As an undergraduate at Wooster College in Ohio, von Allmen played a variety of sports. I played golf, but Ive since almost given it up, he says. Until three years ago, he played ice hockey with a team of like-minded lunatics, but nighttime practices, a separated shoulder, and two sprained ankles finally persuaded him to try something safer.

He is a competitive duathlete (running and cycling) and triathlete (running, cycling, and swimming). I enjoy riding a lot more than running, he says, though he still keeps in training for the running part. Next year, when hes on sabbatical, he plans to enter one race a month.

When they finally met, Ashley and von Allmen realized that Moravian has more bikers than you might think. It’s not just the pastime of a couple of eccentric fitness buffs. Earlier this semester, he announced the formation of a campus cycling club.

Despite her win at Souderton and taking off the whole of the spring semester of 2004 to train, Ashley just missed going to the Olympic Games in Athens. Whether she’ll keep competing for four more years to qualify for the 2008 Olympics an open question, but she’ll certainly keep competing.

Cycling is one sport that makes itself worth its competitors’ while. Ashley is part of a team sponsored by Collavita-Bolla, maker of wines and vinegars, which helps pay for her bicycle, rider’s gear, and travel expenses for getting to competitions.

Ashley tries to cycle every day. “I don’t even keep track” of mileage, she says, “but I’m gonna say 300 miles a week? Less in winter than in summer, of course.”

Von Allmen cycles when he can, especially on weekends. “When you have kids,” he says, “five hours of unbroken time does not exist.”

On a chilly fall day, Ashley and von Allmen met on South Campus to compare bikes and ride together. Ashley has a custom- made bike, tailored to every aspect of her body. Von Allmen’s, which looks racy enough, is a decent road bike but not one for Olympic-level competition. They trade shop talk. Von Allmen is looking to upgrade his bicycle, and Ashley has some pointers on what to look for and where to get it.

They're all ready in their aerodynamic bicycle shorts and windbreakers, their cycling shoes with the toe that hooks right into the toe-loop of the stirrup. They don their flattenedegg helmets, and off they go, riding a circular course that brings them time and again past the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. When the photographer has shot to his heart’s content, the pair waves and rides off to find a longer course. “It really helps to have somebody to ride with,” von Allmen says.

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Peter von Allman and his co-author Michael Leeds find time to shoot a few baskets in Johnston Hall.

Sports and economics make strange bedfellows, you may think, but newspaper sports pages are as full of salary demands and bond initiatives as they are of box scores. Von Allmen and his doctoral advisor, Michael Leeds of Temple University, co-wrote a textbook called The Economics of Sports (2001), which focuses on such material: sports venues, maintenance costs, profit margins, budgets, wage and hour issues. But so sports-mad are the American people that the book has been used at colleges and universities across the country. It's now in its second edition and has been translated into Chinese.

Photo: Michael P. Wilson