Glauco was the one I did my first technical practise with. He would bring a group of us juniors to the Laura Secord parking lot and have us corner at speed side by side, bump each other side by side, and (although I could never do it then) pick small objects off the ground from our bikes at speed. I specifically remember Brandon Etzl and I freaking out at how scary bumping was, but this summer we were both selected to race the Trofeo Karlsburg World Cup in Germany and that skill turned out to be far more useful than we had thought 3 years earlier.
Glauco always said if we wanted to ride like the Italians we needed to climb for at least 5km at a time a few times in a ride. This wasn't possible in Niagara so he made it possible. He presented us all with 10ft of rope and directions to a gravel road where some old car tires were hidden. I remember riding there and digging an old tire out of the bush to pull it down the road to simulate climbing for 20 or 30 minutes and then riding home.
Glauco always really instilled in us young guys that spinning a high gear was crucial to being successful as a cyclist. He would come prepared with a screw driver and lock out half of our cassette if not more. Trying to race with the club at 45km/h at 15 years old was hard enough, being stuck in a 52x19 was ridiculous! After my first season on the road Glauco gave the three cadets of the club a gift apiece, a fixed gear bike. I spent my whole winter riding a track bike outside, with brakes fitted on to be safe. I remember meeting up with Matt Hopkins to ride these bikes. Sometimes we went down hills so steep that we had to unclip because the cadence demanded to go 60km/h while being stuck in a 45x19 was not anywhere near possible for us. Legs swinging wildly to avoid the pedals rotating at around 250rpms while steering and braking in hindsight seems a little dangerous, now that I really think about it my old soccer shin pads would probably have saved me a lot of pain.
Glauco had many nicknames for people. I was Benny, Matt was Matty so of course Brandon Etzl was.... Brandon. One of his thin climbing former riders was known as String Bean (Warren Tillbrook). Not always because he was one of those guys who was really fond of nicknames but because his Italian accent made some changes to how your name was normally pronounced. Buck Miller was a good example of that, I'm sure you can guess what the B changes into.
Once Glauco took the three of us young guys up to Ottawa for a weekend for racing. Once there he insisted to sleep on the floor as we were the racers, the hotel room was really small so he didn't have much room to lay down. The neighbourhood was bad, and I remember walking to the store to buy dinner and I remember him yelling at a bunch of scary looking teenagers to turn down their music. Glauco was the man.
I am sure throughout the St.Catharines Club there are many stories but here is the one that stands out the most to me. As a first year Cadet I really wanted to go to race in Quebec and to do that I needed to be selected to the team Ontario project to Coupe Proco. I made it, so did Matty and Brandon and we did the 16 hour drive to race in the team Ontario van. Glauco drove by himself without telling any of us to come watch and take notes on our riding and racing in real fields. We were shocked he would spend hundreds of dollars on gas, hotel rooms etc just to come watch us, average riders at best.
|Glauco, Brandon Etzl and I. At our first big race in Quebec. (2009)|
All these events happened in his final years alive, I can't even begin to imagine how much he did for the sport of cycling in his 76 years.