Herring Gas Bicycle Team riding high

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

It’s been a banner year for the Herring Gas Bicycle Team, even though the local race team was not able to successfully defend its Natchez Bicycle Classic championship.

Herring Gas collected 23 first places during the year and had 51 top three finishes.

&uot;We’re pleased,&uot;&160;said Frank Moak of Natchez. &uot;We’ve had a pretty good year.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Joining Moak as members of the team are Chris Alexander, Kenny Belleau and Brad Hecker of New Orleans, Trent Rives of Baton Rouge, Jack Ditt of Shreveport, La., and Shawn Casey of Rockwell, Texas.

&uot;When we show up, we want people to say, ‘The Herring Gas guys are here,’&uot; Moak said. &uot;Even if we don’t win, we want people noticing that we are there.&uot;

Besides several team honors, there have been several individual honors won by Herring Gas members.

Moak won the state Masters Criterium, Ditt captured the senior criterium, Rives won the Senior Road Race and Casey captured the road race in an enforcement Olympic event in Texas. He was second in the time trials.

This year marked the 13th year for Herring Gas to compete.

&uot;The team has just kind of come together,&uot; Moak said. &uot;We’ve really kind of meshed.&uot;

Moak said its the closeness of the team that helps make it successful.

&uot;When I got a flat in the road race in Natchez, all four of the guys stopped stopped instead of trying to get in on the money,&uot; Moak said. &uot;That meant a lot.&uot;

Moak, 39, also finished third in the district criterium.

&uot;Experience counts for a lot,&uot; Moak said. &uot;I can’t do a lot of things I used to do, but I know when to make a move and not waste a lot of energy. The biggest thing now is recovery. It’s tougher to get ready for that second day than it used to be.

&uot;When I’m not competitive and can’t help anymore, I’ll get out of it,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m a player, not a rider, I’m still having too much fun.&uot;

While not winning the Natchez race, Moak was pleased with how the event went.

&uot;As a promoter, it was fantastic,&uot; he said.

Moak said he expects to see racing grow more next year, thanks to Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France.

&uot;When (Greg) Lamond won, racing experienced a growth,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;I think next year is going to be a bigger year for us.&uot;

Besides Herring Gas, other sponsors for the team are Trippe’s Western Auto, Total Office Solutions in Jackson and Moak’s own Natchez Bicycle Center.