Cycling in Coral Gables With Dr. Lawrence Lesperance
When Dr. Lesperance isn’t making patients’ smiles brighter, you can often find him cruising the open road on his bike. In this blog, we’ll take some time to get to know Dr. Lesperance a bit better and his passion for cycling.
Q: When did you start cycling?
Dr. Lesperance: It all started back in 1987 when I began training for sprint triathlons, which included swimming, biking, and running. Biking is a great sport, and it doesn’t destroy your knees, which is ideal for athletes with any knee issues – it’s low impact.
Q: What is the longest ride you have done?
It was 83 long and hot miles from Coral Gables to the entrance to Everglades Park past Homestead and back.
Q: What about the most scenic?
Despite Florida’s reputation for being flat, Mt. Dora and Clermont in Central Florida are actually pretty hilly areas with notable hills such as Sugarloaf and Buck Hill, and an amazing German Bakery called Yalaha Bakery, which is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Q: Most memorable?
Definitely, the Clermont, Florida “Horrible 100” event which also includes a “shorter” distance that I completed, which is only a 72 miler, and yes, that’s actually the name.
Q: Farthest you’ve traveled to compete?
So far the farthest has been Clermont, but I am currently planning a trip to Helen, Georgia area for the Three Gaps race this September.
Q: When staying close to home, where are some of your favorite places to cycle in South Florida and Coral Gables?
Here are my top three favorite routes: South from Ponce Middle School in Coral Gables to the Redlands and Homestead area (sometimes with a stop at Robert is Here,) and back (57-67 miles); Coral Gables to Key Biscayne and back (35-45 miles); and Coral Gables to Hollywood and back through South Point on Miami Beach(54 miles).
Q: What does your pre-cycling routine consist of?
I can always count on having a carbo-loading pasta dinner the night before paired with lots of H2O. Energy gels and bars and hydration with electrolytes are key! The Cuban coffee stops don’t hurt either!
Q: How would you describe the feeling of riding on the open road to someone that isn’t an avid cyclist?
It’s very quiet and constant and gives your mind some peaceful time to wander. There is also a lot of camaraderie and great conversations when we pause to catch our breath.
Q: What are some safety precautions you take and would encourage others to take as well?
It’s imperative to always be aware of your surroundings including traffic and road conditions. Find a group to start with that has a reputation for safety. Local bike shops or online searches can help. Our group, the Cycling Council Group (CCG), is an amazingly organized and safe group to ride with. Before every ride, I ensure my phone is charged and my flashing safety lights are working on both the front and back of my bike. I share my live GPS tracking location with my fiancee, bring plenty of water with electrolytes along with energy gel and bars, spare tubes and compact compressed air and tire changing equipment, as well as lathering up with lots of sunscreen. You have to be prepared!
Q: How do you stay motivated especially on days when you just don’t feel like it?
I know that it is great for my health and longevity, and I look forward to seeing my biking friends!
Q: Being in Florida, it rains a lot, what do you do on the days you can’t get out and about? Are you a fan of indoor spinning?
I NEVER purposely ride in the rain because when the road becomes too wet, it gets quite slippery and dangerous for my liking. If it is raining, I either try to do my long ride the next day, or I hop on my Peloton bike at home.
Q: Do you listen to music? If so, what songs and artists would we find on your playlist?
When I’m on the road I actually do not listen to music, as I want to hear cars or warnings called out from fellow bikers in my group. We discourage earplugs on our rides. But on the Peloton, when I am safe in the comfort of my home, you’ll hear the 70’s and 80’s rock blasting!!
Q: For anyone wanting to start outdoor cycling, what advice would you give on where to begin?
Join a group! I would suggest the Everglades Bicycle Club (EBC) as they have all different levels.
Q: Do you have any local favorite cycle shops you frequent, whether it’s for new gear, bike repairs, etc.?
I love Mack Cycle! The owners and staff along with their support and selection of equipment is amazing with so many great brands.
Q: Any goals you set around cycling this year?
Consistency! I ride on the road every weekend as long as I am in town, and usually twice during the week on the Peloton Training bike.
Dr. Lesperance’s cycling passion is just as great as his passion for his dental patients and his practice. Next time you’re in for an appointment, be sure to ask about his latest cycling adventure.