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Training for Road Cycling Competition Turns Out to Be a Pain in the Legs

May 18, 1986|Herbert J. Vida

Suzanne Sonye is up at 5:30 a.m. six days a week for three painstaking hours of training, and what does she have to show for it? "Pain, terrible pain in the legs," moans road cyclist Sonye, 23, of Anaheim. "There's always pain."

Her daily life could be described as a painful existence, too. "I train, go to work, go home and go to bed at 8 (p.m.)," she said. "I'm always tired." Sonye says rest is part of her training. "When I get home I relax and stay off my feet. I seldom date."

She and about 30 other road cyclists meet at a gathering point in Long Beach each morning and bicycle to hilly terrain where they do much of their training to steel their legs for competitive racing.

And what for? "I'm not really sure," Sonye said. "I just know I want to be really good and be able to compete with really good cyclists. I'm not setting high goals right now."

Her coach, Robert Kahler of the Long Beach Velo Club, thinks Sonye has the potential to make the national road cycling team, but he also wonders why people dedicate themselves to cycling. "Cycling is so hard you sometimes wonder why anyone does it," he said. "Perhaps it's the drive to compete, the need to win."

Sonye's tenacity to train, Kahler said, is one of the reasons he sees a bright outlook for her chances to make the national team. But then, of course, there's always the Olympics. "That's always in the back of the mind of every cyclist" said Sonye, a Buena Park High School graduate.

It was ironic, but Sonye chose cycling after being stuck by a car as she was riding a bike. She was riding to keep in shape for National Roller Skating competition, a sport she started at age 17 and dropped last year because of the resulting effects of the car accident injuries.

"I'm going to see how I do in cycling this year and take it from there," said Sonye. "It takes years and years to develop into a good cyclist, but it all pays off when you do well in a race."

She said, however, all new cyclists must be willing to suffer from the grueling daily training. "There's pain always, "' she said. "It's always in the legs."

It's likely that the estimated 40 chili cook-off contestants at the Orange Jaycees' May Festival, which winds up today in Hart Park, will use more traditional ingredients contrasted with what was once used, according to Jim West, executive director of the Newport Beach-based International Chili Society.

"It's gotten so," West said, "that chili makers won't reveal what goes into their chili because prize money is so big these days."

So nowadays, cooks are sticking to standard chili ingredients like beef. Past recipes have been more innovative, with--if you can believe it--squirrel, armadillo, coon and rattlesnake meat and in some instances, lobster and beer.

"With $35,000 in prize money for our world cook-off," West said, "sanctioned chili cook-offs like the one in the May Festival become important testing grounds."

But to Dave Shaffer, 30, chairman of the May Festival, the chili cook-off is just one of a bunch of events that the estimated 40,000 spectators will patronize during the happening.

Admission costs only $1, and for that you even get to taste the chili--if you dare.

Well, at least the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education now has a unanimous vote on one thing. The only two unmarried members, President Sadie M. Reid and Vice President James E. Ward are going to join the wedded ranks, but they're not marrying each other. Reid plans an August wedding, and Ward will say his vows today.

Those clever folks at St. Jude Hospital-Yorba Linda held a jazzy Teddy Bear Care Fair to teach children not to be afraid of hospitals.

Spokeswoman Sue McInerney said 300 children brought their teddies so a real emergency room doctor could give them a physical examination and perform surgery if necessary. The youngsters also received an emergency room care kit from the "pharmacy" and then were treated to punch and cookies.

Children who didn't own a teddy were told to bring a gorilla, whale or whatever other animal they owned-- as long as it wasn't alive.

Acknowledgments--An estimated 60 guests gathered at the Newport Convalescent Center to honor Tillie Fiorina of Newport Beach, who celebrated her 102nd birthday. In honor of her birthday, friends arranged to give her an American flag that had been flown over the nation's Capitol.

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