Dan and Maryanne McNamara
Dan and Maryanne McNamara
Where do you live, what do you do for a living, and how old are you?
We live in Gansevoort, N.Y., and are both happily retired. Dan is 69 and Maryanne is 65.
What kind of bike(s) do you ride? What are the features you like about it?
Dan rides a Jamis Xenith Endura 3. It’s an endurance road bike, so it has a more relaxed geometry that he likes. Maryanne rides a Trek Silque S that she purchased at Blue Sky’s spring sale a couple years ago. She fell in love with it when she brought a demo bike home for a few days and took it for a ride at the Saratoga Battlefield.
How long have you been riding, and how did you get into cycling?
Dan had been a runner for years, but experienced a torn retina in 2009. The ophthalmologist said he should avoid jarring activities and suggested that he cycle instead of run. Dan’s been enjoying cycling ever since then. Maryanne has been a runner for 25 years, and with Dan, has been active in the Saratoga Stryders running club. After some nagging injuries, she decided to lower her running mileage and add cycling to her routine. After a few rides she was hooked!
How do you typically put the miles on your bike(s)? Do you keep track of your miles?
All of our miles are on the road. During the outdoor season we ride with the Saratoga Cycling Club whenever we can and sometimes join a group in the Round Lake area. During the winter we take spin classes indoors. We also take our bikes to Florida for a month and ride with a cycling club there. We both track our miles on Strava.
Do you have some favorite routes?
Our favorite routes are all around Saratoga. North, south, east or west of town offer great roads and vistas. We’re fortunate that we can ride right from our house in Wilton and head out to the beautiful, rolling farm country east of Saratoga Lake. Maryanne loves Fitch Road and the peaceful loop at the Saratoga Battlefield. Our most memorable rides were at Zion National Park and Glacier National Park, when we were on Trek Travel touring trips. Cycling in the national parks was incredible, with breathtaking scenery on every ride.
What are your long-term cycling goals?
We hope to keep cycling for many more years. Our plan is to try a new Trek Travel destination every year.
What are your proudest moments as a cyclist?
To prepare for the mountain climbs at Glacier National Park, we trained for a few months with hill climbing. We found a route on Strava that took us past Stratton Mountain in Vermont. Closer to home we cycled up the Lake Desolation hill. Dan once rode the Lake Desolation hill climb three times on a single ride. At Glacier, we cycled the Going to the Sun Road, a narrow, windy rode along a steep mountainside that traverses the entire park. The route peaks when you reach Logan Pass and the Continental Divide at 6,646 ft. It was a challenging climb but worth every pedal stroke. At the peak, we were surrounded by views of beautiful, snowcapped mountains for miles and miles.
What tips would you offer to less experienced riders?
Before you embark on your entry to cycling, talk to the folks at Blue Sky. Everyone who works there has a wealth of knowledge and can help you make important decisions about equipment. Find a group to ride with. The group dynamic makes cycling so enjoyable.
What’s your favorite cycling product/accessory?
Lights, both front and rear, are so important for visibility. There are lots of lights on the market that make you visible to cars from a far distance. We use the Bontrager Ion 100 front light, and the Bontrager Flare R rear light.
How do you fuel and hydrate when you’re in the saddle?
Dan uses diluted Gatorade and Clif bars. I use EFS First Endurance drink mix because it has a wide range of electrolytes. If you want to know more about EFS products, Caleb can explain all about the benefits. He helped me select some products when I was having electrolyte issues during marathons.
Any funny or unusual experiences during your riding/racing career?
During a ride in Montana, a grizzly bear emerged from the woods ahead of us. He gave us a glance, then started walking across the road. We stopped and waited, not making any sudden movements. Fortunately, he wasn’t hungry and he ambled into the woods on the other side of the road. Needless to say, after he disappeared, our cadence increased dramatically and we luckily continued on unscathed.
Announcements: Kick off the cycling season with Blue Sky Bicycles annual Customer Appreciation Night! Friday, February 22nd, 5-7PM. Take advantage of special one-night-only discounts. Socialize with the local cycling community and enjoy local food and drink.