May 9: Old Forge to Boonville, NY - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

May 9: Old Forge to Boonville, NY

THE PROBLEM WAS that we had a short riding day but a need to be 25 miles away in Boonville in time for lunch. For we had another reunion ahead of us, and one that went a great deal further back than four years.

Ed Pavelka used to edit Velo-news. We're talking now of the end of the 1970s, when the magazine was on newsprint, appeared every two weeks and went to all holders of an American racing licence. I forget now how it came about but I became the paper's European correspondent, writing from Belgium, where I lived. Belgium still had Eddy Merckx and anyone who simply lived in the same country as the Great Ted was good enough for the Great Ed.

Ed Pavelka: I merely breathed the same air as Eddy Merckx and he swooned
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In 1979 I went to Tucson, in Arizona in the south of the USA, to help a team of Belgian women ride a stage race. It was organised by a curious white-haired woman who drove a bright red pickup with what appeared to be a dead man beside her. The man was her husband and he was never seen to breathe, still less move. The woman's name was K. K. Hall, which must have been of great amusement to Josianne Bost, the world champion, and the rest of the French team because K.K. in French is pronounced ka-ka and ka-ka is French slang for, er, excrement.

It was at that race that I first met Ed. In fact that was the only time that he and I have met. Life has changed for us both and he had the ill grace to tell me I had turned into my father. But I'm not going to let three decades of friendship get in the way of that...

Ed went on to edit Bicycling, the world's largest cycling magazine, and when that became too biased towards mountain-bike riders, as he saw it, he started a weekly e-mail newsletter called Which is free and which I heartily recommend.

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I would like to say that I was all in favour of ignoring the sight and sound of people trudging through snow to unfreeze the locks to their cars but even my semi-detached relationship to fact - I was, after all, a journalist - won't allow it. So Karla and Richard came to our help once more and, Boonville being on their way to the interstate network and distant Maryland, they drove us the white-coated 40 kilometres. In time I will come to boast that I rode the width of the USA. In fact, it will be without those two hours in the saddle. But only you and I know that, and you are far too nice to split on me...

The "historic" hotel in Boonville (19th century)...
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...for the subtlety of its notices.
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