Road race champion: Petoskey man wins top honors at state championship race
Dave Ide of Petoskey was named Michigan Road State Champion during the USA Cycling 2011 State Road Race Championship on Aug. 14, in Traverse City. (Julie Witthoeft/News-Review)
"I'll get a 74 or 75 mile ride," he said, "with a really hard workout in the middle."
In the middle? Sounds like a really hard workout throughout.
But that's what separates athletes like Ide from the rest of us, and Ide proved his mettle at the Cherry-Roubaix-sponsored Michigan Bike Race Association and USA Cycling 2011 state road race championship on Sunday, Aug. 14, in Traverse City.
Ides won the road race, becoming the 2011 state champion for his 55-60 year-old age group -- in which, at 60, he is the upper tier.
"Until you get to the very top of your condition, it's more about condition than it is about age," said Ide.
But he seems inherently humble, and is quick to add, "I ride with guys that are 20-30 years old all the time, and there's no question that the best ones are better than me."
The 2011 state champion course began in Cedar, looped out M-22, through the old Sugar Loaf ski resort, then a long upward climb, a flat section, and then a hard climb back to Cedar.
The circuit measured in at more than 15 miles, and the cyclists did the loop three times -- a total of 46 miles.
"We generally averaged between 20 and 40 miles per hour, but you don't always go all out. There are tactics involved, too. Someone will attack off the front of the pack, then someone will chase them down, and then everyone will regroup," he said. "I tried to lead, with another guy, a couple of times, but you can tell your effort is not going to work, and if you continue with that, then you blow your chances for yourself."
The pack stayed close the whole race, Ide said -- and it was close until the finish, at which point Ides managed to cross the finish line first. He crossed the finish line with a time of two hours, three minutes -- the same pace as the 35 year-old group.
This bit of information also illustrates Ide's attitude. Though his group finished at the same pace as the younger guys, Ides didn't consider his group any faster.
"It doesn't mean we're faster than them," he said. "It just means we're not that far away from them in terms of speed."
The impressive workout that allows Ide to compete at such a level he seems to regard as pretty average: he rides between 200 and 300 miles each week, plus a racing cycling workout mid-week, plus that 75-mile ride from Petoskey to Cross Village and back each Sunday.
It's not that hard to do, and it's a lot easier now that I've retired," he said. "It's the work out I like. I really like that feeling of just going hard at a constant pace and really feeling that. ... Nothing takes the place of that kind of euphoria you get from a really hard work-out."