A-D Racing: From Battenkill to Denmark

A-D Bikes is a manifestation of a professional dream to own and mange my own company. It is also a manifestation of a youthful dream to ride and race for the Austro-Daimler Cycling team, which was a team racing around the Northeast in the 80s. Indeed, the team was managed by Doug Dale and included national champion Andrew Weaver among others;  I am pleased to have met and become friends with Doug and Andrew sine the beginning of the A-D Restoration. Anyway, the clearest memory of the time was wanting desperately to have an Austro-Daimler jersey to match my Superleicht; it seemed so far out of reach compared today. There was no Internet for conducting a quick search and jerseys were hard to produce. Bike shops as far as I can remember did not have branded apparel hanging around.

Thirty years later here I am on the a modern version of the bike I raced when I was sixteen and racing for A-D Racing, an official USA Cycling Club and team, and the modern incarnation of the Austro-Daimler Cycling Team. I may be its only active member, but I finally made the team!  Even more remarkable is the ease with which  an entire line of kit has been produced: jerseys, jackets, vests, winter wear, hats gloves even arm warmers. All of this seemed so far out of reach not long ago.

I have not raced that much this year compared to previous years, but that has been part of the plan and it has been nice. The goal has been to remain fresh, motivated and healthy so that I can take on the events that I like and to have the extra time that I need to run the company, be Present and to train. But the races I have managed so far have been successful and satisfying for me. The Tour of the Battenkill (Category 2) was the first race of the year. I was in the break right from the beginning and felt great right up to the big climbs at the end. Even then, finishing the race in seventh place after some very strong riders was a fine accomplishment and very satisfying. I always focus on recalling the golden moments of each race and this year’s Battenkill had many (including this image of me with Eliot Pitney and Jesse Stuaffer) way up the road, complete with wheel van. I confess that I knew the photographer was going to be at the top of Meeting House Hill so I did put on a bit of a race face.

Thomas, Pitney and Stauffer in the break at Tour of the Battenkill

Thomas, Pitney and Stauffer in the break at Tour of the Battenkill

 

Masters World Champion and old friend Bruce Bird has been encouraging me to race at the UCI World Cycling Tour in Blue Mountain, Ontario for many years now. I finally took him up on the idea. Much to my surprise I ended up qualifying for the UCI Amateur World Championships by finishing second in the time trial and first in the road race. The world championships are going to be held in Denmark in September (not Denmark, Maine just to be clear). This development has been highly satisfying as it creates the opportunity to bring A-D Racing and the bikes to a new European market and it has created a clear and inspiring goal for the rest of the year. Indeed, I have started a ten week training program that will hopefully allow me to “peak” around September.  Standby for a post titled Ten Weeks to Denmark (#Ten2Den).

The funny thing about dreams is that they are always based a bit on fact and reality. Thus it should not be a surprise when some form of the dream actually comes true. But it is a surprise to many when Dreams Do Come True and I suppose it is in my case too: I never expected to be competing at this level; I never expected to be On the Team with the Kit and to own and run the company too; I never expected that I would be racing the bike I raced as a sixteen year old and taking it to the Amateur World Championships in Denmark of all places. But that is what is happening and so I am going to embrace it.

Outbound on the time trial course in Blue Mountain

 

Denmark beckons

Denmark beckons

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