", a book well-known to most CR members I think). They were graduates of the Mike Walden school after all. Mike Walden was the coach of Sheila and Roger Young, Sue Novara, Connie Paraskevin and so many other champions and Olympic Team members, and we figured at least some of the Walden magic must have rubbed off on Kolin and de la Rosa. It was obvious by then that Rebecca was destined for greatness, and she needed the best coaching available. We mere mortals on the R+E squad did miss having her on our training rides, but we cheered not a bit less happily when she went on to win those World Championships and Olympic medals.

Mark Bulgier
Seattle, WA
USA