Father and son hitting the road


Bicycling: Marc Sloan and his 11-year-old son are in training for this year's Cycle Across Maryland.

June 20, 1999|By Nancy Menefee Jackson | Nancy Menefee Jackson,Special to the Sun

Marc Sloan bonds with his son through aching muscles, sore butts and weary legs, as they prepare to ride bikes across Maryland this summer.

And both Marc, 42, and Jeremy, 11, are looking forward to more of the same.

The Sloans will ride in the Cycle Across Maryland (CAM) tour, which takes place July 24-30. But rather than do the entire 300-mile ride, they will do a mini-CAM, riding for three days and covering about 45 miles per day.

"I saw this as a good chance for Jeremy and I to spend some time together," Marc says. He also saw CAM as a safe way to undertake a long-distance ride.

If something should happen, he quips, "They have a support van that will come and scrape us up off the road."

Marc wasn't daunted in the least; he has participated in five rides that were 100 miles long. Jeremy, who got a mountain bike for his birthday last year, needed a little more training; so father and son have been taking to the streets -- and bike paths and trails.

"It's hard -- my legs hurt," Jeremy says. But he's proud of the fact that one day he rode 20 miles -- the longest he has ridden to date.

Throughout the year, Marc rides once a week, usually 25 to 30 miles at a time. For the past few weeks he's upped that to twice a week to prepare for CAM.

The Sloans live in Towson, and Marc likes to head toward Loch Raven Reservoir and up to Jarrettsville. But he and Jeremy have been spending more time on the Northern Central Railroad Trail. Although the 20-mile trail lacks hills, it's the absence of cars that lets Marc breathe a little easier when he's riding with Jeremy.

"Our goal on that is to bump it up until we can ride the whole trail," Marc says.

In addition to biking, Marc works out on a NordicTrak about three times a week for about 25 minutes at a time, or the equivalent of 2 1/2 miles. Jeremy enjoys swimming year-round.

Marc also has a 7-year-old daughter, Emily, and a job -- as a lawyer with the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. -- that requires him to be in the office. Sometimes he can squeeze in a ride after work, but he saves his longer rides for the weekends, and he likes to be out of the house by 8 a.m.

"I have a very, very, very understanding wife," he says.

Before he can ride, Jeremy just has to worry about finishing his homework.

Father and son are looking forward to meeting the other cyclists who will be riding in CAM. When asked what he'd like to see, Jeremy jokes, "Another mile marker."

And as for a nutritional program to fortify them for the big event, Marc says with a laugh, "We eat a lot of Tastykakes."

Pub Date: 06/20/99

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