Clare Bena has been a good friend for many years….and she has always been an exceptional cyclist. She is a product of Trenton, New Jersey, but since her father was in the Air Force, her family moved around quite a bit when she was growing up. (An older sister attended four different high schools.) But Clare moved to Colorado in 1979 and has either lived here, working at Rocky Flats or in Los Alamos, N.M. since then. (And yes, both of these two have seen “Oppenheimer” and were even present in Los Alamos when some of the film was being shot on location.) She has cycled all over the world and loved cycling in the Dolomites and up the Stelvio (48 switchbacks), but one of her most memorable rides came when she was heading up Pajarito Mountain in New Mexico with her headlight on prior to riding into the lab to work and a skunk ran into the road and sprayed her. Yep- that would be memorable. (Almost as memorable as watching in person with Erlinda Kiefel as Greg LeMond won the 1990 Tour de France with the help of Erlinda’s brother, Ron.)
Alan’s father, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, worked on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos (P.O. Box 1663- for those in the know) after he was drafted into serving his country in WWII. Also a sharp scientist, Alan received his degree in chemistry from the University of New Mexico and came to work at Rocky Flats here in Colorado. In his words, he became a “double agent”- working both the production and environmental regulatory sides of the fence.
The two of them have ridden across the country during three summers from La Jolla, CA to the Atlantic Coast of Northern Florida, experiencing snow in New Mexico and cold weather in Alabama. A third of the trip (the second year) was the 1100 mile adventure from West Texas to the eastern border of the same state. Heart Cycle is a favorite cycling organization for the two of them, since they have led trips for that organization over the years. They both rode in Northern Italy and the Dolomites in 2019, but only Clare will be headed to Croatia this September 20th.