Some people golf to relax; others cook or knit. For Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace Realtor Vick Dyer, a pedal of 10,000 feet up a mountain pass is a great stressbuster.
Dyer competes regularly in bicycle races all over, from Vancouver, Canada, to Shenandoah, West Virginia. In mid-January, Dyer placed second in his division in the Trans Andes Challenge in Chile, a five-day extreme mountain bike race through the Andes Mountains. It was his first time at the race.
Dyer says he didn’t have a good first two or three days, when the competitors were spending five or so hours riding each day. The fourth day involved a vertical climb to the town of Pucón, 68 miles and nine hours.
“That was a hard day,” he says, but he began to gain time. The fifth day and last stage, which involved riding seven miles up a mountain and seven miles back down, he won.
He felt “a little undertrained,” going into the race, but “I just kept moving forward and getting stronger.”
Locally, he is regularly on the gravel roads of East Tennessee, in Blount, Anderson, Knox and other counties, with friends from the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. (Friend and fellow bike club member Kaysee Armstrong, a professional cycler, won her division for the second year in a row in the Andes.)
Dyer, who is a lifelong Knoxvillian and a graduate of Holston High School, was a motocross racer before committing to a career in real estate more than 30 years ago. He took up biking about that time and started racing in 1990.
“It’s my stress management program and a fun way to stay in shape,” he says.
He went to the race area early to play tourist, seeing Santiago and the beach at Villa del Mar, then to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern-most city in the world, before ending the recreational part of his trip by hiking one of the world’s biggest glaciers.
“Wherever I go, I try to learn about the area and the people. I loved it,” Dyer says.
In 2012, Dyer made news by riding his bike from Knoxville to New Orleans for a Realtor conference, highlighting “on the go” technology in his field and trying to get fellow agents to think about buyers’ needs for bike- and pedestrian-friendly spaces. He is a strong supporter of the Legacy Parks Foundation.
He’s also one of the Friends of Literacy’s 2018 bachelors up for auction at The Mill and Mine on March 2 (details here) in that organization’s annual fundraiser to support local adult education programs.
Beyond that new experience, he’s already thinking about his next big biking challenge, eyeing a race in Iceland.
“I’m always looking for new adventures,” he says.