Cycling courses in the veinsof 'Baltimore Bullet'...

Cycling courses in the veins

of 'Baltimore Bullet' Phillips


You don't have to be a turkey to compete in Bobby Phillips' Turkey Day Bicycle Race at Lake Montebello today; it helps if you like how one tastes, though.

That's because in addition to divvying up $30,000 in cash and prizes, winners in the 20 categories will receive edible awards: turkeys, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.


"Sometimes people want the turkeys more than the other prizes," says Mr. Phillips, 45, who began the annual race seven years ago. (Registration is at 7 a.m. today; the first race begins at 8:15 a.m.)

A competitive amateur cyclist for the last 39 years, Mr. Phillips has amassed a dozen national championships and hundreds of trophies.

In his family, learning to ride was considered a rite of passage. His mother, Zay, a former state champion, still organizes races; his 80-year-old father, John, will compete today.

Cycling has also helped Mr. Phillips find romance. Years ago he won a Towson race and received an unusual prize -- ballroom dance lessons. Eager to find out if he waltzed as well as he pedaled, he signed up. Nine years ago his dance partner, Pat, became his wife.

The couple, who live in Towson, seem to have only one major difference of opinion. Bemoans Mr. Phillips, "My wife doesn't ride a bike."

Is Diana Kane out to become the Miss Manners of Baltimore?

She laughs at the question, but admits she's heard it before.

And why not? This local fashion maverick is convinced she can teach youngsters good grooming and social skills in eight easy weeks.


But never mind the white gloves approach. Instead the classes for ages 6-16 beginning this month at the Charles Village Performing Arts Center have a '90s flair. Interspersed with chatter about proper utensils will be discussions of human sexuality, as well as references to pop stars like Paula Abdul.

To a parent, it might sound impossible. But Ms. Kane, a mother of one, says she's faced greater challenges. Years ago, she opened what was believed to be the first African-American modeling school in Baltimore. While fashion jobs for black women were scarce, she and her models eventually participated in some of the area's most exclusive fashion shows.

"I was driven by the desire to persuade the fashion industry that there was a place for black models," says Ms. Kane, who gives her age as "over 40" and lives in West Baltimore.

As for keeping her 5-foot, 9-inch frame in shape, she swears by exercise.

"If I feel stressed, I get on the aerobics floor, jump around and get it out," she says. "It does work."