This time last year we lost a good friend and cycling buddy to ALS or what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. His name was Hal Rothman: cyclist, husband, father, and down-right genius if you ask me. Ted Kennedy said that Barrak Obama inspires him. Well, Hal Rothman inspired me when he was alive, inspires me today, and will most likely inspire me for the rest of my life. I must say, I've not met too many people who were what you would describe as bigger than life, but Hal Rothman was that way to me. I was never very close to Hal and you wouldn't describe us as best friends, but everytime we ending up riding together, you would think we were related somehow. Hal had a great way of making you feel part him, especially when he would expound on a particular historical subject or political topic. Hal was Jewish and I remember asking him about the Mideast situation and what he thought of it. What ensued was an oral dissertation on the creation of the earth by God, to the present situation today complete will all the details somehow packed in between. I used to just ride my bike and listen; often wondering how one person could stuff all that knowledge into their cranium!
Hal was a history professor and Chairman of the History Department at the University of Las Vegas Nevada, author of several books; and a nationally recognized expert on Las Vegas history, not to mention just about everything else. Hal was a great writer and he loved to talk. In fact, Cowboy, another riding buddy of mine, said, "yeah, you could never get him to shut up." That was Hal: ask him a question about some historical subject and he would expound for what seemed like hours. To this day, and I'm sure many more, when I think about Hal yaking up a storm while riding, it will always bring a smile to my face.
I've included some links below to things written about Hal. Please take a few minutes and explore them.
UNLV Bio of Hal Rothman
Las Vegas Life Article about Hal
Review Journal Article about Hal
New West Article featuring Hal and his work.
Some of Hal's quotes.
Lake Tahoe Century — 2005
Tour de France — 2005