Bike club sponsors Father's Day races Riders of all ages take part in event

June 21, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Everyone was a winner at the Father's Day Velokids Bicycle races in Eldersburg yesterday.

Racers as young as 2 1/2 pedaled their three-wheelers in front of the Eldersburg Business Center just off Route 32. Slightly more experienced riders, those in the 4- to 7-year-old age group, raced their two-wheelers on a straight course along the closed street.

The real professional racers, those ages 7 and up, raced on a course just under a mile long that circled buildings in the center.

In one of the morning events -- races started at 9 a.m. and finished at 3 p.m. -- two participants, 70- and 78-years-young, pedaled their bikes in an unlimited age race.

Every racer who took part in the Father's Day event and turned in their racing number received a prize, with one boy winning a new $200 racing bike from Larry Black, owner of the Mount Airy Bicycle Shop.

The event, promoted by the Mount Airy Bicycle Club, is hoping to bring back the use of bicycles for short distance transportation and limit the extensive use of automobiles for hops to the corner store or for trips to a neighborhood school.

Dale Gardner, whose sons Jonathan, 4, and Jeffrey, 7, participated in yesterday's races, rides his bike beside Jeffrey's to school almost every day.

Mr. Gardner rode in the Cycle Across Maryland tour last year and was hoping to ride with his wife, Barbara, on their new tandem bike across the state this year.

The race was held with the cooperation of Supersport Indoor Arena where the prizes were awarded to get the racers out of the 90-degree weather.

After the morning races and during an intermission, a bicycle trick team known as "Team Tornado" from Lorton, Va., provided the contestants and spectators with a spectacular performance of trick riding, but warned young riders not to try the stunts.

Mr. Black provided many of the gifts to the riders, including helmets, water bottles, jackets, riding shirts and other prizes.

Members of the bicycle club credited Mr. Black and his wife, Linda, with the successful and smooth operation of the day's events and said they looked forward to the second edition of the races on Father's Day next year, when organizers expect the event to double in size.

The Mount Airy Bicycle Club is seeking new members ages 4 through 18 for its "Velokids" road and track racing programs.

These programs, conducted by a coach trained and licensed by the U.S. Cycling Federation, are designed to teach young bicyclists the skills and techniques required for road and track races.

First-place winners yesterday were: Greg Reeves, in the 7- to 9-year-old group; Bobby Lea, in the 10- to 12-year-old licensed juniors; Erik Johnson, in the 10- to 12-year-old citizen or unlicensed group; John Delong, in the 13- to 14-year-old licensed juniors; J. C. Castro, in the 15- to 16-year-old licensed juniors; Charles Lepovetsky in the 30- to 39-year-old age group; David Wamsley, in the 40- to 49-year-old age group; Peter McDowell, in the 50- to 59-year-old age group; and Tom Kelley, in the 60- to 69-year-old age group.

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