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Eric Heiden...Tour de France?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Not to offend all y'all glued to the World Cup but I'm pretty jazzed the Tour de France is within smelling distance.

Was perusing my W.H. Smith '06 TdF "souvenir" magazine and came to a story on the 1986 7-11 team, the first United States team in the tour. Most of the names are very familiar - Alexi Grewal, Davis Phinney, Chris Carmichael (trainer of some dude from Texas named Lance), Alex Stieda, Jeff Pierce, Raul Alcala, Doug Shapiro, Bob Roll and...Eric Heiden?

I knew he'd gone into cycling after his Olympic speedskating success but had no idea he'd been on this team. (Or that he had 27" thighs, YIKES.) His tour didn't go as well as his speedskating, taking a pretty good crash that kept him from finishing, but he seems to have come out fine, now an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California.

An American won that year, but did so racing for a French team. That man: Greg Lemond.
post #2 of 43
Speaking of it being within smelling distance, it is starting outside my hotel!
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Speaking of it being within smelling distance, it is starting outside my hotel!
hey, fox, i completely forgot you're there in strasbourg now.

take a few pics, will ya?
post #4 of 43
A candidate for your antiprimadonna quest?
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...22/LV47585.DTL

Bring back the TTT!
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Speaking of it being within smelling distance, it is starting outside my hotel!
That's chamois-smelling distance.
post #6 of 43
Heiden was on the 7-11 team, but I don't think he did the TDF.
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

bet a burger, beer and fries?

Homework, counsel.

http://www.nndb.com/people/878/000024806/

"Like many speed skaters, Heiden trained as a cyclist in the off-season to stay in shape, to further success. He was an alternate on the U.S. Olympic cycling team in 1980, won the 1985 U.S. professional cycling championship, and was a member of the first U.S team to compete in the Tour de France, in 1986."

rul, that google took two seconds. where's your paralegal?
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
That's chamois-smelling distance.
Not sure that unit is standardised in all countries and how does it compare to a Grewal Spit Range?
post #9 of 43
Further googling reveals that he was indeed in the Tour, fell in the 18th stage, got a concussion, and retired from the race. I remember seeing him win in Philly in the introductory big pro race (have only missed one of 22 since). Since he was by far the best known name in the race, and American cycling was starved for publicity back then, lets just say that no one was too surprised that he won.
post #10 of 43
I stand, rather humbly, corrected. For note...Dr. Heiden recently announced that he is leaving UC Davis Medical Center to work with a sports medicine practice in Salt Lake City. He said nothing about riding the Tour this year.
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver
Further googling reveals that he was indeed in the Tour, fell in the 18th stage, got a concussion, and retired from the race. I remember seeing him win in Philly in the introductory big pro race (have only missed one of 22 since). Since he was by far the best known name in the race, and American cycling was starved for publicity back then, lets just say that no one was too surprised that he won.
Evan,

I was there that race too..Are you sure you were there? I don't recall seeing you.
post #12 of 43
I have a friend that went to high school with the Grewals. I'll ask him about spitting distances...
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Evan,

I was there that race too..Are you sure you were there? I don't recall seeing you.

Phil, I never would have recognized you if you hadn't been wearing that sweater.
post #14 of 43
Back in the 70s here in Madison, WI they used to have the Capitol Concourse Criterium every Wednsday night during the summer. They were held around the Capitol Square. Eric and Beth plus Connie Carpenter used to compete in those every week. Eric would often win the "preme" laps.(prize to the winner of a certain lap announced randomly)
The Madison speed skating contingent used to train at Blackhawk Ski Club by running up the stairs to the 60 meter jump.
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 

ah....stairs.

explosive fasttwitchin' sonsugunz BOOM.

that is all.
post #16 of 43
It's agreat workout. If only I could get the kids to do it.
Our first coach at Tyrol, Eric Aserlind, was a classmate of Eric Heiden's. Eric A. was a World Champion rower in men's 8s back in those days.
Last I heard of Beth Heiden she was living in Dollar Bay, MI, up by Houghton, doing cross country skiing.
In a 1980 issue of the Ski Coaches Journal, there was a forum discussion of high school sports and funding for them that Nancy Heiden, Eric and Beth's mom, was one of the participants.
Dr.Jack Heiden is still an active rower at the Mendota Rowing Club.
post #17 of 43
Hey ryan , bit of period nostalgia here.
post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
that's bitchen.

though when i wax nostalgic, i am dropped back onto the banana seat of my '66 schwinn stingray deluxe.
post #19 of 43
awesome
post #20 of 43

Eddy's Mentor.....

post #21 of 43
That bikes for real. It actually has the braze-on for a number. I wonder who rode it?
post #22 of 43
I did some checking and I suspect the seller has the year wrong. That Dura Ace group is definately not 1987 vintage. It's identical to my '89 group and was first introduced in '88. '89 was the year that the shown STI shifter was a team-test prototype. They were released in '90. It's possible that it's an '87 frame with a group upgrade but I'm calling that an '89 bike.
post #23 of 43
post #24 of 43
The whole grey-anodization thing, including the front shift lever, looks a bit off to me. ~'92. My 7400 SIS is bright Al.

I was a bit suspicious about the calipers as well; with those adjustment 'barrels' I was almost expecting Diacompe RoyalCompe along with that coiled-spring-look transparent cable housing.

HOWEVER, if all the changes were made as part of a racing history without attempt to retro-correct (and there was a clearer provenance) I would keep it as is.
post #25 of 43
Those are *exactly* the same brake calipers my '89 group has. I still even have the rubber plugs that fill the allen holes.

The only items that are the grey color on the 7-Eleven bike are the brake levers, downtube shifters and the brake pad housings...exactly the same as mine. What is different is that between the black rubber hoods and the grey levers, mine have a trim piece that's also grey and on this bike, that trim piece is chrome, further suggesting a 1990 prototype.
post #26 of 43
If I had indescrimiate wealth, I'd buy it...that frame even fits me. In my opinion it's consistant with an '89 team bike just as it sits. I even bought a nearly identical pair of wolbers on DA hubs about a year later than I built the bike up.
post #27 of 43
The detective work is fun. In '88 7-11 was still on Huffy:

http://davisphinneyfoundation.com/pi...eyWorlds88.jpg
post #28 of 43
In '91 the team was Motorola...so there only were 7-Eleven/Merkcx frames in '89 and '90.

STI was on the market in '90 and the groupo sponsor would have wanted both levers on the bikes (yes I know even L.A. has used a downtube shifter for climbing stages).

I'm convinced it's an '89 ride.

Incidently, the Huffy-badged bikes were built by Ben Serotta.
post #29 of 43

Wow, a flash from my past...

I was an undergrad at Stanford when Eric Heiden was there. He seemed to be in a different plan than me, though, as I distinctly remember him as a commentator at an Ironman triathlon one weekend afternoon that I was cramming for a physical chemistry exam that he was supposedly also taking the very next morning -- I guess the rules are different with all those gold medals .

Anyway, I rode on the club cycling team there and will never forget one afternoon ride we did up King's Mountain Road. I looked up from my agony to see the biggest friggin' calves I'd ever seen, looked higher to see a "Huffy" Team 7-Eleven frame, and it finally dawned on me that Eric Heiden had dropped in to join our ride that day. Of course, I seized the golden opportunity to suck it up, pass him, and drop him on the climb that day. I'm pretty sure that was in the winter of 85-86, so if I was able to outclimb him (even on just one day) that winter, I suspect he would really have suffered in the mountains had he not crashed in the Tour that year. Those huge legs are great for skating fast, but not ideal for hauling up climbs...
post #30 of 43
http://www.dewielersite.net/db2/wiel...he.php?id=7783

The '89 team. Now we need stats to figure out who might have fit a 55cm frame...

per the eBay ad, both Schuler and Pierce *were* on the team that season.
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