In 2007 I was riding on the AMD masters team. Among my teammates was Kent Bostick (who should need no introduction), Larry Nolan (now up to 23 master’s world track championships) and Mick Hellman (who later won the Master’s Individual Pursuit world championship) before starting a new company and then starting a side career in music as the drummer for the Well Known Strangers.
We were in Seven Springs, PA for the USA Cycling Master’s Road Championships. The criteriums were spread over two days to cover all the different groups. Kent raced on the first day in the 50-54 group while Larry, Mick and myself raced the next day in the 45-49 group. It should be noted that Mick and I had similar strengths in that we were better at climbing, time trialing and pursuiting and not all that great at sprinting. Larry on the other hand would be our guy if it came down to a sprint.
Kent’s race was amazing. A group of two riders got away and opened up a large gap of maybe around 40-45 seconds before Kent was able to escape alone. He slowly made progress against the two lead riders, but he was chasing alone for many laps. Finally with about two laps to go it looks like he would catch on the next lap, then as we watched the final corner to see who would show up first we saw Kent with a large gap on the other two riders. Somehow he chased them down alone and then caught and rode away from them on the final lap. It really was something to see.
That night back at the condo the whole team got together to cook diner and eat. At one point Mick and I were talking to Kent about the next day’s race. Kent had some advice for us. “You guys need to attack and get off the front to either make the guys chase and set up Larry or to get away alone. Just attack and ride at 30 mph and see if anybody can come up to you. You guys are time trialists, you can ride 30 mph right?” Mick and I shared a glance. Kent continued on. “Just ride at 30 mph and see who can bridge up. Either ride away alone or set up Larry for the sprint.” Later Mick and I had a private conversation and agreed that sure, we could ride at 30 mph for a while. But one. They weren’t going to let us use our TT bikes in the crit and “a while” most surely did not mean “for the rest of the race without getting caught”.
On the day, Mick and I made several attacks, got into a few short-lived breakaways, but we obviously didn’t ride at 30 mph for long enough and got caught each time. In the end it came down to a sprint where Larry was able to finish 4th.
Ever since then though if Mick and I get to talking we can’t help but remember that day and eventually somebody will say, “What Would Kent Bostick Do (WWKBD)?” The other will then answer, “Ride at 30 mph of course.”
This year at the UCI World Track Championships Kent was there racing in the 65-69 group now. He’s not at fit or dedicated to cycling as he was back then, but I watched his points race. He may not be quite able to ride at 30 mph anymore, but damned if he wasn’t going to try. He only lost that points race on the last sprint.
I couldn’t help but to text Mick and our other team-mate Rob (now playing guitar in the Well Known Strangers when not riding his bike).