by David Steffen
Paul Robinson started this whole thing. One day, in the spring of 2008, my phone rang. "Hello?" "Mountain Loooop!!" It was Paul. For now particular reason, after 41 years, he decided to look me up, and found me. One thing led to another, and one by one, we made contact with more of the Roadmen. In 2013, we got together for a bike ride. In 2014, I started putting together this website. And the idea grew, a reunion. Since we had no idea when the Modesto Roadmen was founded, we picked an important date, the 50th anniversary of the first running of the Tour de Graceada, contacted everyone we could, and scheduled a reunion. John Campopiano and his wife Wendy graciously offered to host it, and since they live a few blocks from the site of the Tour de Graceada, that gave us the opportunity to do a symbolic ride of that course.
My late wife, Agi Schönbrunn, took the pictures below. She used a very high quality Nikon digital camera which generates images in a rectangular format. This is in contrast to the square format of the Instamatic camera used to take most of the old pictures on this site, for which it was designed. Unlike me, especially the teenage me, she was an excellent photographer so got in close to make full use of the resolution of her camera. Thus, for the thumbnail photos on this page, I had often had to crop people out of pictures to accommodate the square format of the thumbs. I have indicated in the legend when I have done so. As always, click on the picture to see it uncropped. Click on the resulting new image again to see it at the full resolution of Agi's camera. Your web browser undoubtedly has a command to download the picture. For me, I "right click" and select "Save Image As...". Unless otherwise noted, all captions name people from left to right.
We assembled at John's house, and once we were all there, we took a group photo and then went over to Graceada Park for our symbolic rideLeft to right, back to front, are Michael Haack (not a member of the Modesto Roadmen, but of another Modesto club, Mach Schnell), Tom Woods, Roger Farschon, Stacy Dull, and Paul Robinson. In the front row are John Campopiano, Jeff Cowdrey, David Steffen, and Eldon Rosenow.
We had no plan, but ended up stopping after four laps of the park. Back in the day, as Junior (younger than 18) racers, we raced around this park 25 times, and the Senior riders did it 50 times. This is Eldon dismounting at lap 4.
Roger (partially hidden), Eldon, John, Michael (partially hidden), Paul, David (face hidden), Stacy, and Jeff (partially hidden. Tom has been cropped off the right side, but can be seen by clicking on the picture.
David showing off his Bianchi Volpe. When he was spending a lot of time in California helping to care for his sick parents, his family bought him this bike to have as a "California bike", since his other bikes were all in Texas.
I'm not sure if Tom didn't come with a bike, or if he loaned his bike to Jeff, but he borrowed John's gorgeous Bianchi Team Issue, which John bought in 1968. This is Tom showing off John's bike.
John, with his other bike, the mountain bike he rode for the day, Paul, Roger, and David. Stacy and Tom are cropped off the right side, click on the picture to see them.
Paul, John, Roger, David, Stacy, and Eldon. Jeff and Michael are cropped off the right side, and Tom off the left. Click to see them.
After the ride, we all went back to John and Wendy's for a delightful lunch they provided, to talk, and to enjoy the amazing collection of Modesto Roadmen memorabilia John pulled together. Eldon, Paul, Jeff, Roger, John (from the back) and David (partially obscured) looking at the memorabilia.
Wendy, our generous hostess, watching Tom partake of her largess. I wish we had taken more pictures of the wonderful food they provided!
Paul and Tom Duchscher. Tom is a neighbor of John's and an avid cyclist so when he saw us, he could not help but crash the party. He regaled us all with tales of cycling in Modesto in the 60s. Way back when Paul and I were trying to connect with the other Modesto Roadmen, someone told Paul that Jeff had died, but Paul couldn't remember who. Tom confessed that it was him, but then he could not remember where he heard it.