Biking is time together for the Lea family


September 20, 2001|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BICYCLING is a great way to bring a family together. For one Taneytown family, bicycling - with racing - brings a little culture into the equation as well.

Tracy and Rob Lea and their two sons, Bobby, 17, and Syd, 16, have traveled all over the world, thanks to bicycle racing.

In addition to the fun of cycling, Tracy said it is a way to see other countries. The family has been to many in Western Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

"It's a way to tour the world and reach out to bikers from all over the world," she said. "And we're going to Cuba in October."

The family also believes in helping other bikers from other countries compete in the United States.

This summer, the Leas helped a Belarus youth compete in the Junior Track World Championship. The family provided Egor Bubin, 17, with housing, helped set up his gear and helped him get to the many races he had to compete in every weekend before the championship at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, Pa.

This was the second Bubin the Leas have assisted. They helped Egor's brother Denis in a race five years ago. Tracy Lea said her family has known the Bubin family since 1987, when they met at a race. Rob and Egor's father, Dmitri, raced in the Masters Championship in Belarus.

"I think culturally and socially, these exchanges are important," she said.

Syd trained in Omsk, Siberia, for the 3,000-meter Pursuit three years ago.

Tracy Lea said her interest in biking dates to 1969, when she rode her bicycle to high school. By the time she started college in 1971, she was racing. She won the Pan American Championship in Cuba in 1999 and last year.

Biking became a family avocation. Her sons compete and, this summer, Bobby won the national Junior Track Championship and the Collegiate Track Championship representing Penn State, where he is enrolled.

Syd races with the Maryland Special Olympics. Rob Lea is a former national champion in cycling and a former Olympian in rowing (1964).

Tracy Lea said the family uses biking to spend time together. "This is our family time," she said. "We're busy all week, and we race on weekends."

She said her family is grateful for the sponsorship from Fuji Bicycles. "They've sponsored us for more than 20 years," she said. "And they have helped put together some of the programs I have worked on."

Basket bingo

Johnsville Ruritan Club will be the host for basket bingo at 7 p.m. tomorrow at New Midway Volunteer Fire Department on Route 194.

Baskets will be filled with surprises. Tickets are $15 for 24 regular games. In addition, a raffle for a pair of baskets will be held. Tickets cost $1 each or $5 for six.

Information: Dennis Saylor, 410-775-2449.

Turkey and oysters

Grace United Church of Christ will hold its annual turkey and fried oyster supper from noon until dinners are sold out Oct. 6.

The cost is $10 for adults and $4.50 for ages 5 to 12. Children age 4 and younger can eat free.

Information: 410-756-2898

Open house

Taneytown Economic Restructuring Committee will hold an open house at 5 p.m. Monday at Szechuan Inn, 4 York St.

Nancy McCormick, economic development director, said the open house is a way to inform businesses and residents about tax credits and low-interest loans for revitalization efforts.

Information: 410-751-1100.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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