Before sitting down and having breakfast with Wendy Cram, I honestly didn’t know I was talking to a legend. I had seen him around town on his bicycle, chatted with him a few times, and ridden on the bike path that honors him called “Wendy’s Way.”
I think his last name “Cram” stands for cramming a lot into one life. Avid cycling fans, seasoned ski fanatics, hikers, and rock climbers will enjoy hearing about Wendy’s adventurous tales of the early days of these sports. Wendy grew up in Woodstock, VT, home of the very first skiing rope tow in North America. When he was about 16, he took on a challenge at this very rope tow – “I think I hold the world record of the most vertical feet skied in one day, from daylight to dark”. In 1939, he was on the Olympic skiing team, but sadly World War II cancelled the 1940 Winter Olympics. He was one of the first 100 skiers in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
Later on, he made it feasible for great cyclists to train together when he started the Dorset Training Group. Wendy managed this cycling team right into the 1976 Summer Olympics, where they placed fifth in the world. He spent some happy years in Sun Valley, Utah, where he snuck food to Warren Miller, who was in his early days of ski photography and filmmaking. If you aren’t in the know, it’s a tradition among ski enthusiasts to go see the latest Warren Miller film, and toast the start of a new ski season. In fact, I remember going to see the film one year and it mentioning that the first rope tow was located right down the road from where I was sitting. The scenery in the film was beautiful, but the comedy was even better. I couldn’t stop laughing, watching people fall off the chairlift as they slipped onto the top of the mountain in their new snow bunny suits. Little did I know that later in life I would meet the world record holder of vertical feet skied, a feat that was accomplished right there.
Join in our breakfast conversation where Wendy appreciates the mark he has made. You’ll learn how he continues to cycle today despite his difficulty walking and seeing, his thoughts on Lance Armstrong (yes, he knows him), and how he became a Yankees fan.
Reflecting, Wendy said, “I’ve had a very fun life. I do everything I like.” I invite you to listen to the entire interview right here (click the play button below) or you can download a file to put on your mobile device. To download, simply right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to save it to your computer.