West Point Inn Wombat camp 1992-- JP & Susan DeMattei. We were just kids!

My calendar had DEMO scribbled on it July 12th.
“Demo” means a bunch of stuff to bikers–a test-riding day at Trailhead Cyclery–always followed by a sumptuous barbecue.

I’ve never made it to any of them.

San Jose might as well be the moon for this chickenshit motorist.

OR DEMO can mean ‘demolish’ –what’s happening all around Marin: little cabins  scraped and  forgotten, replaced by McEstates erected on small parcels…

Demo (pron: Dee-mo)= a nickname for  my racing pal Susan DeMattei.    She lives in a galaxy called Gunnison, featuring Planet Crusty Butt.
I forgot to call her father to  verify,  and the thought slid back into the ooze.
Coming back from the morning swim ( I never swim Saturdays! But I got up and did it for some odd reason) , and lo!  A familiar face is coming my way at Lansdale Station.

I execute a U-turn, near where the long-legged black policeman hides on his motorcycle, citing the bikers who blow thru the complicated five-way intersection. As soon as I stop, I’m aware of being in a river of cyclists.

One of whom was Sue! We  dragged our bikes up on the sidewalk.  It seems a miracle I wasn’t daydreaming, was looking at faces going by.  Under a helmet, she’s no different from every other superfit blond on  a bike.

On the other hand,  I doubt there were many other riders that remotely resembled “St. Packrat” that morning. On my rack: a rolled up bathroom rug, a Patagonia fleece jacket, panniers bulging with found free-box treasure, and that helmet  with the lace and tapestry plus huge black dahlia front and center…

We caught up on everything, including juicy peloton gossip and bike politics. She’s in town for the 3oth reunion of Terra Linda highschool class of 1980.

“Not at Deer Park Villa again?” I asked excitedly. In 1990, I’d crashed her tenth reunion (it was practically next door) and, for the first time,  saw her out of uniform (skinsuit by day, nursing scrubs or jeans the rest of the time).

“Nope…it’s wa-a-ay up north on highway 37”.

“Tell the gang hello for me”. Susan’s gang of  school chums is a remarkable thing. Loyal, true, and exceptionally long-lived. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s the way it’s done: reunions regularly, solidarity, utter absence of petty squabbling…Ideal Sisterhood.

In the forty minutes we chatted on the sidewalk we were passed by about a hundred Saturday cyclists…a few of whom got to hear : “Yo! It’s THE OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST FROM —”
“Jacquie! PLEASE!”

“Um, I’m trying to make you glad I don’t live in Gunnison, Susan”…

~ by jacquiephelan on July 17, 2010.

3 Responses to “DEMO”

  1. GREAT picture!

  2. yes… a great photo
    a wonderful story
    and a fantastic history

    hopefully we all look back on our youth or our misspent youth with such fondness

    all while also looking forward

    funny… I rented my bike from Trailhead Cyclery a few years back when I was visiting friends in Santa Cruz for a wedding…

    a trip that foolishly did not include the Sea Otter!
    planning is one of my many weaknesses

  3. JP we have crossed paths a few times over the years not that you should remember. I’m suppose to remember you not the other way around. It’s. A legend thing. Ditto on the you not me. You’re the best.
    If you stumble across that Susan person tell her I said Hi. Hope you are all doing well from an ol’ bike wrench. Does she still laugh at stream crossings and do you still wonder who’s having as much fun as you (you are in front of course)?

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