Return of the Bostisaurus

Your Humble Narrator, failing to distinguish himself
in a time trial at Alamosa. Photo: Casey B. Gibson

The USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships kick off this morning with time trials on the west side of town, and the prodigal — fabled powerhouse Kent Bostick — has returned to the Greater Duke City Metropolitan Area to see whether he can carve another notch in his top tube.

Back in the Day® I raced in the same age group as Bostick, but not in the same class. Dude was 10 minutes — yes, that’s 10 minutes — faster than me over 40km at the famous Moriarty-Estancia course southeast of here. He still holds a few national records, though John Frey pipped him for the 40km with an astounding 47:35:37 at Moriarty in 1990.

These days Bostick apparently hangs his helmet in Knoxville, Tenn. But back then he was a groundwater hydrologist who lived in Corrales and commuted by bicycle to his gig in Albuquerque because he liked to log a lot of miles. A lot of miles.

Bostick and Frey both raced for Team Shaklee, and the Bostisaurus finally made it to the 1996 Olympics at the ripe old age of 43, if memory serves. He’s been racing national championships since 1977, when I was pedaling a Schwinn Varsity around Greeley in various outlandish and illegal states of consciousness.

There will be a few other fast old dudes out there today. Norm Alvis is one — he raced for 7-Eleven and Saturn, did the team time trial at the 1998 Olympics, set a U.S. hour record that stood for a couple decades, and tackled the Tour and the Giro — and framebuilder Rich Gängl is another. Shannon Fox flogged me more than once in cyclocrosses back in Colorado.

I still have a time-trial bike, but my legs seem to have gone walkabout along with my racing license, so the bike will stay on its hook in the garage. They’d be timing me with a calendar.

• Late update: Boy, if you’re not using the social media, USA Cycling makes it hard to find a basic race report and results. I finally had to back-door the thing through BRAIN’s Twitter feed. Here’s the news from yesterday’s ITT.

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27 Responses to “Return of the Bostisaurus”

  1. SAO' Says:

    My brother tells that same joke. He’s a marathon hobbyist, 3:00 PR, better than 98% of us but miles and hours away from the pros. And he’ll see a name from the past and always say, “Check it out, me and So-and-So are still in the same age group.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That was one of the things I liked about bike racing. You could get these apples-to-apples comparisons. Ain’t nowhere to hide on a flat 40km ITT course.

      I remember climbing the Wall a time or two at the Morgul-Bismark, and then watching the pros do it. Hoo-boy. “Maybe next life, son,” I’d think. “Assuming you make it back as a human, which seems unlikely.”

    • JD Says:

      Ha! I ran track Back in The Day. Was a 1:51 800 meter kind of guy and thought I was pretty good. Until I ran against the 1:47 type runners and was about 30 meters behind at the finish and they were still pulling away “effortlessly”.
      Humble Pie time!! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Nothing like a big ol’ slice of that pie, hey? There was this kid swam distance for the AFA high school when I was on the Mitchell team. Didn’t even look athletic. But he was murder in the water, and would be on the deck drying off by the time I finished. I’d climb out of the pool and my jaw would follow a few minutes later.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I wonder if my friend Bill Meyers will be coming down from Golden, CO. He is a former national champion, as was his brother.

  3. carl duellman Says:

    at least you look fast. that’s all that matters.

  4. Shawn Says:

    I don’t see my name on the list. Huh, I wonder what happened? Oh, now I see. That’s the “regular” championships, not the carrying the bag of live snakes and goblet of wine race. I always do well then. Except for the year they substituted beer for the wine. I was DQ’d for refreshing my gullet before the start.

    If appears that you were a praying mantis before it was common to do so and before specific bar height was limited. The Descente skin suit is nice. It must have cost you a paycheck or two back then. Were you riding with a macho 54 or 55 ring, or were you on one of those lil’ 53’s? You know, because everybody knows bigger is faster.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I scored the skinsuit for freesies, the industry at the time being only too happy to throw free product at any old pootbutt freelancer. It was tighter than a bull’s ass in fly time. Raised my voice an octave.

      And that was my road bike at the time, albeit with the homemade bullhorns, a radially laced/bladed 18-spoke front wheel (Campy Record hub), and a hand-me-down Team Crest Mavic Comete disc from the Denver Spoke (sewups, natch). So I must’ve been rocking the 53/39T up front and for sure a 7-speed 12-19 Dura-Ace in back.

  5. S little Says:

    Yes, a calendar. 60 years past the time I merited a stopwatch. Either on foot or on wheels,

  6. Tony Geller Says:

    Not the start list, but registrants for all events. I was out at the TT start for the 40 km riders. Things seemed to be running smoothly, but there was a pretty good NE wind blowing.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Tony. Any cool bikes out there? I’ve seen quite a few people on tri/TT bikes cruising Tramway lately.

      The air looked a little extra-crunchy out that way this morning, too.

      • asgelle Says:

        Many cool bikes. Lots of money on all that equipment. I thought it notable how large a percentage were on Cervelos. Also, for the 40 km, everyone was on a dedicated purpose built TT bike. No clip-ons for this group.

  7. debby511 Says:

    Ah, reminds me of my racing days way back in the 1990s. I was never more than a mediocre TT rider though, never could break the hour in a 40K TT. I had a good sprint. I did well in those industrial park crits. Also on short punchy climbs. Long grinding climbs, not so much. One year I raced Mt Evans and everyone else finished like an hour ahead of me. Those big climbing races were the ones that really caught my interest, but I just couldn’t do them well.

    Oddly, in XC mtn bike racing I did have a competitive climb (in the Novice class anyway) but I did not like flying down those rocky descents. The riders I dropped on the climbs would fly by me like I was standing still on the downhills.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I didn’t break the hour until 1989, at the Record Challenge in Moriarty (59:21). In 1990 I managed 57:45 at the state championships, and later that year at the Record Challenge I nibbled it down a little more to 56:47.

      In ’91 I hit a personal best of 56:43, and that was as good as it got for me. I won a couple short TTs in New Mexico and Colorado, but the big dogs mostly weren’t barking at those races.

      I sucked at crits. Just awful. No faith in momentum and adhesion. Terrible downhiller on the MTB, too. Like you, every place I gained in a climb I lost on the descent.

  8. Dale Says:

    I remember watching the 2015 Worlds in Richmond, VA. There was a hill – 23rd street as I recall – that was around half a mile, but was 10% all the way up.
    My legs hurt just watching.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    I still have a set of clip-ons hanging in the garage from Back in the Day. That’s as close as I get to racing any more. My one first place in a USCF race was the Makaha TT back in the ’90’s. I rode in a driving wind and rainstorm in a February race and no one else in my age group of fortysomethings showed up. Wankers.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I still have some clip-ons hanging on a bike hanging in the garage. At present it has the Zipp deep-section clinchers front and rear. What a pain in the ass those valve extenders are. The clip-ons likewise. A dedicated cockpit is the way to go, if you’re flexible in the back and the wallet pocket.

      Steelman time trial bike

      Click here for a larger image.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I’ve got a set of those Shimano paired spoke wheels for the CAAD-5. You need a crowbar, silicone or soap spray, muscles like a linebacker, and enough curse words to make a boatswain’s mate faint to mount the tires. I think the shop up in Boulder that sold them to me laughed like hell as soon as I walked out the door.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I was able to manhandle some fat Conti rubber onto those things and use them on the flat-bar Voodoo Wazoo, which these days is my “mountain bike.” I’m not looking forward to field-repairing a puncture, though, so I’m revisiting that wheel choice.

      • psobrienPat O'Brien Says:

        I look at that head tube and seat tube and say, “No thanks mi amigo.” A chiro short on business designed that thing.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        It reminds me very much of the old Masi time-trial bikes from waaaaay Back in the Day®. Fun to ride, but you gotta practice. These things will bite you if you lose focus. It’s my little red convertible, is what.

  10. Pat O'Brien Says:

    PS: Do you still have that chrome lugged Specialized frame? Now that really caught my eye.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No, I broke the first one T-boning a Suburban outside Tesuque, and sold its replacement after we moved to B-burg, I think. It was a cool bike, one of the early carbon deals. Carbon tubes glued to aluminum lugs.

      Trek got there first, I think. I remember seeing a late-Eighties Trek 2500 on the wall at the Denver Spoke and being appalled at the price.

      “Who buys these things?” I asked Dong Ngo, the Spoke’s legendary salesman.

      “Bud, you wouldn’t believe who buys these things,” he grumbled.

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