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Bill Bauer Seeks 500,000 Miles Record

Former Oyster Festival bicycle race director riding to set a record

If all goes as planned, on Sept. 13, Bicycle Bill Bauer of Bayville will have achieved his goal of having ridden his bicycle 500,000 miles, here on Long Island. He will be doing it before Oyster Festival XXIX arrives on Oct. 13 and 14. Bill racked up a great many of those miles when he was the race director of the Oyster Festival Cycling Classic run during the first 11 festivals, when the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce ran the event.

“All I need to do is 25 miles a day,” he said on Aug. 28. “That means there are 18 days left as of yesterday and that would mean I can ride 450 miles in that time — and I need 454 so it is very doable.

“I presume I will be the first person on Long Island to reach that plateau,” said Bill.

When asked if there are any challengers for his claim, he said, “There are people who have done more, but I’m doing it while working. There are others who just ride their bikes a 100 miles a day. There’s probably one of them who has ridden 750,000 miles, but I work. I did my mileage while working.”

For The Record

Mr. Bauer has an impressive history in cycling and a great list of events to remember.

He said, “I tried out for the 1972 Olympics. I won the 24-hour race through Central Park four times. I won a gold medal in the World Championship in the early 1990s.”

Bill Bauer knows former Tour De France racer George Hincapie. “Ricardo, his father, and Richard, his brother, also raced at the Oyster Festival. I raced against the father, Ricardo. I’ve known George since he was 8 years old.

“My last great race was with George, at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.  He got first, the gold medal, and I got fourth. I was 52 years old then. It was my last hurrah. George graduated from Farmingdale High School in 1991, in 1994 he turned pro.”

Mr. Bauer worked in the printing/advertising area for 40 years. Currently he drives a bus for Hendrickson Bus Company, located in Bayville, which has given him more time to accomplish his goal. Between the morning and afternoon shifts, the Bayville resident has about three hours to ride.

Bill has a commitment to safety and took an active part in this year’s Triathlon that took place on Sunday, Aug. 26. The “Tri” starts and finishes at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. The athletes complete a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, followed by a 15-kilometer bike ride through Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and finish up with a 5-kilometer run up to the Planting Fields Arboretum and back to the finish line at Roosevelt Park.

Bike Safety

Bill rides for GBSC /Babylon Bike/ Runner’s Edge Cycling Team and before the Triathlon, Bill was helping check out and repair bicycles for the participants. Bob Cook, the owner of the Runner’s Edge shop, was the main sponsor of the Triathlon. “I used to bike with him in the ’80s, I go a long way back with Bob Cook,” said Bill. “I also know Jose Lopez, the former Nassau County park commissioner. I knew him when he was 16 years old. I helped him out in cycling.”

Bill said, “Before the race, I went around the nine-mile course about six times to spot any potholes and to fill them in.  I’m an advocate of bike safety, and wearing a helmet. I ran bike safety classes for youth at the Roosevelt School before several Oyster Festivals.”

The morning of the Triathlon event he worked at TR Park with the Babylon Bicycle Club. “I help all the cyclers with any problems with their bikes. My tent was next to Bob Cook’s.”

Bill explained that the swim section of the Triathlon started at 7:30 a.m., and after that the bike run began. I was there at 5 a.m. and until 10 a.m. We looked at the handlebars, and fixed flat tires and adjusted the gears. I’ve been doing that for a number of years, along with our local host GBSC.”

Bill said, “The winner of the Triathlon does it in under an hour.” That was true this year. Mike Polansky, GLIRC president, reported on the race saying, “Tom Eickelberg of Babylon scored his third consecutive winning performance, crossing the finish line at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in a race record of 54 minutes, 58 seconds – excellent time for this half-mile swim, 15-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.”

Mr. Bauer said he saw the last person come out of the water. “He was close to 80.  I’m sure he won his age group. I saw him on the bike and in the run, when he came in last. I knew then, that everyone was finished so this year I didn’t have to make the usual run to check for flat tires.”

Giving away some secrets from the world of cycling, Bill explained what he did after the race. He explained, “There is a group of riders from the Queens-Nassau border that start off in Little Neck and go through Oyster Bay at 10 a.m. every Sunday.” After everything was done at the park, I took my bike, and headed eastbound on Cove Road, almost to Moore’s Hill and turned around and met Mike Halpern of GBSC/Babylon Bike/Runner’s Edge Cycling team. Then we went back together to South Street and met up with the Little Neck group.

“They are another group of competitive riders. They drive 60 to 70 miles to get to Oyster Bay and were at their half-point before going back to Little Neck. My friend Gail Bialostok was there. She is the only woman who can keep up with them. She is one of the top female riders on Long Island and races with my team.

“The Little Neck club has about 80 riders. By the time they got to South Street there were only 11 guys and Gail that made it all the way. She is a former winner of the Empire State games – she won a gold medal, she’s a very good cyclist.”

Counting The Tires

Over the years Bill has ridden many different bikes. Today his is a Lite-Speed Archon, a titanium professional racing bike. “It’s the kind of bike people would use in the Tour de France,” he said.

When asked how many bikes he had owned over the years to get a gauge on his career, he said instead, “Oh my goodness. I was just thinking about how many flat tires I had over that time. I imagine about 20,000 flat tires. Way back then, they were $10 and $20. Today they are $50 and $60. I don’t want to know how much I spent over the years. I probably could buy another house!”

Thinking about the Oyster Festival again, Bill said, “I was the race director of the Oyster Festival Cycling Classic for 11 years. Eric Hayden won the first two years. He was a two-sport wonder. In 1980 he won five gold medals in speed skating at the Olympics at Lake Placid. It’s amazing how time flies. This is the 29th Oyster Festival. It’s 18 years since the last bike race they had. Time flies when you’re having fun.”

It’s evident that Bill is still having a lot of fun cycling. His avocation has given him great memories and still with a goal to achieve. Good luck Bill!

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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