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Jacquie Phelan is my hero

Holy christ... when I was 18, I was in the best biking shape of my life. One day while riding up Shaver Grade I got smoked. You know, having your ass handed to you? It was one of the most humbling and exhilarating moments of my bicyling life. Jacquie and her husband Charlie Cunningham (yes, the guy who made the legendary Cunningham Bikes and original founder of WTB) blew past me like I was standing still. I'm 30 now, and Jacquie is about 50... so in 92/93 she would have been about 37/38.. more than twice my age. Wow. I remember the exact moment I realized who had just dusted me. All the hairs on my body stood on end and I rolled to a stop, mouth open, heart pounding (not from the climb, really); yeah, I was totally starstruck. My friend Rick caught up to me several minutes later and I was barely able to stammer out my exciting news. They had passed him the same way, but he hadn't taken notice of them. This little moment was one of those "high points" that you never forget. To paraphrase Hunter S. from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, "the high water mark." Man, that's ugly... surely he's rolling over in his grave for that misappropriation.

Fast forward 12 years. I'm reading this article and I got to thinking, "wow, I wonder what Jacquie is up to these days?". I don't ride southern marin trails much anymore (her stomping grounds) so I've had no real chances to cross paths with Jacquie again. So I do a google photo search... and found this article from the wombats website. As if her conversation with Karen Brooks at Interbike LINK HERE wasn't enough to completely impress me all over again! Sheesh.. Jacquie, although you'll likely never read this, thanks for being an inspiration to me and countless others who's lives you've changed. Rock on. And yes, I do look over my shoulder every time I ride or walk Shaver Grade, just to see if Jacquie is sneaking up on me.

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