Krikorian wills himself to be the best; lives the advise given by his mentorDec 15, 2021 12:10PM ● By Chuck Tashjian
Krikorian of Milford fame and current Whitinsville resident about his latest cycling trip to the North Carolina. Krikorian recently shared his last voyage about his cycling trek down to North Carolina in 2020.
This space featured Krikorian’s 2014 cycling marathon to Daytona Beach that covered 1,100 miles in 29 days. This North Carolina trip was once again filled with the unknowns of weather and road conditions. The appreciation of those two obstacles always makes for an interesting story.
Just think about driving a car from Whitinsville to North Carolina. Interstate 95 would be the fastest, most convenient way to go. If you are cycling that same route, the reality of the unknown and many surprises are always around the next corner or just over the horizon.
Krikorian’s patience and perseverance has once again made his most recent trip successful. Krikorian left Whitinsville on August 1, 2020, and covered the 850 mile trek in 23 days. He rides solo on his trips and pedaling to his own beat is an understatement. Sleeping or resting at local fire stations along his well-planned-out route is not uncommon for the 68-year-old former Milford athlete. Football, wrestling, and baseball were his sports while growing up in the baseball town of Milford in the late sixties and early seventies. Discipline and endurance are Krikorian’s passion and time has changed his likes of long distance running to long distance cycling, which makes sense as his biological clock cannot take all that pounding that runners endure over time. In his running prime, Krikorian was putting in 80 miles a week on the local roadways while training for marathons, half marathons and the famed 10-mile Charlie’s Road Race of Worcester. The running boom of the mid-seventies that drew Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit to Worcester for Charlie’s 10 miler is a very distant memory now. Racquetball was also a must-do workout back in that era.
Krikorian’s most recent 23-day trip from Whitinsville to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina totaled 850 miles and it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing because of state and local road construction that most of the eastern seaboard is consistently undertaking. As a matter of fact, Krikorian got to Ossining, NY and was going to get on the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry that crossed the Hudson River to West Haverstraw, but the ferry wasn’t running for the past year because of COVID-19 restrictions. As dusk approached quickly, Krikorian saw a girl walking by the ferry area and told her about his dilemma. She felt compassion and quickly called her boyfriend who owned a speed boat. The couple took Krikorian to Haverstraw across the Hudson River in boat speed real time, 20 minutes. If Krikorian had to pedal himself, it would have taken him another 2 and a half hours. Talk about the hand of God being with you. Krikorian offered them money for their efforts, but they declined. Krikorian hasn’t forgotten that kind-hearted story and believes in the good of people all the time.
Krikorian ground out the remaining 500-plus miles and arrived in North Carolina on August 24, 2020.
Krikorian also had a cross country trip from San Diego to Whitinsville of 3,500 miles back in 2005 when he went coast-to-coast in 58 days. Krikorian is unique in the way he cycles because he does it solo from start to finish, meaning not only the trip itself, but the strategy with weather, road conditions, and the state of affairs which comes up in every new city and town and county that he travels into.
He would like to thank Putnam Cyclery of Putnam, CT, for getting his bike ready for all his trips and maintaining his bike with great professional care.
Why does Krikorian still plan out these cycling marathons as he approaches the young age of 70?
He had a mentor who made an impression on him and his will to compete in life by willing himself to be the best has stuck with Krikorian since he met him over 35 years ago. His name is William “Biddy” McMahon.
Krikorian has gained so much of his respect to keep competing on his endurance journeys from the great William “Biddy” McMahon, who finished second to Tarzan Brown in the Boston marathon in 1936. Biddy also competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. For the record, per Sandy Burgin’s, Worcester Telegram’s sports writer, McMahon was one of three U.S. marathoners who competed in Berlin in 1936. McMahon, who grew up on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester in the Meadows section, won the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking a National AAU marathon record by nearly five minutes. He beat out the famous Boston Marathoner Johnny Kelley by 200 yards.
Krikorian is a retired respiratory therapist who cared for Biddy late in McMahon’s life and grew attached to Biddy’s legacy and Biddy’s persona. Krikorian himself ran the Boston Peace Marathon in 1985 and McMahon acknowledged Krikorian’s enthusiasm during that period when Krikorian was caring for Biddy who passed away in 1991. “Mr. McMahon is an icon who impressed in so many ways and his story about his marathon career on the Olympic stage and in Boston amazes me to this day” said Krikorian. Krikorian remains inspired by Biddy McMahon and takes Biddy’s spirit with him on these long cycling trips. Krikorian hasn’t revealed what his next trip will consist of, but you can bet he will attempt another because of his goal -setting attitude and his spirit to keep competing in his own way.