Barn Door Awards 2011: Cyclist of the Year

And the Winner is… Hold on just a second.

This is a pretty big deal, I’ve got to be the most important cycling blogger in Harrisburg, not to mention the only cycling blogger in Harrisburg.  I have 14 people dedicated, (or bored) enough to subscribe to my blog.  I better really think this through before I post it.

First off what does it mean to be cyclist of the year.  Velonews picked Phillipe Gilbert because he dominated one day races this year and did really well in tours too.  We don’t have too many one day races around here but if I was going to choose a racer I could pick Rob Landes since he is the only road racer around here I actually know, and probably the strongest too. 

But this isn’t a blog about bike racing, it’s about bike riding and stuff.  So what about my Mom, she rode a bunch, I mean like she rode nearly everyday.  I don’t mean to sound  sexist here, but alot of the women I’ve had the pleasure to ride with seem to find it a foregone conclusion that they will never be fast so they just settle in for an easy pace and chat while the guys ride.  My Mom doesn’t settle, she rides hard, but I can’t pick her that would be favoritism. 

I could pick my mountain biking pal Eli who is the bedrock of Southeastern Illinois mountain biking, he knows every trail like the back of his hand and he’ll bend over backwards to help a person out, I could pick Luke who is the funnest person to ride with I know, or maybe Joe who has a lifetime of experiences riding road and mountain bikes and some of the greatest stories ever told.  I could pick my Dad who fights through pain on every ride and can build a bike with his eyes closed.

But I’m not picking any of those people, because I ride with them all the time and I just can’t pick one over the other.  So who does that leave..

And the Winner Is… Miles Stoneman

Now some of you who know Miles or maybe read his blog maybe wondering about my choice here.  It is true that Miles isn’t the most diplomatic person in the world, he will readily admit that he lacks many of the skills that it takes to be a leader and yet serves as one none the less.  He is uncompromising in his beliefs sometimes baffling so, but his steadfast dedication to cycling is unmatched by anyone I know, specifically his branch of cycling, Randonneuring

I’m not going into alot of details about Randonneruing other than to say I don’t think I’ll ever be interested in doing it, but Miles certainly is.  He’s a double recipient of the R-12 award which means that he has ridden at least a 200KM brevet every month for the last 24 months, including January and February where you’re likely to find freezing temps and ice on the roads.  To me that is true dedication.

Besides his personal accomplishments he has created a Randonnering organization here in Southern Illinois and hosts many Brevets.  On my many travels road and mountain biking I have heard mention of these brevets many times.  People are so stunned how such a backwater place such as deep Southern Illinois can have a Randonneuring club and so many brevets.  It’s true one person can change the world. 

That wraps up the Barn Door Awards this year, thanks for reading and lets look forward to a succesful 2012.

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About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Best of, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Barn Door Awards 2011: Cyclist of the Year

  1. rlhoover says:

    Matt, thanks for your End of Year Awards. They are a good read.

    Although I have never met Miles, I would agree with the choice. One person can indeed make a big difference.

  2. Steve says:

    An excellent choice, and (for what it’s worth) I consider his lack of diplomacy a plus, not a minus. Congratulations, Miles!

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