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Cyclists sample fall in the country

Touring bicyclists enjoyed cool fall riding on Pasco County's rural routes Sunday as part of the annual Rattlesnake Festival.

A few wore tights, but most were content to warm up briskly, enjoying Florida's fall sunshine during a long day in the saddle.

Many cyclists stop by the quaint San Antonio Cyclery, owned by Jim Pavek, race director for the Darby Road Race, and junior cycling coach. Pavek's best juniors, Derek Wilkerson and Louis Lamarche, make these hilly roads their training for national championships. Just plain cycling tourists also turn out in numbers for a ride in the country.

Pushing the pace: With so many riders touring Pasco and Mount Dora this past weekend, training rides throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough were easier. Top triathletes John Woodruff and Danny Nolan were competing in the Ironman in Hawaii, so other cyclists combined efforts to force the pace on the fastest rides in town.

Leading weekend rides were Tony Prioli (Guiltless Gourmet) of Safety Harbor; Charley Martin (Chainwheel Drive/Specialized) of Clearwater; Joseph Kline (Fast Track) of Clearwater; and Sam Miller (Thomson/CDD/Fast Track) of Clearwater.

Fast woman: One female rider able to keep up with this month's fast pace was Thomson's Cynthia Hardwick, an accountant who is winding up her competitive cycling season. A recent USF graduate from Treasure Island, Hardwick shows good form this fall, even though other senior women who have traveled the United States are exhausted this time of the year.

Tyndal wins: National road race champion Steve Tyndal of Bradenton ended what he termed a dream season by winning the masters title in the Michelin Cycling Classic in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday. Tyndal, who came out of retirement last year, plans to race one more cycling season.

ABC bicycles hosts clinic: Runner and triathlete Gemma Castleman (ABC Bicycles/Quest) helped Scott Walker of Terry Bicycles host a women's cycling clinic at ABC Bicycles in St. Petersburg several weeks ago. Also attending: Francine Becker of Clearwater, an elite master triathlete who is on injured reserve for Kidspeed Cycling Club. Many were glad to see the former Sprintman Triathlon Series champion up and about.

Showtime series heads to Gainesville: Round No. 3 in the fourth annual Caloi Florida State Mountain Bike Championship Series will be in Gainesville, next to Gatorback Motocross Complex, on Sunday. Practice will be allowed Saturday.

Sunday practice and race registration will be from 7 to 9:15 a.m. Riders meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. Racing begins at 10:15 a.m. for juniors, clydesdales, first-timers, sport and beginner women, and 30-something women.

Racing at 11:45 a.m. will include pro-expert men, vet expert and beginner men, expert women and masters. Sport men and beginner men will race at 2 p.m.

For further mountain bike racing information call York at: (813) 546-0630.

Elsewhere: Tom Stevenson, membership chairman of the St. Petersburg Bicycle Club, received a letter from Suzanne Zonjee, a triathlete who went to Saudi Arabia to work as a nurse. Zonjee joined the Riyadh Running Club last week and plans to compete in a race organized by the Canadian Embassy.