When I started cycling in 1975, I’d been riding motorcycles for 13 years. In those days, before US TV began broadcasting European races, many American fans were unaware of the role in bike racing played by support motorcycles. I had no idea.
By the mid-‘80s, when the Coors Classic stage race, previously a Colorado event, brought big-time racing to California, I had seen the dozens of motorcycles that accompany high-level races. I dreamed about riding support - on my own motorcycle.
And I had clout, sort-of; I was writing the column in the back of Winning magazine. I had no credentials as a bike-race motor driver but my editor at Winning, Rich Carson, could pull a string or two.
The first year, I followed a stage or two;
I worked Coors Classic stages only in
I carried some of the best cycling photographers in the
By ’87 or ’88, the Coors Classic was no more. A new race back east called the Tour de Trump, sponsored by The Donald, rose from its ashes. I was asked to carry Darcy Kiefel, racer Ron Kiefel’s wife and the official race photographer.
The weather both Trump years was awful, dumping rain day after day. The first year, as I recall, the race started in
In Albany one of the two years, as we prepared for the first stage, my buddy Simon and I rode down a busy urban street. A strange-looking, matte-painted Lamborghini pulled up to the light next to us. It was a super expensive desert car, ugly and low and flat, and Mike Tyson was at the wheel.He wanted to tell us that he thought our motorcycles were cool. We talked to Mike Tyson at maybe four traffic lights, that high-pitched voice unmistakable. Later that day we saw on TV that he'd been arrested for speeding, for doing some ridiculous speed on a city street.
I had the best job in the race, I believe, hauling around lovely, gracious Darcy Kiefel. But the Tour de Trump and my days of carrying race photographers both ended when, in 1991, the Trump race became the Tour du Pont – and I became a Mavic tech support motor driver.