BMB Permanent 2011

Relive the Magic!

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The Early Years – Pamela Blalock

[This was originally posted on the New England Randonneurs Google Group by Pamela Blalock of Watertown, MA. We were talking about riding audax style and the early BMB years. – Susan]

I did BMB in 1988. 19 people started 12 officially finished. (I was one of the 12!) It wasn’t Audax, but we did all sleep at the same controls (Middlebury, Rouses Point at the AmCan motel, and Ludlow at the hostel.) The final night Jeff Vogel rode past Ludlow intending to ride straight through, but ending up sleeping in a laundry in Brattleboro. There were several groups of two riders each and maybe one larger group. We started each morning at the same time and tended to see other small groups  at controls, but we had a wide enough variety of speeds and goals (and desire to take photos) that the full group could never stay together.

The northeast suffered a heat wave that year that finally broke a day or two after the ride finished. It was 95F during the day and didn’t fall below 70F at night. And it was humid. Sleeping at the Trojan Horse the final night was almost impossible. Each bunk room had one window – no through breeze, and the mattresses had plastic covers. I recall attempting to sleep in a pool of my own sweat and giving up after a few hours, then heading up Terrible Mountain in the wee hours, but still with no relief from the heat.

We had a photographer and reporter from Pontiac magazine who documented that first BMB with story and photos. In addition to reporting on how the cyclists fared, there was an article on how the Pontiac did on the mountain roads!  I still have my copy. I can scan it in if any one wants to see it. As copyrighted material, we probably can’t post it anywhere.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all my 5 of Fleche rides, but even with a small group of 5, it can be difficult to keep a group together and and have everyone happy. Given different goals and speeds, a larger group would need to have a serious commitment and a strong leader to be successful to do this Audax style. Maybe smaller groups could get together like a fleche.

pamela blalock
watertown, ma

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Middlebury, Vermont

Middlebury, Vermont; courtesy John Lee Ellis