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Alex Stieda, Harold Bridge
Alex Stieda was recently inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. There is an article about him on the BC Sports Hall of Fame web site by Jason Beck. In this article there is discussion of the connection between Alex and our own Harold Bridge - BC Randonneurs member #9. The relevant passages are reproduced below. Thanks to Dave King and Gary Sparks directing me to this article. [EF]
"A series of random coincidences pushed Alex deeper into the sport. His neighbor two houses down in Coquitlam was a man named Harold Bridge, whose wife Joan was the president of Cycling BC at the time. Harold was a British randonneur cyclist (sometimes called marathon cycling) who enjoyed long rides of several hundred kilometers at a slow pace. Harold took Alex out on rides and taught him the basics and rules of the road.
Around the same time, Alex discovered his grandfather, who grew up in Britain, had been a racing cyclist in the 1950s. Photos and stories of his grandfather’s career began to open up a new world he was previously unaware of.
Harold suggested to Alex that he try racing in a weekly ten-mile time trial out on the roads around UBC put on by a local masters cycling club. Alex rode his bike all the way out there from Coquitlam after school, did the time trial, and rode all the way home. “I didn’t know any better,” he laughed. “Crazy.”
He did well enough in the time trial that Harold then pointed him in the direction of a short-lap criterium race in Ladner. Alex ended up winning the beginner’s category. More importantly, he met a few other junior riders who were training seriously. Soon he was going out on organized rides with other juniors all over the Lower Mainland, from Vancouver to Mission and as far south as 0 Avenue in south Surrey. Not long after, he was biking to a job at Larry Ruble’s Cycle Shop in Maple Ridge where he earned enough money to buy a new Nishiki Landau."
Source Article by Jason Beck:
May 25, 2020