Bicycle legend & Springfield native John Howard speaks

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Kathleen Harris wrote:

The greatest cyclist Missouri has produced paid an especially well-timed visit home.

In more than three decades of riding, John Howard churned out world records and championships in both speed and endurance events in an era when cycling was far more anonymous than it is today. For his accomplishments, he received the Outstanding Missourian award from the Legislature on Monday. . . .

"You've got to rekindle the fire in your soul. For me, it's important to come back," said Howard, 59, a native of Springfield who lives in California. . . .

Howard started building his reputation and résumé shortly after graduating in 1970 from what was then Southwest Missouri State with a degree in art history. He won a gold medal in road racing at the 1971 Pan Am Games, then participated in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics in the 100 kilometer team time trial and the individual road race. He also was named to the 1980 team, which didn't participate because of the boycott. . . .

Among his achievements:

— Seven U.S. Cycling Federation championships.

— The 1981 Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

— A 24-hour record of 539 miles.

— A world record of 152 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, riding in the slipstream of a car.

Read the rest of the story about Howard's visit to Missouri here.

The "Outstanding Missourian" award in Jefferson City Monday was part of MoBikeFed's Advocacy Day in Jefferson City May 14th.

Howard will preside over the first annual John Howard Biathlon Sunday, May 20th in St. Charles.