Linda and John Elgart are married to cycling, as well as to each other.
Last year, the Portola Way couple continued to train hard even while national competitions were canceled due to the COVID pandemic. This year, the Elgarts competed in national championship events in August and September, collectively taking first place in six events in their age groups. They compete as amateurs.
USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, held in August in Albuquerque, N.M., featured three types of races: road race, time trial (against the clock) and criterium (laps on a circuit).
Racers were required to demonstrate full vaccination status as well as have a negative COVID test at the track.
John races in the 75-79 age group. He placed first both in road race and criterium, third in time trial.
Linda races in the 65-69 age group. She placed third in criterium, sixth in time trial and seventh in road race. In September, the Elgarts traveled to Breinigsville, Pa., for the USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships. They raced in three races in the velodrome: scratch, in which the winner is the first cyclist across the line; points, in which points are earned for five lap sprints; and individual pursuit, which is raced against the clock.
John placed first in points and individual pursuit, second in scratch.
Linda placed first in scratch and points, second in individual pursuit.
In December, the Elgarts plan to travel to Ipswich, England, to complete in the 2021 Masters Cyclo- Cross World Championships. Cyclocross involves riding in dirt/mud, sand, snow and even ice – riding in a circuitous path where the cyclist encounters obstacles and barriers that require jumping on and off the bike and running with the bike when the path is too steep to ride up or down.
Linda notes, “We just feel really lucky that we love to ride our bikes.”