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"Lord Love a Duck!" The incomparable Dick Rick.



Ever since hearing the news of Dick Ring’s passing I was reminded of this little story I wanted to share. I also believe a drawing was the best way for me to honor and remember a man that had so much influence on us all.

     In 1990 I was the fittest I would ever be and doing a road race in western Mass. Westfield, I believe and I was really only there for the criterium the next day. I had no business toeing to the line on this hilly adventure but why not. I had just recently graduated and had more spring miles than ever. Over the first series of hills and in the pissing down rain, I managed to stay with the ever dwindling group. Then we turned a corner onto a tiered wall where I instantly spied my doom. I lasted longer than I thought but the wheels started to slip away. I was coming of the back with one similarly sized gent named Adam Howe on this ridiculously steep triple ramp. I was seeing cross eyed. I knew my race was over as the gap widened and the top was still far away. I started to throttle back. Just then an old Volvo with wheels stuffed to the roof pulled up beside us and rolled down the window. It was Dick Ring. He wasn’t on the microphone. He was doing wheel support! Who knew?? He leaned across the seats and with a stern but somehow positive voice started yelling at us.

(Read this next bit in his accent to get the full effect)

     “All right boys, this is the whole Fu<¥@^& race right here, let’s go! Come on boys! Get over this f’n hill and get the Fu<¥ back on. Do it now, everything you have. The whole Fu¥@^& race is right now!!!.”



     He then rolled slowly away until the volvo shadowed the back of the shattered group as it crested the hill. Adam and I dug with everything we had and finally made it over the top. We then began to chase like mad. Well, Adam chased like mad as I hung on for dear life. I would take a pull when I felt him slow and 30 seconds later he would come flying back around and I would have to sprint back on. At some point we caught up to Alan Cote who waved us off while shaking his head. He was the absolute picture of a shivering cat coming out of a bath. We roared by. A few miles later miles the group came in view and plied our effort with renewed hope. Elated but trashed we rolled past Dick Ring’s Volvo and on to the back of the group. It was the days before “fist bumps” but I know Adam I did something similarly goofy. There were only 12 or so pancake flat miles before the finish. Two guys finished off the front to fight for the win but I finished second in what was left of the field to Adam Myerson. It is absolutely one of my favorite race memories. It was a big effort for me but Dick had that ability to see into the race and pull the best out of us. His timing, honesty and language defines an era that won’t be repeated in our lifetime. And,…I never knew he swore like a sailor but I he was a union pipe fitter after all!!!



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