Docs at the Top

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03/4/2005| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen
Channing Tassone and Tony Herring at the top of Alpe d'Huez waiting for Lance. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Channing Tassone and Tony Herring at the top of Alpe d'Huez waiting for Lance. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

Docs at the Top

It was the day before the event the whole cycling world had been anticipating for nearly a year.


are former college or high school athletes.   Some are ex basketballers or footballers who find the bike soothing to broken joints and challenging in a refreshing, renewing way.    Others get interested in the technology of the cycling gear.   Countless have dealt with broken bodies and know what heals them.   Of all the medical specialties, only emergency room docs rival orthopods in interest and attainment on bikes.    Eric Heiden comes to mind.    After he took five gold medals in speed skating at the 1976 Olympics, he went on to medical school and picked up bicycling.   He has biked as a professional in Europe and did very well in this second athletic endeavor.   Today he bikes and is an orthopedic surgeon in Davis, California.   

 

After a long lunch and a few naps, the Thomson Bike Tour peloton assembled just off the stage time trial finish line and waited to see how the pros handle the challenge we all knew too intimately.   They did magnificently, and none so well as Lance.    He made it up the mammoth climb in thirty nine minutes and pushed his rivals back into oblivion.   None of us who had seen him many times over the years had ever seen him quite so dominant nor had we ever seen him look at the crowd.   He knew he had his record sixth Tour de France win locked up and he seemed to want to look triumphantly about for crowd confirmation of his achievement.

 

 


We rode the energy of our mountain high the next day and left the throngs behind.   Like a good tactical army we knew when to retreat and fled over to Switzerland,   crossing Lake Geneva on a boat.   It was good to be out of the madness that is the Tour de France.    We could now don our favorite bike club jerseys.   Out they came in all their colors.   Tony and Channing rode together in their SPOKE jerseys.   As I was to find out, SPOKE is a group of pediatric orthopedic surgeons who ride together at various conferences and meetings.   SPOKE stands for Society of Pediatric Orthopedic Knowledge Enhancement and is a sub-group of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of America.

 

 


Doctor Herring said Peter Thomson told him that the Col de la Marchairuz was a ?sweet little climb,? but Tony found himself struggling toward the top when he started to hear music.    He wondered if he was finally losing it and exhaustion was really setting in a serious way.   Then as he came around yet another bend and the forests gave way to stone walled fields, he saw the source of the music- dozens of red and white Swiss cows each with bells clanking in a great chorus.       

 

Channing and Tony say the SPOKE name is a bit tongue is cheek.   That may be true, but the effort the two put out at the

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