Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

5/22/2007

My pump

Filed under: — stan @ 12:55 pm

This is the story of my pump. It was my prize for 4th place in a race on May 22, 1977. It’s not the best pump, but it’s still special, since it reminds me of a very good day. And for 30 years I’ve been using it to pump up my tires before every ride.

The race was the Maryland Road Classic in Baltimore. I was racing as a Junior. The race was a criterium around a school. It was mostly flat, but with one small hill. The distance was about 15 miles. This was one of those races where the pack was, for lack of a better word, lazy. They never really got going very fast. Nobody wanted to push the pace.

I rode with the pack, just staying in the group. I wanted to break away, but it seemed that every time I tried, nobody wanted to come along, so I just dropped back into the pack. Somewhere along the way, three guys managed to get away, and I missed it. So when it came down to about three laps to go, I was still in the pack.

At this point, I decided to just go for it. I took off by myself, hoping that someone would come along. Nobody did, but I figured I’d just try to solo to the finish. This didn’t seem like an especially good idea, but I thought that my chances of making it solo to the finish were better than my chances in a pack sprint at the end. So I just put my head down and went for broke.

As it turned out, I gained enough time on the pack that I was able to solo across the finish line for 4th place. This was a Good Thing, since it meant I was one step closer to my goal of upgrading to Category 2. In those days, for a Junior to get Category 2 required three top-three finishes or six top-six finishes, so 4th place counted. I already had one 1st place finish, so I was on my way.

My prize for this was this pump. And I still have and use it to this day, 30 years later.

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