Whitehorse’s Mike McCann takes pride in his speed on a bike. Recently, however, he was glad he wasn’t zooming through the streets at high velocity.
He’d just amassed a collection of top-finishes in BC Masters Cycling Association races down south, but a run in with a car cut his tour short.
“All of a sudden there was this blue car and I had two choices: I could have gone right into it or gone down,” said McCann. “So I just kind of dropped the bike.
“In terms of road rash, there was nothing, because I wasn’t going all that fast through the intersection, fortunately.”
The accident happened during a leisure ride last Friday in Nanaimo.
McCann was going through an intersection – with the right-of-way – and an oncoming car making a left turn pulled out in front of him, leaving McCann no choice but to go down to avoid a collision.
He sprained his wrist.
Because of the injury, McCann had to withdraw for last Sunday’s Mt. Seymour Hill Climb in North Vancouver.
“That put an end to the thought of racing on Sunday,” said McCann. “So that was a bit of a downer.
“I went over to Mt. Seymour on the day of the race hoping things were a bit better, but I could barely hang on to the handle bar with my right hand.
“That’s the one I was really looking forward to – it’s a really tough course.”
Even though he avoided the collision with the car, McCann still twisted his handle bars and damaged his derailleur.
“My bike actually had a fair bit of damage to it,” said McCann. “It was another bike I had taken along – I would have been a little bit choked if it was my racing bike.”
Although cut short, McCann’s trip was still a profitable one.
Starting with the Grand Forks Masters Weekend cycling event at the end of last month, McCann won two out of three races for the 60-64 age division. Not only did McCann outpace the competition in a 40-kilometre road race, he outpaced expectations. For his results McCann was awarded a prize for exceeding the standard time for a race that length – for his age group – by 19 minutes, more than any other cyclist from any age division.
McCann then repeated the feat at the Salmon Arm 40-kilometre Time Trial and Spallmcheen Cycling Circuit Race. In the time trial McCann came third overall and first in his age-group, again winning the age-standard prize. In the road race he finished second out of two riders in his age-group, but still came fifth overall.
“It was a much better race than the week before when the heat got to me,” said McCann. “It was the same guy, from the week before, that I was racing against, and I almost dropped him on the last big hill, but not quite.
“He’s a much better sprinter than I am so he ended up winning.”
Then, the day before his accident, McCann came second overall in the Oakbay Wheelers’ 15-Kilometre Individual Time Trial in Nanaimo.
“It was actually not a bad race. It was a really hard course and I was quite pleased with that,” said McCann. “Going out you go up about 200 feet in seven and a half kilometres, so it’s a tough grind on the out-leg of the course. Having never ridden it before – there’s an advantage to racing that course several times, to know how to ride it. Courses like that are tricky that way – your gearing at the start of some of the hills is crucial.”
Despite still feeling the injuries to his wrist, McCann is going to Juneau for the Tour de Juneau, competing in four races over three days starting Friday.
Last year, McCann was the overall cycling champion in the 60-64 age division at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Saint George, Utah. For the title, McCann was first in a five-kilometre hill-climb and in a 40-kilometre time trial, and ended with a third-place finish in a 62-kilometre race.
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