For a brief period before going to London, I spent a long summer in Burlington, Vermont. The Ski Rack did hire me, eventually. I lived at Sigma Nu in a room vacated by a UVM student. And Church Street still had stop lights because the downtown wasn’t yet a walk through mall.
I started racing and joined GMBC. At the time, “racing” meant doing the Tuesday time trials on what was known as the Cheese Factory circuit. These, and a single road race in Stowe, were why I had an ABLA license. This is when I met Bill Farrell. He was one of a legion of skiers transitioning over to cycling under the guise of cross-training – a concept previously unheard of. Most of the athletes came from the Nordic side, but Bill was a downhill racer. These people changed the face of the sport in the early 1970s.
I met Farrell again when I returned from England. We ended up in the same circles for a while, staying friends, being teammates briefly, and also doing some business. Bill rode one of my frames for many years, and I was flattered. He became one of the sport’s elite athletes, and ultimately invented the Fit-Kit, frame alignment systems for shops, and a series of devices (RADs) that allowed riders to optimally set their cleats. Bill’s developments ushered out much of the guesswork and voodoo that permeated the industry. His presence on the race course as well as being a critical thinker set the table for what we have now.