Surfing is a poor excuse for a sport, and your article was sickening.
Thank you for the wonderful article on bicycle racing (Two Days of Torture on Wheels, Oct. 4). We in Texas especially appreciate your lines about Bob Weedin, Second Lieutenant, USAF, a dedicated cyclist who always gives his best. He is the Texas road champion and finished second in the Texas track championship. In the three weeks prior to the North American championship he was involved in two bad spills and had his bike wrecked by a truck in one. He had the wheels of a new bike bent in a spill during the nationals. In the last stage of the Colorado race, after his rear tire went flat at the top of the hill coming to the finish line, he ran some five-odd miles to the beginning of the pavement and then rode off the seat (to keep his weight forward so the rear wheel would not collapse again) the rest of the way to the finish line, another five miles. Riding off the seat for this distance might be compared to running up the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building.
We in Texas are proud of our champ.
Harold Peterson twice mentions that the cyclists were stopped during the race by state troopers. It seems to me that if the police departments and state troopers would help rather than hinder events such as the North American Bicycle Championship our riders would have a much better chance to gain the experience needed for international competition. The minor sports have a hard time of it in any case, and they need all the help they can get.
A few minutes' delay of local traffic, police protection and permission to use the roads for this type of event would be one of the biggest boosts that cycling could receive. In the state of Oregon any speed contest on public roads is prohibited. This makes all of our bicycle races technically illegal. Because of these and other factors, the increase of traffic on all roads, the closing of many roads to any cycling at all, etc., the plight of the amateur bicyclist is reaching major proportions. And all this just at a time when the sport is finally catching on and we are producing riders of Olympic caliber.
The bicyclists are ready; it is up to the legislatures and the law enforcement agencies to provide the help and protection that we need.
DONALD R. CUREY
After reading your article on the San Francisco 49ers (The 49ers Get Hot, Oct. 11) I am sure you will win the humor award of the year. The statement that the 49er fan is "the best mannered, least excitable in pro football" is the funniest I have ever read.
I have attended many 49er games and have gotten the distinct impression that I was in Rome and that John Brodie was a dying gladiator. Among other things, John was booed more than I have ever seen anyone booed before. He was showered with beer cans at half time and, no matter what happened, Brodie was a "bum."
You suggest that Ken Willard of the 49ers is the best rookie pro runner. This is plain silly.
As you should know, the best is Tucker Frederickson of the Giants. As you say, after two games Willard was second in NFL rushing with 125 yards. What you didn't say was that Tucker was third with 124 yards, and that he had a 57-yard touchdown run called back because of a clip on the other side of the field. After the third game Tucker was still third behind Tom Mason. Willard was far down on the list. And let us not forget the fearsome front line behind which Tucker operates: Rosie Brown, Bookie Bolin, Bob Scholtz, Dave O'Brien and Pete Case.
New York City