Saturday, May 19, 2012


 In 1961, four Junior High School kids in Modesto, California purchased newly popular 10-speed bikes, began riding together, and formed a bicycle club named The Modesto Roadmen.  I was one of those kids and rode with the Roadmen through High School.  We rode, we toured, we raced in Amateur Bicycle League of America-sanctioned races, and we acquired new members.  A hundred or so miles through the Sierra Nevada foothills was the usual weekend ride and once a year we would do a week long tour of the mountain passes over these same mountains.

Modesto Roadmen, 1966
When I left Modesto to go to college, I joined the Berkeley Wheelmen and continued racing.  When I started Graduate School, my biking decreased dramatically and became much more erratic, though I did manage a ride from Boston, Massachusetts to Montreal, Quebec to visit my then girlfriend, now wife of 37 years.  As my career advanced, my bicycling decreased, until, by 1980, it was virtually non-existent.  In 2008, 60 pounds heavier with high blood pressure and the fitness of a couch potato, determined to remove the barriers that were keeping me from riding, I took my 60's era Bianchi Specialissima out of the garage and into one of the fine local bike shops in Houston, Texas and had them overhaul it at a cost roughly four times what it had originally cost.  The bike shop assured me that the restoration was worth every penny, that I had a valuable antique, the envy of the cycling community.

My Bianchi, 2008

I rode my bike home from the bike shop, a distance of 5 miles, and arrived home covered in sweat and with aching legs.  However, both my enthusiasm and curiosity had been aroused and I kept riding and reading, trying to figure out what had happened to this sport I had loved and how I could rejoin it.  As I learned about contemporary cycling, I purchased a new bicycle, a Surly Crosscheck, discovered the sport of randonneering, and in 2012, less than four years later, I completed a 200 kilometer brevet ride.  Thus the title of this blog; the cyclist who returns from the dead, the zombie cyclist.

I was inspired to write this blog to organize and preserve my thoughts and experiences in this part of my life, to document my view of modern cycling from a 40 year vantage point, and to record my experience of a man in his 60's trying to regain enough fitness to return to active cycling.  I will post to this blog once a week.

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