Riding with Pigpen

gnawing on shoulder of giants

gnawing on shoulder of giants

Word came thru the Knobby Nobility grapevine:  Pigpen (Larry Glickfeld) was in town. He’s the one-time editor of Competitive Cycling, the tabloid home of columnist Bike Barb, Sundown Slim, and a host of other merry Cranksters in the late sixties, early (pre-Fellownews) era.

He lives a thousand miles away, you drop everything to ride with him.

The ride: a clockwise loop from Napa’s ABC bakery to Sonoma, over Cavedale road and then along the Dry Creek valley bottom (rather than the Mt Veeder route, we were toast after three hours of sun-baked riding).

Never did any of this before. Along with Barb and Pigpen, the redoubtable Art Readart read, jp, cave of Terrible Two, Rockhopper renown, and general bike-and-social-justice-avocado rode along with me, sporting one less basketball in his jersey, and dropping me using nefarious means too terrible to describe for a family blog.

Hint: tangled wheels.

There was a plaque honoring the dozen or so sponsors of the ‘short-cut’ route cut in 1915, that snaked over the Mayacamas Mtns , and every person’s donation duly noted, even Emma Bleakly’s five dollars.

All the hunting on the web is turning up no history of the black, ten-foot deep and who knows how many feet wide cave (man made) -there’s a 90-degree left turn that is so dark you can’t inspect it (Art’s little bic lighter was worthless).

Musta been a stowing place for booze in prohibition.

After the ride (no crashes! no flats! pure joy) it was a quick ten mile jog to the Marshall Bee Farm in American Canyon. Larry’s sister Helene married a bee farmer and their compound is impressive. Their mom turns 95 week, Delicate as a child with a fistful of tortilla crisps, mom got a double dose ofb happy birthday.
We swilled all kinds of beer, inhaled all kinds of grub, and found other cyclists as well as about four generations of the Glickfeld clan nibbling cheeses dipped in honey (never had before, ambrosial) and enjoying a summer’s afternoon.

~ by jacquiephelan on June 9, 2009.

4 Responses to “Riding with Pigpen”

  1. I see Larry almost every time I’m out on my bike up here. He’s a character. Honey on cheese is fantastic, try it on Stilton with toasted walnuts.

  2. Interesting read about the Pig Pen. Rode many a ride with him in the waning 70’s. Most notable was the Sierra Electric Bike Ride. A fall “Color” ride. I think it was a bike ride anyway? Or maybe it was…well I will have to think about that. Nice read, nice read.


  3. Hi Jacquie,

    I woke up this morning and wondered: “What ever happened to Larry Glickfield?” So I Googled, and here I am. Please give him my best regards next time you communicate with him. We had some good times in Tahoe! Remember his dog “Motor”? Ran his little paws ragged keeping up with Greg Lemond! For the record: I have the first five or so issues of Competitive Cycling in pristine condition.

    All the best,
    Gil de la Roza

  4. Jacquie: Like Gil above, I was wondering about Pig Pen; I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of folks from my 70’s bike racing days recently. Found this site. I trained for the 1977 Red Zinger Classic in Lake Tahoe, Larry was kind enough to put a few of us up. Good times. Tell him Hi from me.

    Martin Avidan (Arco-North Hollywood Wheelmen)

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