Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Vive le Musée!

Museum cyclingPassersby were forced to walk in the street as the Tour de Healdsburg cycled (without forward movement) on the sidewalk outside Costeaux French Bakery in a vigorous and joyful celebration of Bastille Day.

Riding for the unheralded Le Musée Historique team (Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society) were locals Chris Baldenhofer (former B&B owner), Bob Rawlins (retired submarine captain), and Kent Mitchell (ex-mayor), all Museum Board members. They mounted the stationary bikes immediately after a team of young men—all in professional cycling outfits—rode into first place with a combined distance of 2.5 miles in three minutes. Undaunted that their combined age was nearly 140 years greater than the leaders, the Musée threesome pedaled furiously and continuously.

Museum team
Team Musée: Baldenhofer, Mitchell, Rawlins
At the finish, Bob Rawlins’ sprint brought him to 0.8 miles, nearly matching the average of the pros. There was great surprise when Baldenhofer’s and Mitchell’s distances were tallied: 0.4 and 0.3 did not appear to match their spirited and unflagging efforts. This concern was validated when the next team’s riders registered zeroes on the same bikes. In the confusion, neither Baldenhofer nor Mitchell were offered re-rides, so their clearly shortened distances remained unchanged. Later discussions with one judge indicated that correct distances for Baldenhofer and Mitchell—at least double their recorded distances—would have placed Le Musée Historique’s gray-haired team solidly in second place.

There was no report from the Museum squad’s trainer regarding the condition of the team on the following day.

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