Thursday, January 29, 2009

LeRoy Long--Cyclist in the News Part Two

This is a photo of LeRoy Long(2nd from the left in 1st row)and his cousin Andy Baum (Mamie Reed's son) who was 2nd from the left in the 2nd row. Andy was actually Vivian Maupin Long's first cousin so was a little older than Dad. He and Dad became interested in cycling independently. Dad became involved after being a bicycle delivery boy and Andy began cycling because it was great cross-training for his real love which was speed skating. (One of the Cycling Programs even includes several ads for ice skates.) Andy's wife was of Olympic caliber in speed skating---I'm not sure if she went to the Olympics or if she was supposed to go during the war when the Olympics were canceled. I'm not even sure of her name although a Virginia Baum was an outstanding cyclist in St. Louis in 1940's.

Although I don't think LeRoy Long was a cyclist in this event, Andy Baum was mentioned in the article below. I do know that my dad participated in this race at some time, but here I think he was back-up and possibly a person to help change tires, repair bikes.
This next article is how to repair a bike track with Dad and his friend (they even cycled in Senior Olympics together) Gene Gotsch demonstrating.Although the article identifies the man beside the striped shirt man as "John Long", it's pretty clear it's my dad LeRoy Long.

This was an article about another race. This one is interesting because the men appear to be wearing helmets.LeRoy Long is the one in the center with the "Long nose"--3rd from left. He, too, appears to be wearing a helmet---I remember this helmet well---it was just padded leather strips. When the Senior Olympics required the cyclists to wear helmets, this is the one Dad tried to wear. He did ultimately get a modern bicycle helmet---I'm not sure if Mom or the Senior Olympics Officials made him get it, though.
It's a shame that cycling in the United States isn't as popular as it once was although Missouri has taken several steps to increase interest. First, there's the Katy Trail which my husband and I cycled (we certainly weren't racing!) in 2000 and Tour of Missouri which is an annual race.

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