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Article #2
Rachel's Ride

- SlingShot

My week usually revolves around the anticipation of Saturday morning’s chance to test my progress on the Hump. It takes something really special to get me to miss that ride, but today a rare opportunity came along, so I bailed out of the pace line in order to join a ride led by Rachel Piker. It was time well spent. Rachel taught me a lot about commitment, challenge and the true meaning of biking.

I believe Rachel is the youngest regular rider that the Orange County Bicycle Club has been privileged to have as a member. At six years old, an age when many have not yet gotten their first bike, Rachel has numerous Club rides under her belt and has already progressed to her third bike.

Her current bicycle is a Specialized HotRock, which she spotted several months before her sixth birthday and immediately knew would be a worthy ride. At that time she was riding a Schwinn with training wheels and was told the HotRock doesn’t come equipped with them, so she would have to learn to ride without. By the end of the next day she had her training wheels removed and was riding free form. Her commitment and patience was rewarded when she received the bike on her birthday.

Rachel exhibits a talent for picking the best equipment and using it correctly. She has the most beautiful pink helmet, highlighted by purple flowers; and she wears it squarely on her head, securely fastened at the chin.

Rachel also protects her eyes with riding sunglasses while her riding gloves show that she is prepared for all eventualities. On today’s ride she chose warmer clothing than her usual riding gear, a choice that proved useful, because it was cold and began raining.

We quickly met the Pokers and B’s returning early; but, despite the rain, Rachel chose to continue her ride. She met the challenging hills and distance with a grace beyond her years. When she finally decided that we should return home, all riders knew that we had been pushed beyond our expectations. The full ride lasted about an hour, which is a big ride by any measure.

I asked Rachel if she knew what she would like to be when she grows up. She brightened considerably and gushed, “Oh yes!” When I asked what, she brightly replied, “A Mommy!” I took that to mean she knows a very special one who has inspired her considerably.

When I left Rachel and her dad in the parking lot, I was confidant that she has the talent and ability to do whatever she wants when she grows up. On special Saturdays in the coming months, you may be fortunate to find Rachel enjoying a chocolate reward for having overcome the miles to Country Dreams, as she prepares for the return trip.

She is a good and thoughtful leader. I highly recommend that everybody take part in a ride with Rachel. You will not be disappointed!


Article #1, previous to the one above, was the mere publication of Bob's e-mail to the club's Membership Chair at the time of his joining. The article above, Rachael's Ride, was submitted as an actual article attached to the following e-mail:

Hi Roberta : )

Humbly submitted for possible inclusion in [newsletter] is an attached Word doc article: "Rachel's Ride."

If a byline is given, you may use "SlingShot."

Since the A's were calling me that last summer, I assume "SlingShot" is my nom...unless it is a generic term used to describe a rube that goes too fast down any given hill only to be hammered on the next uphill...excepting where "The Prince of Pain" pushes them up it, laughs and shoots them over the top. It is a name I hope to grow into and change to mean, "That sucker can blur off the front in an instant with no warning!"


Bob Fugett

After the Rachael's Ride article ran, Roberta wrote back the following:


Now that you've gotten your feet wet, I hope you'll consider writing some
other stuff for the newsletter. The A's could use a literate spokesperson.


To which Bob responded:


There are probably better voices to represent the A's than mine. I guess it could work if literacy can be substituted for biking performance. At this point I'm dropped on every ride and have managed to finish other than dead last only once this year...though two Saturday's ago I did post a personal best 19.6 mph average on the new hump. Last year I was pretty proud of never having been the last one off the hump, but this year I've been focusing on dropping weight, which has affected my least that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

My orientation to the A rides is a lot more self involved than my ride with Rachel and Seth, but I'll put together some stuff and let you decide if it should be published or just wont be about group finishes for awhile.


The rest, as they say,  is history.

The nom SlingShot did eventually become synonymous with speed and rolling off the front, but only because some people started thinking the SlingShot character Bob wrote about actually existed—outside his figmentary imagination. Thus his effort to bring himself beyond his self-involved state in the rides, so he could write about them, finally did pay off. On occasion riders would crack (just before Bob would have) based on SlingShot's reputation alone. Ah, the subtleties of road jousting.

For clarity's sake, the A's being spoken about were then the front group. This was before everybody got tired of Bob trying to ride with them so added the category of Double AA's in order to get rid of him. It didn't work. Now he rides with the Double AA's. Although, he still leaves it up to them as to just how quickly they want to drop him or not, but he does require they do that on a ride, not in the Board Room of Ride Labels.


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this page last updated:
02/01/2015 10:38:45 PM

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