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Bike riders beat the heat to hit century mark

August 21, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING

Mark Bodmann couldn't really complain about riding his bicycle for 101 miles Saturday through Washington County. Except for the hills and the heat. And a broken pedal and a busted clip on the sole of his riding shoe.

"After all the mechanical breakdowns, it went great," Bodmann, of Westminster, Md., said as he worked on his bicycle.

Riders who participated in the ride, the annual Cumberland Valley Century, started and ended their rides at Clear Spring High School.

Cumberland Valley Cycling Club member Beth Evans, who was stationed at the high school, said 170 riders participated, with around 70 percent riding the 101-mile route - which riders refer to as a "century."

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Others rode either 26 miles or 65 miles - referred to as a "metric century."

An exact tally has not been done, but Evans estimated around $3,000 was raised. Proceeds benefit the cycling club and San Mar Children's Home.

After riding the metric century, Kim Brown was sitting on a towel under a shade tree at the high school, re-reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

It was her first time taking part in the ride.

"It was nice. It was overcast this morning, a little misty, so that kept the heat down for two-thirds of my ride," said Brown, of Gaithersburg, Md. "Traffic was terrific. The roads were really nice. Very quiet."

Brown said she started riding after meeting her husband, an avid cyclist.

"When we first started dating, he drug me around on a bike," she said, adding riding enables them to spend time together.

Another advantage: Brown said she can eat as much as she wants without feeling guilty, knowing the calories will be pedaled away.

Karen Minor admits she didn't train as much as she should have before riding the metric century.

"For me, it was a little hard at the end," she said. "When the weather started getting hot, I had to struggle at the end a little."

Minor, of Westminster, has not ridden any long rides this year and just started riding two years ago.

Organized rides give her a chance to see scenery from a different perspective. Sometimes, she said, she see sights she might otherwise miss.

Although she has lived in Maryland her entire life, Minor never visited Antietam National Battlefield until two wheels carried her through the national park.

Since she was riding mostly by herself Saturday, Minor said she was able to hear water flowing in brooks and see some memorable sights.

"There are some gorgeous homes that have been built along these routes," she said. "And the scenery was beautiful."

Bob Kimmel is far from a novice. He estimates he rides his bike around 5,000 miles a year.

As a younger man, he rode frequently, but stopped riding years ago. After his father-in-law had a heart attack and a stroke, Kimmel would accompany him on walks along the C&O Canal's tow path.

Kimmel realized it would be a nice place to ride and resumed cycling.

"It's stress relief," he said.

Bodmann - the rider plagued with mechanical problems - moved to Westminster from Texas in November. There, he said, he would ride every couple of weeks, but said he's found fewer rides in this area.

Bodmann has been riding for around 25 years.

"Best sport in the world," he said.

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