Hail to the Champ

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:51

    SUSSEX-Bob Cary is living proof that you're never too old to take up sports. After his kids had grown and gone, the Sussex attorney turned to bike racing. Recently, just two years after beginning to race competitively, Cary won gold and silver medals in the 50-54 age group in an international competition held in Cuba. Cary started cycling seriously in 1986 but has only been racing since 2002. "Now that my kids are grown and through college, I have more time to spend cycling," he said. "Afriend of mine and former Olympic coach Mike Fraysse invited me to take part in the Pan-American Masters Championship, which is eight different events over five days." So off to Cuba he went to race five events on a velodrome, which is a track with steep, 38-degree banked sides, and in three road events. The velodrome events ranged from 200 meters to five miles. The longest road event was 36 miles. Cary won gold medals in the 2,000-meter pursuit, a race against the clock, and the scratch race - ten laps of the track. He never expected to win. "Nobody was more surprised than me," said Cary modestly, though he had trained for a year for the championships. Cary is a member of the Sussex Bike and Sports/Skylands Cycling Club, which has 115 members and meets year round. "Sussex County is one of the best areas for cycling because of the terrain. Twenty of the 70 bike races that take place in New Jersey each year are held in Sussex County," he said. Cary cycles about 10,000 miles a year and is already looking forward to his next big event. "I'm training for the '05 National Track Championships in Indianapolis, and the more time you spend cycling the better," he said. "I find it's a great stress reliever, and because there is a history of heart attack in my family, I do it for health reasons too." For more information on Skylands Cycling Club, call Jason Ziegler at Sussex Bike & Sports Shop, 973-875-6565 where all team members receive discounts. Or visit skylandscycling.com.