I get questions all the time why I’m still racing bikes. People that understand the whole sport, and lifestyle, aren’t the people asking. I get so many things from the sport, the bike riding is only a small part. One of the best things is the people I’ve met through the years. I’ve known many of these people since I was a young teenager and they might not still race, but they are as passionate about cycling, probably more passionate, than me.
One of those people is my friend, Mark Winkelman. Mark and I went to high school together at Topeka High. He and I both got into the sport right about the same time, at least the competitive side of the sport. I won the Kansas Intermediate State Championships and Mark was 2nd. He rode the BAK, Bike Across Kansas, when he was 15 years old. And he is going to be riding it again this year.
Mark now lives down near Dallas, and the last couple times I’ve been down there, Mark has gone out of his way and came to see me. When I was racing the Matrix Challenge on Easter, Mark and his wife came by to watch the race. I had a chance to stop by Mark’s home and see his new addition, an upstairs attic remodel, to house his bicycle collection.
He has been collecting stuff for quite a while. He mainly collects 70’s road bikes, all Campagnolo of course. He has the first Masi and Motobecane he rode as a kid. Now he has at least one of every bike he admired as a kid. Schwinn Paramounts, Raleigh 753’s, Motobecane’s Team Champions, lots of Colnagos and Masi’s. He brings them back to concourse condition and knows virtually every single bit of information on each.
Mark also got into collecting, and trading, Mustangs and Shelby Cobras. He has owned and sold quite a few of each, dozens, and now has a beautiful ’69 Mustang GT 500 as his keeper.
Anyway, like I said above, Mark is going to be doing the ride across Kansas next month. I hope I’m in town and can go out and ride a day or two with him. Guys like Mark are the core of our sport. They are the people that keep it in correct historical perspective and have the life long passion that it takes. I’ve been very lucky meeting many of these people throughout my life. I cherish them.
Below are just a few photos from Dallas.