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
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
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
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
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