While I spent several joyful New Years’ Eves with Karin and Bill in his formal attire singing his famous song, “An Irish Ballad”, what I will always hold a special remembrance is of his competitive drive on the bicycle. On Sunday mornings several of us would ride from Palo Alto out onto the roads in Portola Valley/Woodside. Bill would sometimes ride down from the mountain and meet us at various locations.
It was on an occasion when he had come all of the way down to the Stanford plaza and we then rode out and up Sand Hill road. At the top of VC hill on Sand Hill, he challenged me to see how fast we could ride down the hill towards the Whiskey Hill road intersection. As a true analytical his Bianchi was equipped with a speedometer and he watched it closely. My penchant was to jettison everything on the device and get it as light as possible.
Our goal was to hit 30 mph and we pedaled hell-bent but according to Bill, the time keeper, we did not meet the challenge. I always hoped that we would have another go at it when the wind was at our back, but the Cooper Hewitt opportunity interceded and we never had a chance for a faster ride.
As a sailor, I thought of how I might rig up a spinnaker type device to raise the speed and beat Bill to the bottom of that hill.
I’ll always remember this Renaissance man.
Love to you Karin,