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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Morgenstern,

I first met Nancy in 1998, as she was the first female rider for Bicycle Renaissance, a team associated with the Century Road Club Association (CRCA). We soon learned that we were both observant Jews. This was certainly a bond between us, as the bicycle-racing scene certainly does not cater to those who are shomer Shabbos.

As a cyclist in Manhattan, Nancy was one of the more popular racers. Though she was intensely competitive, she always conducted herself with class and a smile. As one of the less experienced cyclists on the team and the only woman, she managed to suffer through some very hard rides with some very experienced and strong riders. Her determination was clear, as she never complained, never quit, and always kept up with the group. She would try to dissuade us from waiting for her or slowing down. Within less than a year she became a seasoned bicycle racer.

Nancy’s affiliation with our team, Bicycle Renaissance, spawned the recruitment of many other women on our team. Though Nancy switched teams in 2000, she was a pioneer for our team.

Nancy’s charm, intelligence, and good spirit made her a favorite in the club (CRCA). At regional races everyone rooted for her because she was a model of the hard-working and conscientious cyclist. She exemplified all the qualities you would want in an athlete—dedication, sportsmanship, good spirit, and no attitude.

My wife, Robin, particularly liked seeing Nancy at the races. They seemed to connect almost immediately. Robin always loved spending time with Nancy. Robin was also one of her biggest fans. Robin knows how much dedication it takes to compete at Nancy’s level and she always admired her determination. I’ve never heard my wife cheer as much as when Nancy would pass by while racing.

I very much liked spending time with her because she understood who I really was when I wasn’t on a bike. We would commiserate that many of our close friends and family were not able to fathom why we spent so much time on our bikes, rose early in the morning to ride and race, and traveled great distances to participate in a bicycle race. Nancy was special in that she always recognized that although we devoted so much time to training and racing, the important things in life were not experienced on the bike. She was well grounded and dedicated to her family, friends, and Judaism.

During the Labor Day weekend of 1999 we had the opportunity to spend most of Shabbos with Nancy during the Killington Stage Race in Vermont. Because the three of us could not drive on Shabbos, Nancy, Robin, and I were confined to our condo area for all of Shabbos. Robin and I remember this day very well; though we were “trapped” for the whole day, we all had a great time with each other’s company. Considering the absence of any Jewish atmosphere on that Shabbos in Vermont, it was really comforting for all of us to spend a quiet Shabbos with one another.

We are going to miss her terribly. I still look for Nancy when I ride in Central Park. I always looked forward to coming across her. But aside from all this cycling business, she will be missed as a great friend and a true mensch.

Since I am sure you are flooded with cycling-related people contacting you, you should know one very important thing about cycling. You do not need to know the particulars of what it is all about (my friends and family sure don’t). I know that bicycle racing made Nancy very happy. She clearly enjoyed it and tried to make it as positive for all involved.

Josh and Robin Davison

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Acknowledgments Introduction Testimonies Photo Gallery 1 Reflections from Nancy's Mother