Member spotlight archives

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Jerry Canterbury - from lone cyclist to ride leader

A twenty year veteran of cycling, Jerry started riding back in the late 80's while living in Delaware. His first bike was an oversized steel frame road bike he bought at a yard sale for $10, which he used to ride solo throughout the frozen roadscape up north.

About two years ago, Jerry and his wife Nancy decided to move from Cleveland, Ohio. His one requirement was they move somewhere where he could ride year-round. They landed in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Jerry is now one of our Sunday regulars and has just started leading a 35 mile no-stop ride that averages 17 mph.

Nancy is a regular at our after ride gatherings. We're still nudging her toward two wheels.

How long have you been riding with TeamCBC ?

Last year was my first MS ride in NC, and my first with TeamCBC. I'd previously done one (an MS ride) in Ohio.

How did you first discover us ?

There was a dinner party in the Sunset Ridge community of Holly Springs about two years ago (shortly after I moved here) and the subject of cycling came up. Someone there mentioned TeamCBC as a group that rode nearby, and I decided to check it out. The guy's name was Olaf or Oleg or something, and I've never seen him again, never at a CBC ride or anything else, although I thought he was a regular to hear him tell it.

Do you remember what it was like to be the new guy in the paceline ?

I remember being somewhat intimidated my first time showing up at a CBC ride, because I had no idea who anyone was or what was going on, and I'd never ridden with a group before. I stuck it out and came a few more times, and eventually folks started to say, "Hey Jer!" when I showed up!

What advice do you have for somebody just starting out with group riding ?

Ride predictably! If everyone knows what you're about to do next, you increase your own safety and that of those around you.

Be prepared for the length of ride you plan to do. Make sure you have enough food, water, and training for the ride you plan to do that day.

Stretch yourself. You can do more than you think.

If you show you are committed to improving yourself, the members of TeamCBC will support you in that goal.

What do you enjoy most about cycling ?

I enjoy dropping into casual conversation around the water cooler, "I did a 50-mile ride yesterday." And I enjoy learning just how much faster and farther I can go. I've reached the point where I'd much rather do a group ride than a solo ride. Being part of a group is more social and also more challenging as you learn from those who have been doing it longer.

What are your biggest challenges ?

The biggest challenge has been fitting training around my job. I can typically ride only one day a week, which makes it challenging to increase mileage during the season. Another challenge I'm still working on, coming from the flatlands of the Lake Erie, are hills! I'm pleased to say I can now ride up hills that I used to push my bike up.

What near term goals have you set for yourself ?

I'm training for the Beach2Battleship full-iron distance triathlon this October.

What's the most challenging ride you've ever done ?

Two-day, 208-mile TOSRV (Tour of the Scioto River Valley) in Ohio.

What else do we need to know about you, Jerry ?

I'm a marching band geek who came to be an athlete later in life. I learned to swim just a couple years ago, in my mid-40s, so I could start doing triathlons and now I'm training for an ironman. I may not be the fastest one out there, but darn it, I'm getting faster! And I'm definitely faster than anyone still on the couch.

Oh, one last thing. Rumor has it you've got a pretty good deal when it comes to housework, can you elaborate?

I've learned that with the right gifts, you can engage a very good sherpa to support your training goals!

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Wayne Clark - still pedaling after all these years

Wayne has been with TeamCBC for three years, but got his start riding bikes 40 years ago. Biking has changed a lot over the past four decades, but Wayne remains as enthusiastic a cyclist as he was back in the 70's.

Wayne enjoys long distance adventures, and it must be in his blood. Within the next few years, he plans to ride the 3,300 mile Lewis and Clark Trail from St. Louis, Missouri to Astoria, Oregon. You see, William Clark, as in "Meriwether Lewis and ...", is his great-great-great-great-great uncle.

When did you start road biking ?

I started riding January 22, 1972 while living in Columbus, Ohio and going to Ohio State. I was a poor college student and had to sell my VW beetle. I bought a 10-speed Bottechia and was immediately hooked. Each January 22nd, I ride 1 mile for every year since 1972. Next year, it's 40 miles.

How is road biking different today than it was when you first started out ?

Two words: a lot. Forty years ago it was all about the bike club; nowadays charity rides seem to gel cyclists together. Teams will be organized around specific charity events, like CBC is with Bike MS.

Another aspect that's different today is the focus on equipment. Bicycling seemed a lot more innocent back in the 70's. There wasn't much choice in bikes, accessories, and clothing, we just went out and enjoyed the ride.

How did you first find CBC ?

I first found out about TeamCBC during the Bike MS event itself. I was the captain of another team. I'd always admired Carolina Brewing Company for supplying the beer at the event each year. When I hung out with TeamCBC, I realized that you guys were having a lot more fun than we were. So, when our team membership declined, I suggested we disband altogether and join TeamCBC. I think I came over with about 10 riders that first year.

I've been doing charity rides for MS for over 35 years. For me, MS is very personal. My mother was diagnosed with MS in 1970 and passed away in 1981. For a couple of years in the late 1970s, I was tour director for the MS-150 equivalent in central Ohio. I was on the MS board until about 4 years ago.

You do a lot of long distance riding. What is the most challenging part of those rides, and what is the most enjoyable ?

The most challenging part is the preparation: route selection, logistics from start to end, accommodations, and checklists. I get overly obsessed with planning and eventually just throw my hands up in the air and leave. Things always seem to work out.

The best part has always been relaxing with your fellow cyclists in the evening after a day on the road. In 2010, fellow CBCer, Phil Haradon, introduced to a new variation on this end of day routine that I really liked. Phil and I rode from Maine to New York in August, staying in inns and motels along the way. After each day's ride, Phil would wander off and find a convenience store. He always had just enough room in his panniers to hold a six pack. When we stopped for the evening, Phil would find the ice maker to keep the beers cold. We'd spend an hour or so drinking beer and talking about the ride.

What advice do you have for someone planning a longer touring ride ?

For multi-day, self-supported rides, make sure your bike is in good mechanical order and that you have the appropriate gear for the kind of tour you are planning. For cycle camping, that old boy scout sleeping bag probably isn't going to cut it. Also, don't pack too much stuff. However, even after 40 years of cycle touring, I still overpack.

Don't get too obsessed with being in perfect physical shape before the ride. Do your best to get ready so you don't bonk the first couple of days. But I've found most people get their "road body" after about the 3rd day and riding becomes much easier. The human body is amazingly adaptable to stress.

I first discovered this on a two-week cycle camping trip through the Appalachian Mountains. Three of us scouted out the route through the Appalachians for the TransAmerica route for Bikecentennial '76 (now Adventure Cycling). Our goal was to criss-cross the mountains checking out every possible route between Berea, KY and Christiansburg, VA. Living in the flatlands of central Ohio like I did at that time, there was no way to train for a ride like that. But all three of us became animals and rode 1,500 miles of the biggest climbs in the eastern US with fully-loaded bikes.

If you really do want to train for longer touring rides, I've found the best way is to do LSD (long slow distance). 200k brevets work well for this kind of training. These are longer and more relaxed timed rides and help you build up a base level of endurance.

What rides do you have in plan for 2011 ?

I used to plan a single long distance ride for every month from May through September for a total of 5 rides per year. But now that I have re-retired, I am planning at least one ride each month from April through October:

  • April: NC Courthouse Tour #1 (cycle camping) from Charlotte to Raleigh (solo)
  • May: TOSRV 50th anniversary ride (I've been riding this since 1972) and NC Courthouse Tour #2 (cycle camping) through northeastern NC with fellow CBCer Drew Morrison-Rowe
  • June: Bike Virginia
  • July: Across Ohio Bicycle Adventure (XOBA)
  • August: Atlantic Coast Tour, a Maine to Florida tour that I'm doing in segments with fellow CBCer, Phil Haradon. This year's segment is from Poughkeepsie, NY to Richmond, VA
  • September: Cycle North Carolina
  • October: mountain bike camping on rail-trails through West Virginia and Virginia

What are your off bike activities and hobbies ?

Moving into retirement, I did a lot of soul searching for things that I was truly passionate about. I settled on bikes, books, and beans (I own the domain!). I may need to add a fourth 'B' … beer!

Bikes: In addition to riding bikes, I plan on spending the next 20+ years working on behalf of bicycle advocacy. I am a life member of the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Adventure Cycling. I have just recently joined the advisory board of the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

I was very active with my bike club in central Ohio back in the 1970s and early 1980s on bicycle advocacy issues and in creating a sense of community around bicycling. Fast forward 30-40 years and the end result of that effort is an organization in Ohio that is now called Consider Biking. I would really like to see a similar organization created for the RTP area. We have lots of clubs, teams, and committees … but there is no regional cohesion.

Books: I have been a bibliophile all of my adult life and that has greatly influenced my professional direction. My personal post-career library is in transition, but I am still on the strategic advisory board for the computer science departments at NC State University and Ohio State University. I am also chairman of the technical advisory board for the NCSU library system with a primary focus at the moment on the deployment of networking, multimedia, and collaborative technology in the new $120 million Hunt Library on NC State's Centennial Campus. I am also a member of the board of directors for NCSU's Friends of the Library.

Beans: At the present time, I am really nothing more than a coffeehouse habitue. But when I get some free time, I want to learn to become a barista.

What else can you share to help people get to know you ?

Well, I'm married. I met my wife while living in Silicon Valley in the early 80s. We were married at Disneyland in 1987. My one daughter, Veronica, is a sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill.

Back in 1992 I accidentally became the leading advocate for Cisco to build its east coast headquarters here in North Carolina. I had fallen in love with the state by riding a mountains-to-sea cycle camping trip a decade earlier in April 1981 (a full 20 years before Cycle North Carolina started). I had every intent to eventually settle here so when the Cisco CEO approached me about establishing a presence in RTP, I jumped at the chance. Best move I've ever made and I'm not leaving!

Lastly, like most newbies, I had several cyclists who were my mentors back in the 70s and 80s. They are still going strong and I ride with them every spring and summer, even though most of them are now pushing 80. And they are still my mentors. I want to be riding like them when I am 80.

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Hal Drumheller - why play a piano when you can ride one ?

Another lifelong cyclist, Hal's been riding since before first grade, and has logged (according to my math) well over 150,000 miles on the bike.

He's the current leader of the Lineberries, an elite group of A+ paced riders here in the Triangle, and is one of the primary leaders of the fast CBC 72 mile route.

An avid cycle-storian, Hal often includes details of cycling history in the regular Lineberry e-mail he sends out. If you are interesting in receiving it, you can contact him by email or at a ride... he'll be the guy waaaaay out in front.

How long have you been cycling and how long with TeamCBC ?

I've been riding all my life. I rode a bike to school through 12 years of elementary and high school. I rode to my high school graduation with my robe in a backpack. Then another six years through college and grad school. I bought a touring bike in 1989 and a racing bike the year after.

In the last 23 years, I figure I have averaged 5000 miles per year. I have been riding with TeamCBC since July 2008 according to my riding log book. I rode in Charlotte before moving to Asheville, Greenville (SC), Indianapolis, New Jersey and then back here in 2002. I also worked with a plant in Germany and rode for part of a year south of Stuttgart on the edge of the Black Forest. I rode my first MS 150 last year.

Who are the Lineberries and what is that group all about ?

The Lineberries are a group started by local legend John Bevier. We were sponsored for several years by Tony Lineberry, who owns and operates a prominent Raleigh architecture firm. When we rode a charity event, Tony would pay our entry fee in exchange for wearing his jersey and kit. Tony graciously allowed us to continue to use his name and we usually refer to each other as Linnies.

When John Bevier moved to Garner, I took over setting up the weekly rides almost 5 and a-half-years ago. Over the years, the regulars have come and gone and new regulars have taken their place. I just looked and there are something like 100 riders on the email list.

We ride almost every Saturday year round. Most rides are +100k. We used to abuse each other, but generally now ride as fast and as smoothly as possible. We are proud of our safety record. Riding 50 times a year at 100k for 5.5 years is 17,000 miles. We have had only four accidents; two by pilot error, one by someone swerving around a dog and one a missile strike by a flying deer.

You're one of our fastest and strongest riders. What advice do you have for people who want to improve speed ?

I think you flatter me, but to improve your speed you have to get out of your comfort zone. Buy a heart rate monitor. You don't need to use zones, but you will want to monitor your pulse. Then you need to balance fast group rides with solo rides. With group rides, sit in until you are certain you can make the distance. In most group rides no one cares if a rider sits at the back and lets the next rider back in, in front of them.

We advertize our rides as No Drop, however it is understood that you have to make it with the group to the rest stop. After the rest stop we will wait for any rider. Except in extreme circumstances we will not leave a rider on the course. So, go with a group that goes longer and faster than your current group. Draft at the back and get a feel for the way they speed along the flats and moderate their efforts on hills. Spin a lower (easier gear) on hills to avoid fatigue. You must also put your nose in the wind and that means solo rides. Solo rides are where you push yourself. Figure out what heart rate you can sustain for a specific time and then work to keep your pulse in that range. The longer the distance the lower your heart rate will be. You should be able to solo at least three hours during the summer.

I heard a rumor that you were once a racer, do tell.

I never really raced seriously. I have done time trials and hill climbs. I belonged to racing teams in Asheville, Greenville, Indy and rode with a team in Jersey, but mostly I did training races and business park crits. In Indy we had a circuit race that we did once a week. Mostly I rode with the Cat IVs. On the flats I could hang with some of the IIIs, but in the mountains the IIIs would eat me alive.

What do you when you aren't zipping along country roads on two wheels ?

I have three kids. My daughter graduates from Carolina this May. She is a twin. Her brother is studying to be a chef. Her older brother served in Iraq as a prison guard during the surge. He is now a student at Wake Tech. My wife keeps me busy and I have to pay for my bike time. I earn a living as the controller for SunTech Medical (where Dayn McBee is the CEO).

I hear you are an amateur cycling historian. What exactly is that ?

To amuse myself and hopefully not bore the rest of the Linnies, I occasionally include stories from the past in my ride note. The Lineberry ride note goes out once a week. Anyone who would like a copy is welcome to write to me.

What else can you share about yourself ?

I'm a member and elder at Cary Presbyterian Church. I am originally from Virginia and have spent most of my business career in the Carolina's. I am very much indebted to my family, and to riders like Dayn, Gabe, John Bevier, Tony Lineberry as well as Bob, Tim, Jon, Leah, Tom Graham and the other leaders at TeamCBC. Last year's ride at New Bern was the highlight of my season and also the easiest ride of the entire year.

A few times a year the Lineberries have a Piano ride. Piano is Italian for soft. At a Piano ride any safe rider is welcome and we will ride in the small ring only. If you are interested, the next Lineberry Piano ride is May 30 (Memorial Day).

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Lisa Garrity - it's all about the genes, bluejeans that is.

Lisa Garrity is one of our team sponsors. She's been a member of TeamCBC for three years now, and her company, Lisa Garrity Insurance Agency has been a sponsor for all three years.

Lisa really knows how to treat herself right. As a birthday gift to herself a couple of years ago, she finished her first ironman race. She shares some tips for anyone thinking of doing the same thing.

How long have you been riding with CBC ?

I've been road biking about five years and three of those years I've been riding with CBC.

How did you first find out about us ?

I first discovered the brewery! A friend organized a group ride from Apex to the brewery. How cool was that (?!) ... enjoying the company of other riders and ending the ride with a cold beverage. The following spring another friend told me about the team. I joined and became a sponsor as well.

What made you decide to become a team sponsor ?

This is the third year Lisa Garrity Insurance Agency has been a sponsor. I want my company to be associated with a team that is recognized as a major supporter and financial contributor to the annual MS Bike ride in New Bern. I am very impressed with the team organization and the weekly rides that accomodate both seasoned riders as well as new riders.

So, ironman races... how many have you done ?

I have finished one ironman distance race. It was a birthday gift to myself in 2009. What a gift! What was I thinking? A nice piece of jewelry might have pacified me, but no, the desire to train and complete the ironman won hands down.

What's the toughest part about training for and finishing an ironman ?

Finding the time required to get the daily training completed while working fulltime was challenging for me. There wasn't a tough part about finishing... the actual day of the event and crossing the finish line was all glory!

What advice do you have for women interested in training for an ironman ?

Get a coach (I had a great coach). Train with other athetes who encourage you through the long rides, the long runs and the skin-wrinkling swims. Adopt the mindset that you can do it, you can finish it and you can smile and be proud of your accomplishment when it's complete. There are some days of training that are not as inspiring as others but they are all important meaningful days on the roadmap to the grand finale. Don't be intimidated by other athletes who may be stronger and perhaps younger. This is YOUR race and no one else's, be confident in yourself. Have a good time!

Anything else you can tell us about yourself ?

I'm a native North Carolinian, I grew up in Cary, graduated from NCSU and have been representing Allstate Insurance Company for 28 years. The real reason I started biking 5 years ago was "all about the bluejeans" and that has not changed in 5 years.

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Tom Graham - the product of pedaling faster, not harder

Another New York transplant, Tom got his start on the streets of Buffalo, manuevering parked cars and city traffic, often balancing atop his own cycling concoctions.

He had been into mountain biking for years. But in 2004, when he met some riders from his spin class who explained you can mix mountains with road biking, a la 3 Mountain Madness, and he was hooked.

Tom's a veteran of several spectacular crashes, one of which he shares here. He also offers some upfront planning advice for those thinking about tackling mountain centuries in the rain.

How long have you been cycling, and how did you get your start ?

Growing up, I always had a bike. Everything from a BMX to a big ugly Huffy 10 speed. We would take bikes apart all the time, put different parts on them or take parts off that we did not like. I mean, who needs coaster brakes right? We would go try out our "inventions" on the old rail road tracks a few miles down the road. I remember one time we built this crazy bike with this tiny little scooter wheel on the front. It was so hard to steer. Luckily no one died while riding it.

I got into riding mountain bikes around 1996 while still in college. I bought a "Walmart Special," meaning no suspension and a wheelset that, I swear, was made out of lead. It was a good bike at the time, but it did not ride all that well; especially downhill. When I moved here to North Carolina, I bought a nice Trek 6500 hard tail with front suspension and rode that thing practically into the ground.

When did you start road biking ?

It wasn't until 2004 that I got into road cycling. I met Danny and Nancy Thomas, Marty Snead, and a few others at the Cary Pulse Gym spin classes. Danny was one of the instructors. I ended up buying a cyclo-cross bike, put a decent road wheelset on, and started riding with some from the spin class. We rode Raven Rock, and the infamous Ice Cream Ride route quite a bit. Those were some tough rides when I first started, but always a good time. We dubbed ourselves The Meatballs after an incident at Sparks Tavern that involved a few beers and a very messy meatball sub. That was a good time!

I got talked into (or sucker into) riding 3 Mountain Madness that first year as well. That was just a terrible ride for me because it comes early in the season. After that ride, I really wanted to get a better bike, so I upgraded to my Orbea in 2006 and really started ramping on the miles.

I was very lucky to meet all these great people when I first started road cycling and that kept me motivated to stay with it.

How did you become involved with CBC ?

In 2004, a few of us rode for GSK in the Tour de Cure. Then some of us ended up riding the MS 150 the same year with GSK again. That's when I found out about CBC having a team. We also started doing "Bike and Brew" rides from there on Saturdays when they have the free tour. There was actually a group of mountain bike riders that we took the idea from. We would ride the Raven Rock metric from the brewery and then do the tour. We met Cyril and Greg doing the tours, the MS 150 and the next year I ended up riding with them for the MS 150.

You are a very strong rider, what tips do you have for those of us who trail behind you ?

It is important to keep your bike steady in a straight line. You waste quite a bit of energy if the bike moves around too much. And that is energy you could be using to get up that next hill. I use the white line as guide to ride a steady line; especially when I'm tried.

I only ride by heart rate. I don't really care how fast I'm going at any given time. I just want to have an idea of how hard I'm working. I usually know the distance I'm planning to ride within a few miles and I really hate knowing how much further it is for beer and food. The problem I have is that with just a HR monitor I have a terrible time pulling on the front of a group. I never know if I'm too fast or too slow. I only know if I'm too slow by hearing the free hubs spinning behind me or too fast if Hal whistles.

I think it is important to learn how to pedal faster and not pedal harder. You can recover from being winded a lot faster than you can from overusing your legs. A good cadence can get you up and over hills and help you hang on to a group a lot better than mashing on the pedals.

If you are trying to get in long rides, riding by time can help you get started. I think it is ideal to start with a goal of riding 17 miles in a hour without stopping. Ramp up from there and try to get to 34 miles in two hours (17 MPH pace). Obviously it is important that you know the route you are going to ride so you have somewhere to stop and refuel. There are so many options in this area so it is not too difficult to lay that out.

Any tips for off the bike ?

Hydrate before, during, and after your rides. I drink a ridiculous amount of orange juice before and after a ride. During the rides, I just drink Cytomax and Gatorade. I sometimes cheat and put some protein powder in it as well. (Don't tell the UCI!) I drink every 15 minutes and that usually gets me an hour an a half per bottle on most rides. Make sure to eat well before and during your rides. You need calories to move the bike right? But everyone is different in their diet so much of it is trial and error. I certainly cannot eat burritos and cheeseburgers during a ride like some other people can!

I do not like to stop as everyone knows who as been on rides with me. I have a hard time getting warmed back up when stopping for more than 10 minutes or so. I would much rather just "soft pedal" on a flat section for a few minutes to recover. I usually can make it 45-50 miles without stopping. I know it does not work for everyone but I think it is better than having frequent stops.

Ultimately, you will have bad days on the bike. It happens. You cannot let that deter you. You should always challenge yourself beyond what you think you can do. It's the only way to get better.

And I'm not a strong rider. I just know how to do short pulls and draft really well.

What about life outside the paceline ?

I have been down here in North Carolina since 1998. I originally grew up in Buffalo NY. As Paul Rogers put it, "It is a great place to be from but not a great place to live." Most of my extended family still lives there. I love this area to death and I do not envision myself ever moving too far from here.

I spend my time off the bike working to pay for my cycling hobby. I'm currently working as a support analyst at SaS company which provides software solutions for internet retailers. I have a background in computer science / IT as well. I use to have a really nice consulting job until around 2003 when a lot of that dried up. I have done various freelancing jobs and a few other full time positions since then all around IT work. I use to travel quite a bit for work as well which was great but it makes you fat really quick. The people I work with now are awesome. We have quite a few people who are cyclists and triathletes at our company and I have been encouraging them to come out to some of the CBC rides.

My other passion is playing my guitar and music in general. I spend a ridiculous amount of time researching music (jazz and blues in particular) to try and learn how to become a better player. But it really has not panned out all that well. I cannot read music all that well which is a huge handicap. If I'm not talking about cycling with someone then it's probably music. Always looking for new folks to play with because you can learn so much by watching and listening to other people play. I also listen to Pandora a lot. I have everything from Frank Zappa to Mozart to British Pop queued up on my stations. And I have dropped quite a few bucks on MP3 downloads after bookmarking stuff that I like.

I'm a Netflix junkie. I love the Bruce Campbell movies and all the British TV shows they have on there.

I've heard bits and pieces of some of your more eventful ride sagas. What have you survived, and what advice do you have for staying safe out there ?

The two big ones that I lived through were Bridge to Bridge in 2009 and my crash on Pilot Mountain a few years back.

Bridge to Bridge 2009 was by far the worst ride I have ever been on. It was in the high 40s to low 50s all day with rain from start to finish. Anyone who is familiar with that area around Lenior and the Blue Ridge Parkway knows that those are just bad conditions to ride in. I made it up 181 and had a decent pace going but I could not stay warm. I ended up taking a short cut to Grandfather Mountain that took well over 20 miles off the route. I just went back to my truck as fast as I could, got out of my wet clothes, and waited for everyone else to finish with the heat on.

My crash on Pilot Mountain was another story. About 20 of us went up to ride the three big hills up there--Sauratown, Hanging Rock, and Pilot Mountain. Pilot was the second climb, and the climb up was great. When it was time to go down, I was the third or fourth person to go. If you have never been down Pilot Mountain on a bike, it is hard to understand how technical it can be. I was coming down the long straightaway near the top and at the end, there is a fairly sharp curve that goes right. While coming down, I just panicked, and grabbed my brakes hard. When you are going fast down a hill and brake in a turn, you get catapulted in the other direction. In my case, it was into the side of a truck coming up in the opposite lane. I was thrown so high up that my hip took out the driver's side mirror. My bike left a long scratch nearly the entire length of the truck. I tumbled a bit, my bike went off the road, and I just sat there in shock. I had a bottle of Gu in my back pocket that exploded. I think that freaked out some people because it looked like blood, all over my favorite jersey. After a few minutes, I laid on my back and started asking if my bike was okay. Everyone assured me that it was at least still in one piece. They took me down to the base of the mountain, but I don't remember much. Well, except for the really cute nurse who just happened to be on the road and was checking out my head when I was laying down. All and all I was very lucky to walk away with some bruises, some road rash, and a bad headache. If the truck was not there then it probably would have been worse as there was nowhere to go but off the side of the road and down a very large hill.

Tim Keller was very helpful driving me and my bike back to Danbury. And he also helped me fix up my bike a bit during the week to get it ready for the following weekend. I really appreciated all the help he gave me. My frame had a bunch of scratches in it and the rear wheel was slightly bent. I still have not gotten it fixed because I had an exact same rear wheel that I bought about a month or so before the crash. I was able to get out and ride the NCBC Summer rally route following weekend--at a record slow pace!

So my advice would be if you sign up for a mountain century ride and it rains, do yourself a favor and just go home. It will be there again on a much warmer and sunny day. And never hit your brakes hard on a steep turn. It will probably hurt.

It is also important to know who is around you while you are riding and try to familiarize yourself with the route you are doing. I have seen a lot of near misses and people going down just because they did not pay attention to what they were doing.

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Chris Higgins - a self-proclaimed W.H.O.R.E.*

Chris Higgins gets around.

In the 3 years he's been riding in this area has been actively riding with the Slow Spokes, LifeTime, MeetUp groups, Thorns and Roses, TeamCBC, neighbors, on various pick up rides, and on the AT&T with his sons.

* Will Haul Our Ride Everywhere.

How did you get involved with cycling ?

I started cycling my sophomore year in High School as a way of getting to and from Basketball and Baseball practices. I rode for many years, but gave it up when I moved from Southern California to San Jose CA. I found San Jose just too crowded. I picked it back up after I was laid off in 2009.

After moving to this area, I met several members of a Meetup group that started riding. Soon I was riding several times a week, and meeting lots of fun and interesting people. The 3Ring Chatham Habitat ride in 2010 was my first benefit ride. After riding the 30 mile route, my first thought was: "I should have done the 62!!".

How long have you been riding with TeamCBC ?

I had just finished the 3Ring ride when a friend from the Meetup group told me about the CBC rides and suggested I come out. I was really intimidated that first 28 mile ride. I was unsure that I would learn all the correct etiquette, I hoped I wouldn’t cause any accidents, and so on ... you know, the usual stuff new riders think about. The second week with TeamCBC I rode the 48 mile route. Next thing you know, I’m doing riding back to back 75 routes during Bike MS!!

What do you find most challenging about cycling ?

You mean besides trying to keep up with the riders that defy gravity and go up the hill like it’s not even there??

... yeah

The biggest challenge for me was learning the different techniques and etiquette. I learn by watching and doing. I’m amazed at how certain riders can make it look so easy. For example, watching somebody shift off their big sprocket and down their cassette at the same time, all while gaining speed up a hill!! The first time I tried it, I threw the chain. I've perfected that technique for the most part. So when I need a break on a big hill, I throw it off the big sprocket and down the cassette simultaneously, no glitches... well, …… most of the time.

What do you do off the bike ?

I play softball twice a week and am very active with my 2 teenage boys and their sports/activities. I serve as a Swim Meet official or the scoreboard/clock operator (talk about pressure) for Apex Middle School football team. I also like to hike, mountain bike, and occasionally golf and paintball with my boys.

Anything else you want to share ?

I used to be very competitive. I grew up playing any sport the neighborhood kids wanted to play. I had win and play well. I was lucky enough to play baseball at a very high level until I was 25. That's when it finally hit me that I was not going to be pitching for Dodgers in this lifetime. When I switched to softball, I realized my competitiveness was getting in the way of having fun. I’d rather do my best and have fun. I’m still competitive, but only with my performance. With cycling, I love it when I ride farther, or faster than I did the week before. I always want to improve.

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Janyne Kizer - Emma made her do it

Janyne Kizer credits her golden retriever, Emma, with getting her into cycling. She says that back in 2002 when she first got Emma, "I didn't recognize the person in the picture with my cute puppy. I needed to make a change."

Nine years later, Janyne is one of our stronger riders. She's a regular on the 72-mile routes, when she's not training for or finishing triathalons.

We can only imagine how proud Emma must be.

How long have you been cycling in general ?

I started to dabble in cycling with in 2001 and did my first MS 150 in 2005. That was Breakaway to the Beach from Rockingham, NC to Myrtle Beach. My husband, Kevin, met me at the beach. I did the Breakaway ride for three years, 2005-2007.

How long have you been with TeamCBC, and how did you first stumble on us ?

I knew about CBC from a friend who organized Bike for Beer rides. I came across TeamCBC during one of the Big Bash events. I was already planning to do Breakaway to the Beach that year. But since 2008, I have done the New Bern MS rides.

How many triathalons have you completed ?

I've only done five so far -- one sprint, two Olympic distance and two half iron distance events.

Ahem, "only" Janyne, really ???

And, I'm training for my first iron distance event this fall.

Your husband is very supportive of you. How do you guys manage or deal with the amount of time you have to put into training ?

He has his activities too! He's been doing a lot of whitewater kayaking recently. He also mountain bikes.

From your facebook page, it appears you and your husband take a lot of adventure vacations. What can you share about that ?

We like to combine vacations with events and we also like to vacation with our four legged family members.

What else do you do when you are off the bike ?

Run and swim! I enjoy reading, cooking, and of course, hanging out with Kevin and Emma.

I enjoy photography, too, but I'm not sure that I'd call it a hobby at this point. Kevin is the one with the DSLR camera.

Any last thoughts from Emma ?

Well, she does not have a bike, so no cycling advice. But she would be more than happy to share a beer with you!

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David Ley - fighting for fitness one mile at a time

A life long cyclist, David has combined his love of cycling with his philanthropy.

He credits his cancer survivor status as helping him develop an appreciation for simpler, more important things, a desire to seek out new and varied challenges and experiences, and an ability to not to ‘sweat the small stuff’.

Since 2003, he has ridden in support of various charities: diabetes (American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), multiple sclerosis (National MS Society), and cancer (Lance Armstrong Foundation).

How did you get involved with cycling ?

I grew up in the outskirts of Los Angeles, Van Nuys (flat) and Palos Verdes (hilly), and I always had a bike, though never a very good one! In middle school, I got a paper route and used my bike to deliver papers – hard work for meager earnings. One added benefit was that I gained strength and confidence on the bike. Between college and graduate school, I bought a Japanese 10-speed (Nishiki, Kokusai ) – again, not a very good bike. It had a steel frame, weighed about 32 pounds, had shifters on the bar stem and those extensions on the brake levers so you could brake with your hands on the bar tops – well you could try to brake – not much stopping power!

I went to graduate and veterinary school in Davis, California and commuted around campus as was in fashion even back then. The whole area was pan-flat, so the Nishiki did just fine for the commute and occasional rides into the surrounding countryside. Now Davis is self-proclaimed as the “most bicycle friendly town in the world” and is home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

My wife Heidi and I moved to North Carolina in 1984 when I joined the faculty at the new NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. I brought the Nishiki with me and mostly let it gather dust for years. Two growing boys later, I started riding mountain bikes with them on Scout outings. We did a series of weekend training rides leading up to a 5-day 185-mile supported trip along the C&O canal, from Cumberland MD to Washington DC. After that, I decided to take a shot at road cycling, dusted off the ol’ Nishiki, and began to explore the group rides available around Cary.

What groups have you ridden with in the area?

I started with ‘C’ rides out of Spin Cycle – nearly died due to the combination of poor equipment and lack of fitness. But I stuck with it long enough to complete my first charity ride in 2003, the Tour of Hope for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Washington, DC. From that point on, I was hooked – I had found a way to support causes that were of interest to me and to use those events as goals to keep me training.

I decided to buy my first decent bike, but did not want to spend too much, in case it became another dust collector. It was a Specialized Allez (steel, better than aluminum but less expensive than carbon, with Ultegra group) – wow, bikes had really changed in 30 years! Over the years, I have done group rides with Spin Cycle, CSH (Cary and Apex), OMV, Bike Chain, and on really good days sat in on the Lineberry recovery rides (recovery for them, one long interval for me).

How long have you ridden with TeamCBC, and how did you find the team?

I have been riding the MS 150 every year since 2004. It didn’t take long to recognize that TeamCBC was both the largest and having the most fun, and CBC provided beer for the event – ya gotta support that! So I signed on 3 years ago, and it just keeps getting better and better due to all of the amazing people that contribute so much time and energy to make it a year-round Cycling Club, in the total sense. Nothing else compares: group rides for every ability, variety of pace and distance, ride leaders and sweepers, team mechanic (thanks Fred!), post-ride recovery and socializing, amazing and informative web site, and successfully herding all the cats is Capt’n Bob!

What else can you share about yourself?

I am a testicular cancer survivor. I was 26 years old and a graduate student at UC Davis when I did something better than Lance – I went to a doctor when I first noticed something was wrong. That led to an early diagnosis (which is key to a chance at a cure for any form of cancer) and I was fortunate that there was not any spread. I did have two major surgeries (to remove the cancerous testicle and then the associated lymph nodes) and some chemotherapy (not as extensive as was used to treat Lance).

Heidi Baird and I have been married for 29 years and we have two wonderful children, Brian 22 and Kevin 20. Like Lance, I found that my life changed as a cancer survivor – I tend to appreciate simpler, more important things, to seek out new and varied challenges and experiences, and not to ‘sweat the small stuff’.

My life was richer as a cancer survivor - but I neglected my intention to give back to the cancer community. In 2003, all of my cancer experience emotions and memories of physical and mental challenges came back to me from reading of Lance’s book, It’s Not About the Bike, which led me to the explore the Lance Armstrong Foundation where I learned about the Tour of Hope – a way to begin giving back, and did that for the 3 years it ran.

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Jeff Rawls - a recent convert to CBC, but a long time cyclist

Jeff Rawls first became interested in cycling when he lived in Williamsburg, Virginia in the early '80s. After moving to Cary in 1996, he quickly discovered the Lake Crabtree and Umstead Park by way of the Cary Greenway, a mountain bike aficionado was born.

Jeff's not afraid of climbs. His most challenging bike ride to date was in August 2010. The "Rock the Blue Ridge" was a 75-mile ride commemorating the 75th anniversay of the Blue Ridge Parkway opening. It started and ended in Blowing Rock with "lots of climbing in between. Exhausting, but fun..."

How did you get involved with cycling ?

I've always enjoyed biking since I was a kid...I took more interest when we lived in Williamsburg, Virginia since it was such a great area for biking. When we moved here (to Cary) in '96, I really got into Mountain biking and still enjoy it!..we live close to the greenway in Cary, which is next to Lake Crabtree and Umstead. There's hardly a week that goes by that I'm not on those trails, my favorite being Turkey Creek. I did my first (road) century ride in 2010 with Team in Training in Asheville, a really great experience.

Which CBC rides do you typically go on ?

I've done all the CBC rides, but most typically ride the fast 50. It's great having options each week!!

What is your motivation for riding to end MS ?

I don't have immediate family or friends with MS, but know more than a few with this terrible disease. I am proud to be a part of CBC in raising funds and awareness toward a cure.

What do you do off the bike ?

With a working wife, Susan, and 2 girls at Cary High School, we are very busy. I enjoy spending time with my family. I really enjoy playing golf, listening to music and travel.

What else would you like people to know about you ?

I'm from Ahoskie, NC and I'm a 1981 graduate of ECU and, of course, a Pirate. I'm in Sales with AIR Purification Inc., based in Raleigh, serving the Southeast since 1984 with Industrial Air Filtration solutions. I travel to Charlotte and the Upstate of SC each week. I'm a big sports fan and a music junkie, really enjoy live music.

My wife Susan established her Audiology practice, Cary Audiology in 2007. For anyone with hearing issues, give her a call at 851-3800.

My two daughters are Meredith, a senior at Cary High School, and Anna, a Freshman at CHS. Meredith will be attending Appalachian State University this Fall...sounds like some good hiking and biking opportunities!...

>oh, and as my final thought: GO Team CBC !!!!

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Allan Richards - TeamCBC'ing in the wild, wild west

Allan Richards may qualify as our most remote team member. He's been riding with the team for four years now. The first two years he drove up from central Florida for the Bike MS event, and this past year he flew in from Arizona.

At age 73, nothing is slowing him down. He says he's growing older, but refuses to grow up.

Allan and his wife Kathy have volunteered at MS events for nearly 25 years. Allan has been riding at those events for over 10 years. Like several other TeamCBCers, he first got moving on a bike in 2001 after being told by his doctor get moving, or else.

How long have you been riding with CBC, and how in the world did you find us ?

I am a refugee from the "Breakaway" ride in South Carolina. When the route changed to add hills, I knew that at my "advanced maturity" I would not be doing that. So I looked on the MS site, saw the magic word "Flat" associated with the Eastern Carolina ride. I had met some CBC riders on the Breakaway, so it all added up to let me know where I should be.

I signed up for the New Bern event. That first Saturday morning I was welcomed to ride with TeamCBC. The young lady who invited me is a great rider. She and I both knew I'd not keep up with her, but she told me watch for a group from the team that was riding the same speed I was riding and join in with them. Thirteen miles into the ride I did exactly that. The riders already knew I was there and folded me into the paceline. The team spirit of it all impressed me, and that is how I "joined" TeamCBC.

You live in Arizona, but ride for a team in North Carolina; do you have family ties or history in North Carolina ?

My wife and I lived in Hope Mills (Fayetteville area) from 1988 until 1991. We are members of a fraternal benefits group, the I.O.F. Foresters, who are long time supporters of the fight against MS. We began volunteering with them on the NMSS bike and walk events. We carried that commitment along as we moved to Tennessee, and when I retired to Florida. We have supported the cause as volunteers since 1989 and I have served on the ride committee in both Tennessee and Florida, and as local walk chair two years in Florida.

After riding my first MS ride in Florida, we decided I would do a second ride in the fall, back where it all began, the Carolinas. It was two events a year, until we moved the Arizona. Last year I went back to volunteering as a Chapter SAG for the Arizona ride.

But, my heart is in North Carolina and TeamCBC has been so great and understanding. I know I won't change unless I have to. Each year I mix pleasure with riding as we still have friends in NC (one a friend of 53 years). I usually add on time after or before Bike MS for visiting old friends.

How long have you been a cyclist and what tips do you have for keeping cycling as a lifelong sport ?

I don't remember a time when there was not a bicycle around the house. But, for most of my life I've been a casual rider. In 2001 I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic, and told to get moving. This was in Florida and there was a local club with a monthly newby ride: 25 miles at 12 - 15 mph. I called the ride leader, explained to him I was new at organized riding, had a health problem, and rode a 1982 Raleigh 10 Speed Touring bike. I didn't know if I could do the 25 miles, but he assured me that I could and then told me words that I, and I hope all riders, live by. "I will never leave you behind." The rest is my own cycling history.

I've found riding to be one of the best ways to keep you body under control. My wife once noted that she had never seen a runner smiling. Completely understandable, it's hard on the legs and as we age, we need something with less impact. Also riding is social; comradery is a major part of cycling. When I'm not leading a ride, I am usually acting as sweep. It can get frustrating being back with the last rider or riders, but I always remember those words that meant so much to me: "I will never leave you behind", and how much I appreciated it when I was the guy in back.

Are you ever able to ride with CBC during the training season or do you just join us in New Bern ?

I wish I could ride with the Team, but Bike MS is basically my only trip the NC during the year. I look forward to it and enjoy meeting the other team members. Last year I got in a little early and was able to perfect my skills as putting up tents.

What type of riding are you able to do in Arizona ? Do you belong to any cycling clubs out there ?

I was shocked when we move out here to Mesa. No Rail Trails and all the road rides are "road" rides. We do have some trails along water canals. They're okay, but some are partially paved and then packed sand. Also, you are guaranteed a main road crossing at least every mile. Faced with getting another bike, or at least a very good life jacket, I added a hybrid with 700-32's for these rides.

The City of Mesa is a "Silver Bike Friendly" city and has miles of bike lanes. But drivers are as bad as anywhere else when it comes to sharing the road. Before we moved here, I was logging yearly averages of 5,500 to 6,600 miles. Last year, I didn't. At this time of year, the only safe bike is a stationary bike. Today it's 109 degrees. One day last year, in early May, I went out at 5:15 AM and it was 90. So it's a big difference.

I have not joined a club here and mostly ride solo. I did ride a club ride shortly after we moved. I was with a group going 26 miles at a pace of 15 -18. Some of the cyclists recognized me from working the MS ride the weekend before and welcomed me. Six miles out on the route I caught a red light, and they dropped me on the spot. I had their map in my jersey pocket and finished the ride, but never saw any of them again. So, I drove a 40 mile R/T to get to the start and back, only to get dropped in an area I wasn't familiar with. That was the end of that.

What else can you share about yourself ?

I am on the Bicycle Planning Group for the City of Mesa DOT and I hold certificates for "Helmet Fitter" and "Train the Trainer/Children's Bike Safety Rodeo" issued by the Florida Department of Transportation and Department of Health. But both certificates are useless here as Arizona law does not require children to wear helmets. Sad. And I also volunteer with the "SafeKid's Coalition", so I have some bike safety input.

My wife Kathy and I were greatly honored, in October, 1998, to be chosen as the Volunteer recipients of the "Catch The Spirit! Award" from the Mid-Florida NMSS Chapter, and to be counted among the other fine recipients, including the Eckerd Corporation Foundation. Pretty good company for a couple of former native Cleveland common folks.

I am a first generation Yankee, but Southern raised. I do know the plural of Ya' all --- All ya' all.

Some of you may remember that at last year's MS event I took a bad fall Friday morning, at the hotel. I only rode the 30 mile route on Saturday and did campground duty on Sunday. It was not until a week or so after I returned home that we learned the fall was way worse then I ever considered. And it was made worse by our doctor. It's been a long few months. In March, I changed doctors and it's been improving since. All indications are that I'll be ready to ride by the event. But, if I can't, I promise that I will be there anyway, doing something for you. All the arrangements for the trip are made, it now comes down to how I feel. The point is, and always has been, to raise funds for the Society to assist those with MS, some of whom are good friends of ours.

I appreciate all of the TeamCBC riders and volunteers. You all are a dedicated inspiring group and I'm proud to be a small part of what you all do. Oh, and did I mention my HERO: Captain Bob? I suspect he maintains that status with many more of you. And one last thing: Just remember that when I'm there and in riding attire, I've likely got the biggest Lion in the group.

Oh just curious for those of us who might be traveling out that way sometime, is there anyplace in Arizona that sells CBC beer ?

Oh my word, I hope not. Talk about "skunky" beer. 2500 +/- miles on the back of a truck should do that. Excuse me, I guess I should address the question --- "Not that I'm aware of."

And one other thing. Should you "be traveling out" this way, get over that "dry heat" thing. Your oven has dry heat, but I don't see you sticking your head in it.

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Paul Rogers - fighting MS on and off the bike

When Paul was first diagnosed with MS in '03, he could not walk for two weeks. His Physical Therapist recommended he plan for the next MS flare by working on his cardiovascular endurance. So, he dusted off an old road bike that had been hanging around his shop for 10 years and started riding again.

Since 2007 he's ridden BikeMS events with TeamCBC. And at the 2010 event, he finished his first century ride since the 1980's.

Paul is one of our über-sweeps; he's an RN by day. So if he tells you that you need to pull over, listen. Don't make him use his 911 powers.

How did you first find CBC ?

I was riding a lot of the charity cycling events to get ready for the MS Tours and really liked the CBC jerseys. The sweating beer glass jersey was outstanding! Possibly the BEST cycling jersey ever! The lion on the butt of the new CBC shorts, not so much. My particular pair have a lion with an especially wide mouth and mane.

But more importantly, I liked the CBC people. In the past I've done a lot of training rides with Team GSK and the old Nortel group, but they weren't giving away any drugs or phones. CBC on the other hand ........ hey, I come from a long line of brewery workers and beer drinkers, so I feel like I've found my peeps!

Which distance and pace do you normally ride ?

Short and slow! I'd prefer long and fast, but reality has finally set in. I blame the MS, as opposed to being old and fat. I often sweep the short CBC rides. Having retired from the Army, I'll leave no man (or woman riders) behind. If you're slow, new to cycling, or just having a bad day, you get to ride with me! If that doesn't make you go faster, nothing will.

I fit the website resume for a sweeper too well. I can half way fix most bike problems. I'm a RN by day, so I can usually pick up on medical issues. Having been around cycling for so long, I can look at a bike and rider and just tell if everything is set up "right". There should be a certain symmetry between (wo)man and machine, a certain proportional balance.

When did you first start cycling ?

As a kid, a one speed Roadmaster bike from Western Auto was my primary mode of transportation around the neighborhood. But I really fell in love with road bikes in 1963. While visiting a great aunt in Austria, I saw my first real racing bike with turned down handlebars in a Vienna bike shop window. The clouds opened and I heard harps playing. It was like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! I was touched by the cycling Gods and utterly hooked for ever after. As soon as I got back home, I tried to turn the handlebars on my Schwinn upside down to emulate that bike. From then on, I knew the common 3 speed English "racers" were crap. Finally in the mid '70s I got a real Italian "10 speed" and started racing with the Buffalo Bicycle Club (BBC).

I escaped to NC in '78 and raced through most of the '80s for Cycles de Oro (Greensboro) and the now defunct Eno River Racers from Durham. The core of that team appropriately morphed into the Doughnut Boy Racing Team. Honest! Glazed doughnut on the front of the jersey. That is no doubt the all time second best cycling jersey.

As for racing, I was too ahhh ........... muscular (fat) to be a climber and too lazy to be a time trail specialist, so I became a wheel sucking sprinter. It still goes against every grain of my being to take a pull at the front of a group.

You call yourself an "ex-Yankee." Is that because you simply moved your stuff down south or does that mean you are now a sourtherner by heart ?

There used to be six indoor velodromes in Buffalo back in the '30s. My mom remembers going to watch six day bike races when she was young. The BBC, my old cycling club, has been around on and off since 1879! Ah, Buffalo, a great place to be FROM! I got out of there as just soon as I could.

School in Louisiana (LSU, Harvard on the Bayou. Geaux Tigers!) and then the Army in Georgia (The Ft. Benning Infantry School for Wayward Boys). Finally, after finishing Nursing School, got a job at the VA Hospital in Durham and never looked back.

I hoped I would be the very last Yankee to move south, but, alas, thousands have followed (making CARY what it is today). Unbelievable! I moved 400+ miles to get away from Yanks and they followed me!

What do you do when you are not cycling ?

Sleep, eat too much ............ Seriously, I'm retiring from my day job soon. Health permitting, I might start painting bike frames again as a hobby/business. That's how I paid for my racing through the '80s. Shut the paint shop down when I got activated for Desert Storm (I was so excited, I thought they said DESSERT!).

So if you have a steel (is real), aluminum, or titanium frame that needs repainting, look me up in a year or two.

What else should people know about you ?

The less, the better! Then I can stealthfully sneak up and suck their wheel.

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Marty Snead - proof you don't need a village, just one great guy

Marty Snead knows how to balance life and exercise. When she's not on two wheels, she's running after two little girls.

She credits her husband Greg's support for allowing her to continue road biking and remain active with TeamCBC even while caring for a toddler and a newborn.

Her commitment to the fight against MS is remarkable. This is her 12th year participating in Bike MS. Last year while she was grounded by her second pregnancy, she still raised over $1000 for TeamCBC.

How did you first find CBC ?

My friend, Gay Benevides, started riding with CBC while I was riding for Cisco. After hearing how great the team was from Gay, I decided to try them out... and the rest is history.

TeamCBC is an AMAZING group to train and ride with!!!!!

What other groups have you ridden with ?

For the past 11 MS rides I rode for GSK for 2 years, 2 years not on a team - just rode with friends, 2 years with Cisco and now starting my 5th year with CBC.

As for training for the MS ride, I take spin classes, ride at Cycling Spoken Here in Cary and ride with CBC on the weekends.

You have managed to continue riding even with small children. What tips or advice do you give for someone wanting to continue (or begin) cycling with kids at home ?

I am very fortunate to have a husband - Greg - that knows how much I LOVE to cycle and he doesn't mind taking care of the girls (one being 3 years old and one being 7 mo. old) for 3 hours or more depending on the distance I am riding while I train during the spring / summer for the MS 150 or what is now called Bike MS.

In 2009 when I only had 1 little girl, I would do a spin class on Mondays, ride from Cycling Spoken Here on Wednesday and Thursday ( 30 miles each night) and then do the CBC ride on Sunday. When added with weights at the gym, the routine was a quick way to get back into shape.

Again, I couldn't do all that bike time if it weren't for my wonderful husband Greg who takes care of the girls during all the time I am out on the road.

Did you continue riding while you were pregnant ? If so, for how far into your pregnancy ?

Once I knew I was pregnant, the only time I was on a bike was during a spin class on a spin bike. I know there might be some women who ride during their pregnancy, but my husband and I both agreed that I should not ride on the road while pregnant.

What else would you like to share about yourself and your riding experiences ?

Riding is so much fun for me. It not only is a great way to work out, but also you meet so many nice people on every ride. By the time the MS ride comes around in September, you feel like you have been riding with a family. When you are out on the road, everyone helps each other out; they are not just in it for their own ride.

I am just now getting back onto the bike after having my 2nd daughter (who is 7 mo. old) and so I am heavier and slower up the hills. The great part about CBC and other groups is that they don't drop you and make sure everyone is ok and still with the group. ( I am told I am stronger than I think I am!)

Your commitment to the fight against MS is obvious. Where does your motivation come from ?

Riding the MS ride is personal to me because I have a cousin who has been battling MS for over 5 years now. She just lost sight in one of her eyes and needs help in day to day chores. Luckily her mother lives close by and her kids are old enough to help out around the house and with her needs.

Everyone has their reason why they like to ride, mine is just personal. Some do it because they have family or a friend struggling with MS, some enjoy making new friends, and some like to work out this way. Regardless of why you ride, once you ride, you become addicted to it!

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Nancy Thomas - a part time job leads to brand new love(s)

Back in 2000, Nancy was working part-time at Pulse Athletic Club. Little did she know when a friend convinced her to try Danny Thomas' spin class, this would be the start of a new life, on and off the bike. A dozen years and thousands of miles later, Nancy and Danny are two of CBC's regular riders.

How long have you been cycling?

It all started back in 1998. I was working part-time job at Pulse Athletic Club in Cary while going through a divorce. The gym became my sanctuary. When I wasn't working one of my two jobs, I was working out.

Several of my friends took Danny’s spin classes. His love for riding was contagious and many of them bought bikes and Danny taught them to ride on the road. I had never taken a spin class until some friends convinced me to try one in 2000. I was pretty fit; I could spend an hour on the Stairmaster hardly breaking a sweat so how hard could it be? Well let me tell you, that class was an eye opener. I thought my heart was going to explode! It took several of these classes before I could actually keep up and/or finish with the class!

I first bought my bike in October 2002 after driving the sag vehicle for some friends. I started riding with the group in 2003. I was hooked. Everyone signed up for the MS150 in New Bern that year. This would be my first century! Unfortunately, it was not in the stars for me……….

A group of five of us rode together as often as we could and we became known as the “Meatballs”. Meatballs, you ask? Yes, well after one long, hot, oxygen deprived ride ending at Sparks, one of our friends ordered a meatball sandwich and the rest is history. (OK, there were a few beers involved as well.) Those were the days! We met every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and rode, averaging 200-240 miles a week. We rode almost every organized metric advertised. I knew every name of every road on every route.

When did you join CBC, and how did you initially get involved?

I first learned about CBC from fellow Meatballer, Tom Graham, sometime in 2004. After one of our Saturnday 75+ miles rides, he convinced us to tour the brewery. I say "convinced", but it really didn’t take much coaxing. We were all in our riding attire and it was a very, very hot summer day. I remember how warm the warehouse was and how cool the vats were. Needless to say, if there were butt cheek imprints on the vats that day, it was us as we leaned against them soaking in the coolness of the stainless steel (sorry Greg)! Great tour by the way……if you have not attended one, I highly recommend it.

What is your motivation for participating in bikeMS

Mostly it comes from knowing I am helping support a cause that might ease someone’s pain and help give them a better quality of life while doing something I enjoy. And the camaraderie… need I say more? I’ve met a great group of people and made some wonderful friends while riding.

I did my first MS150 in New Bern 2004 with Team GSK. I had signed up in 2003 with Team GSK and later in 2005 with Team CBC but circumstances did not allow me to actually attend either. I’m proud to say that although I did not get to ride those times, I still met my fundraising goals. At the time I did not know anyone who had MS but six years ago, a co-worker was diagnosed.

Since my family ails from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, in addition to fundraising for MS, I did several other charity rides from 2003-2006. So many that I thought I had to lay low for a while because my “pool of donators” was limited. With no exaggeration, I started to think people at work would turn the other direction if they saw me coming down the hall!

What is your typical distance and speed?

I had been off the bike for about 3 years before this season. Last year I rode with CBC a handful of times, but at mile 30-35, my butt did not want any part of it and I gave up early in the season. This year I started short and slow and have progressed to the “slow 72” ride.

It used to be nothing to average 19-20 mph for a 64 mile ride….now if I average 18+, I’m content. But again, it depends on the course….hills suck the life out of me. I’m not satisfied with the amount of miles I’ve gotten in this season but considering I have only been riding on Sundays with Team CBC, I am happy I was able to complete a double century at the MS150 this September.

I think it’s more important to have fun than to try to keep up.... although I do have somewhat of a competitive nature. When I find I’m over my head in a group, it isn’t fun anymore. Nothing is worse than bridging a gap only to catch up and realize you have nothing left to hold on. That’s what’s so great about the various rides that Team CBC offers. Just make sure you pick the appropriate ride for your ability and you are almost always guaranteed a good experience.

What are your specific challenges when it comes to road cycling?

OMG! Hills! I hate them. Please folks….keep pedaling or get out of the way. Going down hills is not for coasting! Pedal, pedal, pedal….If I ever pass you to get out front, don’t take it personally. I don’t when you blow past me, sucking me out the back. I need the speed going down to help get me up. (My husband keeps mentioning “power to weight”...)

Base miles. I haven’t gotten enough time on the bike this year. I don’t really enjoy store rides and even if I did, since moving to Holly Springs I found it too stressful to try and get to the start after work. Life happens and my old riding buddies went their separate ways a few years ago. I think Tom was the only one of us who never hung up his bike. (I miss the comfort zone that riding with the same people all the time provides.) I guess I need the confidence to ride alone more often if I really want to get in more base miles next season.

Comfort Zone. Lately, lack of time in the saddle has caused some apprehension. You’ll notice I am pretty quiet on the bike, concentrating on what’s going on in front and around me. I use to be able to be within an inch off someone’s back wheel. Now, it’s more like several feet. That definitely needs improvement. Comes with experience and practice which leads us back to needing more time on the bike!

What other sports do you do?

I love to run. It doesn’t take the time that cycling does, you can do it anywhere and it provides time to meditate. I’ve done a few 5K’s, a 10K and two half marathons. It was just after my second half marathon in November 2007 that I developed plantar fasciitis. It became chronic. For two years it kept me from running and riding. I had never realized how important my feet were! It was extremely painful.

I was able to start running again last fall. These days, my dog Alex is my running partner. I think the running has helped with endurance on the bike this year as it has made up for some of the miles I never got to ride.

Can you tell me a little about cycling adventures you and Danny have had together?

Anyone who knows Danny knows he’s most happy riding his bike, singing, or working in the yard, watching things grow. Most people think of a date as “dinner and a movie”, ours were rides in the country. All those hours riding a bike, you can get to know someone really well.

Danny and I have ridden several rides as part of the NCBC Brevets Series. Alan Johnson has run this annual series for several years. It departs out of Morrisville and consists of four out and back rides, 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km. My longest was the 300km. I remember that one in particular. I met Danny at the turn around as we hadn’t ridden the ride together as he is much faster than I. Since this was my first 192 mile ride, he rode the rest of the ride with me. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere we came upon a small farm house and two dogs ran toward us. We slowed down and continued to pedal as they ran alongside. One of the dogs had crossed the rode behind us so now we had dogs on either side. They weren’t aggressive, just wanted to play chase. All of a sudden the big black dog decided he wanted to be on the same side as his companion making a path directly across my front wheel. Everything happened so fast. This dog was not only big but solid! I literally bounced backward off the back of the dog, up in the air and slammed down on the pavement. (A note to all you animal lovers: The dog did not flinch and was now happy to be alongside his friend.) I had a small can of some power drink in my back pocket that exploded on impact. When I stood up, a quick check revealed very little skin damage but a sore elbow. After inspecting my bike and looking to make sure the dog was fine, I again focused on my elbow. I had this huge colorful contusion that swelled like a balloon! It was quite disturbing but there was no loss of mobility so we pedaled on since we still had over 79+ miles to go. The rest of the ride was uneventful but somewhere about mile 160, I had to stop and refuel. This was a long ride!!! It was almost dusk by the time we got to Lystra, and dark as we rolled into Morrisville. As we reached the parking lot after checking in at Alan’s house, I felt quite accomplished. We headed home, showered and went to a party where we shared the events of the day with friends. Everyone was quite impressed by my elbow! In 2006, as members of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA), we signed up for the Year Rounder challenge. It’s a program to help keep cyclists in shape in the off season. Minimum requirement was one century per month. Only rides of 100 miles or more are counted. I ended the year with 15 rides totaling 1604 miles and Danny 19 rides totaling 2334 miles. The toughest part for me was riding in the cold since I have Raynaud's disease and quite easily lose circulation in my fingers and toes. Thank goodness you are allowed two makeup rides so I didn’t have to ride in the December and January! I think the most fun I’ve had on and off the bike was when we were scouting, marking and riding Danny’s UMCA North Carolina Cross State Record Rides in 2005 and 2006.

Danny had done several PAC Tours before we met and always wanted to do RAAM before he turned 50 but it became clear this was a dream that most likely would never happen being a single dad of two little girls, so we looked for alternatives. Thoughts of Paris-Brest -Paris crossed his mind but that wasn’t attainable before turning 50 so he set a goal to break the North Carolina North to South Cross-State record in 2005. There is a lot of planning that goes into these record attempts. At the time, you needed to use the previous record holder’s route so we scouted the route and rode a few sections together. Other times Danny rode and I drove making time checks. We filed the paperwork, studied the rules and finally found an official. Danny broke the N-S record in the under 50 age group and then again in 2006 attempted to set the record for 50 and over. By this time, the rules had changed some and Danny got to plot his own course. As you can imagine, this was even more time consuming…but a lot of fun. When Danny finally decided on his route, we spent a weekend driving and marking the roads. We made several trips to Statesville where we rode sections of the course. We looked for alternatives in the route in case he came upon a red light during his attempt. These rides are all about TIME while following all traffic laws and UMCA rules! I remember best the weekend we spent riding 100+ miles of the planned route from north to south on Saturday and then riding back on Sunday... especially the last few miles over the Continental Divide and back to the Parkway. Climbing that mountain that day was the hardest thing I think I’ve done on a bike. I remember my legs were aching and I was riding so slowly. I kept thinking “I’m not going to make it”, then I was saying it out loud. There was switchback after switchback. Danny kept saying “just watch the tree line, you’re almost there!” I made it around yet another curve, switch back after switchback. I looked down at my cyclometer and I was going 5 miles an hour! “I’m not going to make it!” I said again. “Keep watching the tree line” Danny kept repeating. (That damn tree line kept going and going.) By this time I was so aware of how slow I was going I thought I was going to come to a stop and fall off just like the old man on the tricycle from the old Laugh-In TV show. There was a small clearing and I stopped. I told Danny I was done. There was no way I was going to make it so he road back to get the car. Well, anyone who knows me knows I can be impatient. So instead of waiting for Danny to return, I crossed the road so I was facing oncoming traffic and started to walk my bike up the mountain. The road was so steep, walking in cleats was almost impossible. I stopped and took off my shoes and proceeded up the mountain around the next switchback. Low and behold, just around that corner was the summit! Was I mad! If I had taken a more positive approach… had I pushed myself just a little more…JUST ONE MILE! I’d have had the satisfaction of having ridden the Continental Divide in both directions in one weekend. I put on my shoes and started riding back to the car…..what a day! What an experience!

What about life off the bike ?

My mother and father’s parents both migrated from Spain to Vermont. I was born in Massachusetts. The summer before I started third grade, my family moved to Puerto Rico where my dad started his own business. I graduated high school, moved to Florida and later married my high school sweetheart in 1977. My husband and I returned to Puerto Rico in 1978 where all three of our children were born. We later moved to Cary, NC in 1987 and lived in the area for 10 years before separating in 1998. Divorce is never easy for anyone but I have three wonderful children as a result of my first marriage, Sean 26, Fallon 28 and Shannon 32 as well as two beautiful grandchildren Raylee 5 and Dane 4.

Danny and I met at the gym we both worked at in Cary 11 years ago. He has two daughters from a previous marriage, Jacquelyn, 13 and Danielle, 12. We dated twice…. the second time getting it right and married in May 2009. We live in Holly Springs just a few miles from the brewery.

Anything else you care to share ?

One thing I’ve experienced riding with Team CBC is the caring nature that everyone has for their fellow riders. We receive correspondence all the time from newbies and strangers thanking “CBC”ers for their help on the road. I think it says a lot about the group of people who call themselves Team CBC and makes me proud to be affiliated. And for those that have come to my aid, I am eternally grateful. You have made bad days better and good days great!

Oh, and I am terrible with names. I’ll probably ask you your name more than once. Please don’t take it personally!!!

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Michael Zapata - an NC native who learned there's no place like home

Michael Zapata started cycling as a teenager in North Carolina. After an accident which kept him off the bike for years, a career in the military, and a chance to tour the world, Michael settled back in North Carolina and back onto the bike.

He's been cycling now for five years; this is his third year supporting TeamCBC.

And, if Michael ever gives you a Christmas gift, you might want to put it in the fridge instead of under the tree. He likes CBC beer so much, he often gives it out to friends and family over the holidays.

How long have you been cycling ?

I cycled a lot when I was a teenager, and was part of a juniors team by my mid-teens. Then I suffered injuries that took me off the bike. I did not cycle again until my late 30s.

I started with sprint triathlons, then grew to doing longer rides and ultimately achieved centuries and iron distance triathlons. It is tough to fit in the training with career and family, so I have taken to doing one year on, one year off from competitive events.

How long have you been cycling with TeamCBC ?

I believe I am in my third year. I travel a lot for work and we spend a lot of time at the coast, so weekends are scarce. I did a couple of rides with the team four years ago, but did not fully embrace the camaraderie and team approach until three years ago. Since them I am a dedicated rider whenever I am in town.

How did you first find TeamCBC ?

I met a couple of CBC riders on a local bike shop ride. They told me about the idea of riding to raise money for a worthy purpose and I liked the concept. I had been invited onto the Lineberry team, so it was a natural fit.

The namesake of Lineberry would match registration fees to fund raising rides (actually he would reimburse, but most of us ask that he match instead). I came to know Bob and since then have been very impressed with his commitment and leadership. I actually apologize to him directly via email every time I am traveling and can not make a ride. He works so hard to make this team work and he deserves a lot of recognition.

What pace/distance do you normally ride ?

I only get to ride once a week in the winter and a couple of times a week in the summer. I try to make my weekend rides a minimum of 100k, but I look forward to the 100 milers. Weeknight rides depend on the available daylight as I ride with a group. I do not believe in riding alone since I had a bad experience riding as a teenager.

During the week I run once or twice, lift once or twice and swim once. On the years when I am in shape I can average 20-21 mph for a 100k, in the off years 18-19. It takes a lot more energy to move fat up a hill. The laws of physics are immutable.

What is your motivation for riding to end MS ? Do you have family or friends struck by the disease ?

One of the pilots I served with in the military was diagnosed and it ended his flying career. That is tough for a pilot. Later a co-worker that reported to me had to fight the battle with his wife. This was my turning point in deciding I wanted to have an impact. Since then, I have come to admire Kevin, who everyone knows is supporting his wife in the battle. To stop fighting now would be unthinkable.

You have connections with persons near the Fukishima nuclear power plant, what can you tell us about that and what have you heard from your colleagues that live in that area ?

Surprising question. I do a lot of international business, both for the US and foreign governments and for technology start-ups that I serve on the boards of. One of my companies has been working with several Japanese companies. I have developed relationships within those companies over the years. Two of them are impacted only because of the rolling blackouts. One is due to the limited power generation capacity that limits the power availability during the workday and evenings. The other is in the expanded exclusion zone. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on their ability to survive as a business. It is a setback for the county and for the movement to ween from fossil fuels.

What else can you share about yourself, both on and off the bike ?

Not a lot to tell. Although I have spent a lot of time around the world and lived in a lot of different places, I am a NC native. I am retired military and proud of my service. I love supporting the State of NC, NC State and the UNC System. I live for technology and I like great wine and great CBC beer, especially the seasonals. I often give CBC beer as gifts.

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