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Mark Tyson Remembers

Mr. Tyson is a founding father of the Maumee Valley Wheelmen. His signature can be seen on the Club's Articles of Incorporation.  Thirty-five years ago Mark and friends developed a club devoted to local bike racing and touring. That club vigorously survives today, and it is focused on racing--whether for fun or for serious competition.

Mark Tyson coaches elite road and track cyclists in Colorado Springs, and he can be found at the Colorado Springs Velodrome Association.

Dear MVW Members;

Dave Barnes has suggested that perhaps it was my turn to reminisce. Well, here goes.  The club was originally founded in 1968 as Wheels, Inc.  Sort of a dorky name, but it was a bunch of young guys from BG…what more can I say.  The original members were Vic Parisian, Denny Petee. Marty Berlin and yours truly.  By 1970  there were a number of very involved AYH members from Toledo and Perrysburg who were getting into racing.  Those folks and Gary Dauer, joined with what was left of Wheels, Inc. (moi) and formed the MVW using the old club registration.  OK, so ancient history huh?  Well, if you do the math, MVW is 35 years old this year!  There should be some celebration.

My most vivid club racing memory was a race in 1976 on a course in the Waterville area.  We had probably 20 starters.  I forgot my racing shoes, (any of the rest of you ever do that?) so I started with running shoes (those were the days of clips & straps).  There was a big wind that day, so we were doing probably 50kph down a long stretch, echeloned out.  The line was centerline to curb.  Someone touched a wheel and a stack up started.  I had Margie Saunders overlapped to the right on my wheel so I chose not to switch right, and decided to try to ride over a bike…did pretty well until my rear wheel got tangled with someone’s bars and I got launched. 

Well, I landed off the road on gravel on my left shoulder, (broke the collarbone) slid on my back 10-12 ft. on gravel, (hamburgered my back) and hit my head on a embankment (nice concussion) with my beautifully shined up patent leather hairnet helmet.

Well, the race director and his wife (whose names I can’t remember) hauled me off to the hospital where they tried to clean me up.  They then took me home, where I lived alone.  After realizing I was really kinda screwed up, I called some friends who put me up for four days that I really don’t remember.

About ten days later, Gary Dauer, Dickie Shryock (a junior) and I decided we needed to go to Montreal to see the Olympic Road Race.  We all piled into my VW Microbus and headed Northeast.  The road race dawned nice and overcast.  We brought our bikes so that we could get around the course easily.  The biggest problem for me was that I had on NW Ohio gears…i.e. 53/42x13/18 six block.  Now a low of 42x18 is pretty fine for Hull Prairie Rd., but it is a tad tall for Mount Royal in Montreal.

Now a non-climber on a 42x18 has to pull hard on the bars up Mount Royal.  That same non-climber had just broken his collarbone, which decided to let go again going up hill.  I had to be the most miserable American there that day watching Smilin’ George Mount get an American all time best of 6th place in the pouring rain. With a newly re-broken collarbone.
A collarbone broken twice in 10 days in 1976, made that year pretty lame from a racing perspective.  My wife to be gave me a huge amount of sympathy…but that’s another story.
Mark Tyson

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