Thursday, March 26, 2009
Two sweaty superstars
In the '80s at the Interbike (bicycle) trade show, I happened to walk by the Merckx bicycles booth before the show opened. Building the booth was Eddy Merckx himself. The Cannibal had sweated-up his white t-shirt, unpacking bikes and assembling them for the show.
I wrote about seeing him there. I couldn't get over how the greatest cyclist of all time, no contest, was laboring there just as if he hadn't met the Pope or been honored by kings and befriended by luminaries all over the world.
I too had to build a booth at the show in those days, and I hated it. Whatta lotta work. But here was Eddy Merckx, swinging a hammer and building bikes.
If there's an equivalent in motorcycling to Eddy Merckx, it's Mike (The Bike) Hailwood. Here, from Superbike Planet, is a reminiscence by a friend of Hailwood's - on the 28th anniversary of Hailwood's (and his daughter's) deaths in a car accident not long after his retirement.
Read the letter; you'll see why I posted it.
Hailwood image stolen from wonderful site superbikeplanet.com