View Full Version : Found one of my old Cycling Teams.

Joe (SoCal)
04-23-2006, 10:32 PM
The Shopping for a new iron horse thread got me Googeling my old teams. One of my first teams was the Somerset Wheelman


I don't know how it came to be but Somerville NJ was a hotbed of cycling in America. The Tour of Somerville http://www.tourofsomerville.org/ The "Kentucky Derby of Cycling" the Memorial Day Classic Tour of Somerville was begun in 1940 by Hall of Famer Pop Kulger and has continued as one of the most prestigious races in the country. The national record for 50 miles has been set at Somerville eleven times with winners coming from ten states and New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Belgium. Run every Memorial Day on the streets of Somerville, the "Tour" continues to be among the most popular and competitive races in the country

Looking back at the glory days, and being coached by the best coach Joe Sailing. I'm old enough now to have been fortunate to have known Fred "Pops" Kugler and to have raced with some of the best Americans cyclist of my generation. John Allis, Allen Bell, Jack Simes III, GREG LeMOND, Jeff Pierce, Eric & Beth Heiden, Dale & Wayne, Stetina, Davis Phinney, Andy Hampsten all of whom passed through Somerville and on to greatness.

The wheelman taught me to, compete and meet people from all walks of life, the club made me understand and uphold the same goals that Fred "Pop" Kugler first envisioned: promoting fitness, health, self confidence, recognition, positive community visibility, and winning. I have took these lessons with me throughout my life.

Phil Heffernan
04-23-2006, 10:43 PM
The great thing about bicycling, is the engine is Yourself...Always have respected great bicyclists...


Joe (SoCal)
04-23-2006, 10:58 PM
Hey Phil you wanna see a slice of Americana like you have not seen since Norman Rockwell illustrated the Saturday Evening Post ? What do ya say come with me down to Somerville, NJ this memorial day. Big ol BBQ, parade, italian Ice, and some of the best bike race through a small town you have ever seen. Feel the WHOOSH of 100 hammerhead guys going 40+ MPH on their own engine mm from one another.



Phil Heffernan
04-23-2006, 11:02 PM

except I'll be in Tennessee for the Destination Imagination Globals...



04-24-2006, 03:09 AM
One of the best local races I saw/raced was at Fort Baker, just below the northern side of the G.G. Bridge. I raced in the 3/4 race then watched the 1/2 race. I think it was '78 or '79. George Mount and younger local hero lapped the pack halfway through the race. It was one of those moments where you saw the difference between national and local champions.

this was my club,,I was in the ozone years of '78-'85

Wild Wassa
04-24-2006, 03:15 AM
I like the puhies ... but I don't like the poncies. The triathletes, the pretend athletes on their pretentious Avantis.

If you know a triathlete, you will know exactly what I mean. They challenge sailors for being ... the chosen ones.

If you cycle and sail ... you could be it, be very careful Sportsmen.

I would like to ride my bike to the yacht club ... but there is no way, because I could be mistaken for a poncy triathlete!

When I work on the boats at the Yacht Club, often the boats are close to the cycle track (Canberra has amazing cycle tracks, do a Google) . The real racers train on the road, like true warriors should. The triathletes train on the cycle paths (scared of the roads like the wooses that they are) and they talk to themselves. I can hear the mad men coming from hundreds of metres away ... telling themselves what super athletes that they aren't.

If the poncies want to learn to ride ... they sould get real and join racing clubs but they know they would get their arses kicked from here to Christmas.


Bob Myers
04-24-2006, 08:44 AM
One of the best local races I saw/raced was at Fort Baker, just below the northern side of the G.G. Bridge. I raced in the 3/4 race then watched the 1/2 race. I think it was '78 or '79. George Mount and younger local hero lapped the pack halfway through the race. It was one of those moments where you saw the difference between national and local champions.

this was my club,,I was in the ozone years of '78-'85

LeeG.....Did you ever ride with the group that went through Tilden Park in the morning? Back then I was running a lot, often times a large group from Berkeley would pass me on my morning run. When I had to give up running, I switched to a bike. When I got off duty at the fire dept., I would ride Grizzley Peak, the park, through Canyon and sometimes the three bears. It was a great place to ride.

04-24-2006, 08:52 AM
I used to bike a lot. Mostly in Europe.
I have been a bit leary of bicycling in this country. Have had two friends killed; one the mother of a good friend of mine and the other was 1/2 of the " Burt and I " duo. His was a hit and run.
Also have had a friend seriously injuried by a swinging hay wagon. Has some great scars from hitting a guardrail.
Most of us, over thirty, had bikes before we got our drivers' licenses. Now it seems that kids go through phases. Until they are ten or twelve, when nothing can hurt them, they have bikes and often do crazy things. Around thirteen, they give up bikes and dream of driving cars. The lose that experience gained from being on a bike.
There is nothing worse than a car blaring its horn as it goes around you.
Even with a mirror on the helmet, that noise, right next to your left ear is frightening.
Bikes are moving vehicles but they are not treated as such.
On the other side, bicyclists have to realize that they too are moving vehicles and need to obey they laws of the road. Wooops, was that a stop sign.

04-24-2006, 09:46 AM
Bob, yeah,,,wait,,did you know Mark Caldwell or Norm Kris?

Gavin Chilcott, that's the guy, he and George Mount did a number on the pack in that race.

Bob Myers
04-24-2006, 10:12 AM
Lee....No, I really didn't know those guys. I knew a couple of guys from the Richmond Fire Dept. that raced. I went over to Petaluma one morning to ride with thier group. We rode out by the coast and they worked me pretty hard, but the breakfast afterwards was good. For several years after I moved up here, I would do a 10 mile time trial with a local club on wednesday evenings. After not having them for a few years, they started them back up last summer. I rode a couple of them and couldn't believe how much slower I was. I headed out for a long ride today.

04-24-2006, 10:39 AM
you were in the Richmond FD?,,those other two were Berkeley Firefighters who raced.
Marin/Sonoma is great.

Bob Myers
04-24-2006, 11:00 AM
I was with the El Cerrito Fire Dept. and retired after 28 years. After a number of years of running, I was forced to give it up and hopped on a bike. I competed several times in the firefighters olympics in track and field, and was fairly successful. I rode one time in the firefighters olympics and was suprised at the caliber of riders there. It seemed the over 40 guys, the group I was in, was faster than the younger guys.

04-25-2006, 07:17 AM
JTA, in explosive sprints taking flyers off someones draft before lactic acid takes over high speeds are attainable by the super fit but not for long. It doesn't take much of a downhill for a rotating pace line refreshing the lead to attain 40mph at the sprint. Once the hill gets into 6% declines the speeds get scary fast.
I don't know the Georgia course but the hp required to maintain 27mph is significantly greater than 24mph. I was in a race where I had to maintain a solo effort of around 24mph for twenty minutes,,and the pack gobbled me up and spat me out 1000' before the finish.
There are a lot of people who can develop the heart/lungs/muscle to maintain a high aerobic effort in a time trial but the number who can develop repeated anaerobic efforts AND the high aerobic effort in a racing context get smaller and smaller,,and defines base fitness for racing.
I remember seeing Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrongs coach) in a race around Lake Merritt in Oakland. He was part of a breakaway of six riders going clockwise around the lake, they were on a slight s curve at the crest of a very slight rise before the descent,,all of 3' over 300'. These guys were in flight,,making time on the pack before the pack hit the tight turn a couple hundred yards behind them. If there was a place for this breakaway to make a good lead this was IT. As they crossed the lanes of the s in the middle of the rise they were stretched out a bit much,,three in front holding a decent rotation and Carmichael caught behind a guy who wasn't closing the gap well,,then it hit,,afterburners,,understand this group was FLYING,,I don't know the speed but it was certainly above 30mph,,and Carmichael gathered up about 100' of pavement and made it dissapear as he came around from 50' back and was now 50' ahead of those three. It took all of three seconds to see this happen but it was awesome. Even though the arc of the s-curve was slight the speed and the line he took was like seeing a motorcylclist taking a turn at 100mph through 60mph highway traffic.
Not normal.

George Roberts
04-25-2006, 08:44 AM
JTA ---

The pros are different from you and I (and from Joe also).

04-25-2006, 09:30 AM
Ain't that the truth. Most of us don't bicycle around on $40,00.00
bikes.. :)
In the seventies and eighties, I had a trek touring bike. Not that expensive ( well I thought it was ). Say 700.00.
I put a lot of miles on it. Did a lot of centuries fully packed throughout Europe.
Best day 162 miles. Luckily, the sun was up until almost midnight!

George Roberts
04-25-2006, 10:33 AM
uncas ---

Unfortunately I also remember the good old days when I was strong.

04-25-2006, 10:34 AM
George Again, truth hurts!
Those were the days when I didn't think about creaking knees etc.
I thought nothing about 80 mile days( in the rain ) in the Scottish Highalnds with a full load of clothes, a sleeping bag, cooking gear.

04-26-2006, 07:51 PM
Where did you live when you were down that way, Joe? I spent most of my life in the area, and stop in the Hall of Fame whenever I get the chance. Does seem odd that Somerville of all places should be such a hotbed of bicycle racing. Why is that?