Greg Lemond Book

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I have received a ton a stuff from all over the place since I crashed and have been laid up. This has been so nice.  I am constantly amazed how generous people can be.

Yesterday, FedEX showed up and dropped off a couple boxes.  One had a book from Amazon.  It was from my friend, Stacie, from Louisville.  She has been pretty important in this whole episode, starting with flying here as soon as she heard I was in the hospital.

Anyway, in the box was the new book on Greg Lemond,  Yellow Jersey Racer.  I haven’t had a chance to read much yet, but I flipped through the pages and checked it out.  It is a super nice book, with lots and lots of photos I can relate to.

Greg and I go way back.  He is a year younger than me and we both traveled the same path pretty much.  Eddie B. had just been discovered, so the USCF was just getting their program going, which pretty much started with inviting a bunch of juniors to the Olympic Training Center.  I’m not exactly sure how I got that invitation, but that was the first time I met a bunch of guys that I would race with, and against, the next two decades or longer.

It is great that Greg is finally getting his due and is becoming an important part of our cycling history.  He is, by far, the best rider that the US has ever had the pleasure to witness  race bikes. Plus, he’s a nice guy.  Our sport has taken such a crazy path, it all seem surreal sometimes.

Anyway, below is a link to an excerpt that Velonews posted a few days ago.  It happens to be an excerpt from Jeff Bradley, another junior back in those days and another nice guy that I have the pleasure to hang out with nowadays.  Jeff has a house up in Cable, Wisconsin and I see him a few times a year.

The book has a lot of contributions from guys I rode with and call friends.  Guys like Phil Anderson,  Ron Kiefel,  Shelley Verses, Andy Hampsten, and, as I said before, Jeff Bradley. Anyway, if you’re looking for a great way to fill these long winter nights, this book could be the ticket.  You can get it on Amazon, prime, so it could be at your house tomorrow.  Here is a link.Or it is also at Velopress, but 10 bucks more.

Here is a link to the excerpt at Velonews.  

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This is the first picture in the book. I'm sure, Greg got this bike from Michael Fatka. I was sponsored by Michael is this is the first bike I got from him too. Cycling was a very tight community back then.

This is the first picture in the book. I’m sure, I’d bet Greg got this bike from Michael Fatka. I was sponsored by Michael and this is the first bike I got from him too. Cycling was a very tight community back then.

 

I hope you had a chance to see the supermoon. It was amazing.

I hope you had a chance to see the supermoon. It was amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

37 thoughts on “Greg Lemond Book

  1. Danny E

    What kind of helmet is that in the second to last picture? It doesn’t appear as though it would even do anything. Was it mandatory for an event or something?

     
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    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      Danny – You are dating yourself. That helmet that Greg is wearing in the photo is pretty much the only helmet that anyone used to race in back then. It was called a hairnet. I started wearing these helmets.

      I was actually on the USCF board of directors and voted in the hard helmet rule, so it was mandatory hard helmets were used. Bell had the corner on the market, but that was the time of the start of Giro and other lighter hard helmets.

      Personally, I liked wearing a hairnet. I still have mine.

       
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      1. Danny E

        Yep. I didn’t start serious riding until about 1992, when I got my first helmet in 1993. It was blue and teal, and had a weird mesh over exposed white foam. I gave it to a friend of mine when I updated to a Scott helmet in 1994. I wore that helmet when I raced in the Specialized Cactus Cup race in Galena IL. That’s the first time I met both you and Catherine.

        Wait, actually I met Catherine at another race in Ponca Nebraska where she came to a local event and totally blew everybody out of the water — men and women.

         
      2. KrakatoaEastofJava

        That’s a “Brancale” brand hairnet. Best one available in those days.

        It didn’t hurt matters that the owner of Bell Helmets was deep into the inner workings of the USCF back in 1985 when the hard-shell rule was passed (for the ’86 and beyond seasons).

        I didn’t mind the hard-shell rule by itself, but I most certainly minded how convenient it was that the “minimum specs” allowed only a few brands of helmets to be used. And whoa, hey, lookie here! Bell V1-Pros just happen to have made the short list!

        To be able to race a bike in early 1986, one had VERY few options, and all of them were bulky, heavy, hot, expensive and ugly. In the early season, you could choose V1-Pro, Kiwi, Vetta, and not many others. Soon after came Monarch and Giro. Giros were the best, but everyone hated how easy it was for the lycra/mesh outer skin to get dirty, so people just took them off. Of course, with that went Giro’s logo (and brand exposure in media photos). Giro made quick work of that by telling the USCF that the helmet wouldn’t function as advertised if the cover wasn’t on it (and hence came an emergency rule modification). Wanna wear Giro? Gotta have that shitty cover. Of course, Bell then went after its competition with a vengeance. By the middle of the next year, Monarch’s were off the approved list due to the possibility that a “penetrating object” might find its way into the big-ass vent on the sides.

        I’m glad that product development finally brought us to a much better place, but the first 2-3 years of mandatory hardshells absolutely sucked. Those combined with the widespread adoption of cycling sunglasses also meant that it was really hard to tell “who was who” in the peloton.

         
    2. Charles Dostale

      That is a Saavedra helmet, we sold quite a few of those at Michael’s. The Kuchariks were too bulky, and the Cinellis were too thin. Also the Cinellis didn’t have the lengthwise straps interconnected. The Saavedras were patent leather, so looked super sharp. Still have mine.

       
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  2. donkybhoy

    Steve, Kathy LeMond post a few weeks ago to wish you well as she had no other way to contact you.

    In case you missed it.

     
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  3. david gulick

    funny i too was at the OTC camp in April 1980 along with other juniors from the PA area like Bultler and Lettieri. Eddy B was running the camp. had a film crew take movie shots of us in Garden of God (think i still have some photos). as a young kid from farm country, crazy eating at the OTC with all the other athletes. I have been back about 8 times to the OTC and man has it changed EXCEPT for the army barrracks where we stayed; they even have the same pictures on the walls but no more phone booths in the hallway. and the end of the camp, Greg lapped the senior field at the race around where the velodrome is now. think it was called the Cappy race.

     
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    1. Ken

      The race was named for Fred Capicchioni, known to one and all as Fred Cappy. He was a 6-day racer in the 1930s and was the driving force in getting that velodrome built (at Memorial Park). I remember him on the scene back then, in his 70s probably and always smiling. I wonder if Steve remembers him from those days – another of the tight-knit community he spoke of in this post.

       
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      1. Steve Tilford Post author

        Ken – Sure I remember Fred and his wife Mary. They pretty much ran the USCF when the Olympic Training Center started in Colorado Springs. For sure part of the small, tight-knit group of cycling back then.

         
  4. JHP

    A great book about a great guy. I’m dating myself too but can clearly remember him riding Superweek waaay back in the day (for Avocet I believe). Blew me away…

    Bought a copy of the book and it now has pride of place in the man cave TdeF shrine along with a poster of his win on the Champs in ‘89 and which Greg signed. Well, he didn’t exactly sign it – he also wrote a paragraph on it dealing with heart health and training techniques/benefits after learning I’d had some heart surgery. Also have a collectible poster (it is in Japanese and was picked up by a friend in Tokyo!) of his Worlds win at Chambery the same year.

    Glad to see that once again he’s getting the respect he’s long deserved.

     
    Reply
    1. KrakatoaEastofJava

      Palo Alto Bicycle Club (if I’m not mistaken) sponsored by Avocet. Greg was probably the first pro rider to make use of a cyclometer (made by Avocet). And thinking back, really, Greg was THE driving force behind the widespread adoption of SO MANY successful accessories. Oakleys, aero bars, certain shoes, Giro helmets (just to name a few). Greg WAS Avocet back in the 80’s.

       
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  5. 82medici

    I know a lot of guys that raced with hairnets that were literally just strips of leather, no padding at all. I had one (I forget the brand) that was leather, but had padding that was probably an inch thick, probably a bit more in some areas. I buddy of mine crashed wearing one of those, hitting the front of his head. He seemed to come out of it no worse for wear. Fortunately, I never had to test mine.

     
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      1. 82medici

        Yep, that’s it. Good memory.

        I dug mine up last night. The straps are rotten and the rivets holding the ear pieces on have rusted away, but it still fits. Maybe i can find a leather-worker to do some repairs.

         
  6. Jim

    A little off topic but related. Was kind of wondering when Alexi Grewal, Steve Bauer, started making a splash. I remember at the ’86 world championship in Colorado Springs, they almost didn’t let Ned race in the amateur worlds because he was too old! He had to go and thrash on Fignon and Hinault at Mt. Crested Butte and then pettion to get in. Wishing you the best Steve, in your recovery.

     
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    1. John H.

      Jim,

      I was on a composite team with Alexi at the Munsingwear Stage race at Crested Butte. Fignon was there but not Hinault. Alexi won the overall. Alexi was in full swing at that time and anything between1980-1990 was in his prime. Fred Cappi was at many of the races in Colorado during that time as well.

       
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    2. KrakatoaEastofJava

      I saw Alexi take second to Ron Kiefel at senior road nationals in San Diego in 1983, but he was already pretty darn far into being a top-ten rider. I think he won the Morgul-Bismark stage of the Coors 1-2 years before THAT (solo, no doubt. He actually CARRIED his bike across the line as a sort of “fuck you” to his naysayers), so he was most certainly of Greg’s generation.

       
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  7. Bolas Azules

    Correction:

    As for the helmet, all of the cool kids all wore Saavedra’s….and Greg was one of the ‘cool kids.’ that is a Saavedra.

     
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  8. The Cyclist

    Nothing wrong with leather helmets. At least not in a race. As bad as tupperware at saving from concussion, but a lot better coz they were re-usable. You didn’t have to buy a new one after each crash. Looked way better too. Especially with Ray-Bans. Modern plastic crap looks shit with Ray-Bans.

     
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  9. Mark Carey

    Very interesting stuff. I will get the book. I met Cappy once when i visited the velodrome in CoSprgs on a business trip. Being an amatuer trackie i rode as many velodromes i could when i travelled for business. He just happened to be at the track the day i showed up to train. He signed a poster for me that unfortunately i lost in a house fire 5 years ago along with a bunch of my old racing bikes. I unretired from racing last year to race our MN velodrome again before they tear it down in 2019. That will be a sad day. I made it to 2 races then crashed hard training and watched from the sidelines the reay of the season. Doing Fat Bikes this winter in Cable area and hopefully back to the track next summer. Wish LeMond made a track frame.

     
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  10. wallymann

    its good to see you’re feeling better. you may not be aware of it, but your writing and grammar and complexity of thoughts you’re conveying in this post is much more “rich” than it has been at any time since your accident. good on ya!

     
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  11. paul boudreaux

    Hope you had a good day Steve. Love anything you post about LeMond and it was pretty cool to see Kathy LeMond’s message to you last week. It’s pretty clear they value your friendship through the hard times. Seems like lots of “friends” abandoned them when it wasn’t good for business, but not you. You seem like the type of person one would want to “share a foxhole” with. I am sure that is why you have so many people behind you now.

     
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  12. Gen X'er

    We used to Dremel tool the insides out of the V1Pro helmet extra small size to fit when the rules changed in the mid 80’s. Just to minimize their bulky ugly looks.
    Then black magic marker over the evidence to fool the refs.
    We missed our hairnets.Funny how nobody ever hit their heads until we started wearing real helmets.
    After our local boy Jim Gentes invented the Giro helmet seems everyone suddenly had an ” I broke my Giro story”.
    Steve your writing is improving.Stoked for you.I love how you say it like it is. No BS.
    Will you start to wear a helmet on training rides once you’re back on the machine?
    Seeing as how you’ve been given a second chance and all.

     
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  13. darkcloud

    I’m 1/2 way through the LeMond book. Fantastic read. His contemporaries evidently hold him in very high regard.
    I’ve always respected LeMond and think that this book is long over due.

     
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  14. Steve Tilford Post author

    darkcloud – Greg’s peers treated him in high regard because they all recognized his abilities. He was and once in a lifetime bike racer, in my opinion. At least compared to any other rider I’ve had the pleasure to race with.

     
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  15. Charles Dostale

    Michael provided six Raleigh 753 Team Pro frames to Avocet that year, plus a 753 pursuit bike for Leonard Nitz. That track frame was sweet, I don’t remember seeing another 753 track of all the Raleighs that went through the shop. Andy put Campy SR headsets and NR BBs in the frames, I put the “Avocet” letters on the fork blades, boxed them and shipped them. I think SRC got some computers and saddles as part of the deal.

     
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