Like a Wheel
cyclist in America knows Souderton. For all its small size, it offers
a range of cycling contests: sprints and distance races, amateur
and professional, road and track, solo and team, local and international.
Peter von Allmen,
associate professor of economics, chair of the Department of Economics
and Business, and active sports fan, took up serious cycling just
three years ago. Not because he lives in Souderton, but it’s a nice
coincidence that he does.
21, 2003, von Allmen completed the 100- kilometer Cyclosportif and
decided to see how some of the other races were going. Just then,
the Univest Grand Prix was coming to its finish line in downtown
Souderton. “I arrived in time to hear the announcer screaming about
the end of the women’s race ... a wicked three-way sprint to the
finish,” von Allmen said. His wife then saw in the race program
that the winner, Ashley Kimmet, was a Moravian student.
Here’s how Ashley
describes the race:
“I [had] raced
there last year but got a flat tire on the last lap and had to withdraw.
This time, I did the pro women’s race, and there was a good quality
of riders. We raced for 35 miles on a two-mile loop that went uphill
and downhill.” She illustrates by waving her arms: Whoosh! Whoosh!
“At the end of the race, the field was still together and the finish
came down to a sprint. I am usually not much of a sprinter but was
able to come around one of the best sprinters in the country and
win the race. It was a pretty big win for me and for my team.”
She didn’t make a big
deal of her victory, but the Public Relations Office at the College heard about it from
Peter von Allmen and from Paul Acampora, the College’s director of development,
another avid cyclist.
Not long after that, von Allmen
and Ashley Kimmet ’05 met for coffee and exchanged bike stories.
A Bethlehem native, Ashley
got on a racing bike at 13 in the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown. This has remained
her home base as she began to enter races and move up in the ranks of the American Cycling
Federation. As a high school senior in 2000, she won a silver medal in the world championship
races in Italy.
In 2002, she competed in the
U.S. championships at the Velodrome and came in third, less than three seconds behind
the second-place winner. For her time in the qualifying heats, she won an Espoir National
Championship, given to riders younger than 23. She began to think about entering the