A Journey from "You'll Never Ride Again" to World Champion Ultracyclist
Meet Ryan Collins
Ryan Collins is a relatively quiet, unassuming, but accomplished young man; and son of Roy and Kim Collins, 1233 Cherry Tree Lane. You may have seen him walking the loop on CTL during late afternoons with his dad. But did you know he is a World Champion Ultra Cyclist and a 3-time World Record Holder? Moreover, all these records – as well as a National Championship course record and Race Across Maryland record – were accomplished within the last year and a half!
Ryan earned his most recent title, “World Champion 12-UltraCyclist” in October 2021, when he completed more than 280 miles in 12 hours, with only a 3-minute stop for food and water! The World Championships took place in the desert outside of San Diego on quiet roads decorated with sculpture gardens in windy, hot conditions. He won his age group, the overall championship, and set the course record! Quite an accomplishment for someone who only began ultracycling in 2018.
According to the World UltraCycling Association, “ultracycling is any bicycle ride that is more than 200 km (125 miles) in length or 6 hours in duration, completed as a single effort.” Races are held all over the world and of several types: 6-hour, 12-hour, 24-hour, and 500+ miles. During the timed events, cyclists go as far as they can in the allotted time. The 6 and 12-hour races are Ryan’s specialties.
Ryan began his athletic career as a tennis player and biked as a means of cross training. One Christmas, Ryan’s parents got him a road bike, he began riding more and realized that he enjoyed cycling more than tennis! He joined the USA Cycling community, worked with a developmental team in Annapolis, and then entered his first race in 2009.
By 2017, Ryan was an accomplished cyclist and received an invitation to try out for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team (a distance of 10km as compared to more than 800km, the minimum in an ultracycling race). Unfortunately, only one week before the Olympic tryouts, Ryan was involved in a vehicular accident that required reconstructive surgery to regain mobility.
Since “cycling was my life” before the accident, Ryan asked his surgeons when he could race again. He was told he could “never race again” and that if he did race and had another accident, he would be permanently disabled. This was not an answer Ryan was willing to accept. So, he decided to prove to himself – and everyone else – that racing was still possible and set out on a plan to begin racing in a safer environment. Ultracycling offered that opportunity.
Components of Ryan’s Success
If you want to catch Ryan’s morning ride, you’ll have to get up early because he begins his morning regimen by 4 or 5 AM! Often that is indoors with his bike on a trainer, but if it is on the road, it will be well before the hazards of morning traffic. Ryan spends 3 or more hours per day on his bike and 20-30 hours per week. At the height of training season, it’s even more. But Ryan does not just do long endurance rides, he also engages in short sprints to improve his power. He says this is important at the beginning of long races when riders jockey for position and later on if he needs to overtake a competitor. Strength training, which Ryan does on the bike, also helps him over-power competitors as well as maintain an aerodynamic position over the many hours of an ultracycling race.
Many races take place in hot and/or humid conditions, and to train for these, Ryan must get his body accustomed to expending huge amounts of energy at very high temperatures. To prepare, he takes long, very hot baths during which he constantly adds boiling water! When he rides indoors, he will shut all the windows and turn up the heat to simulate desert conditions!
Inspiration and Support
Over the years, Ryan has gained inspiration for racing from the community of cyclists. In fact, he credits the welcoming and supportive nature of cyclists as one of the main reasons he switched sports from tennis to cycling. When Ryan was on the developmental team in Annapolis, the older riders helped him improve and understand the intricacies of the sport. When he aged out of that team, he maintained contact with younger riders so he could mentor them.
Ryan has also met riders who have overcome obstacles just as he has. He has worked with Wounded Warriors and Bike MS cyclists offering them support just as their stories have inspired and supported his cycling efforts.
Now Ryan rides with a local team, Bike Doctor Racing and enjoys the camaraderie they provide. In addition, Bike Doctor sponsors Ryan in his races and provides tuning and mechanical support for his bikes. Although none of the other Bike Doctor riders are ultracyclists, Ryan relishes the time he spends with them. Those rides allow him to work on strength and power while he connects with local cyclists.
And CONNECTING may be Ryan’s greatest strength! Ryan is someone with a perpetual smile and an optimistic personality that has a magnetic effect on others. He is immediately engaging and follows up on encounters so that he has an enormous circle of friends the world over! He has been able to ride with many of them in Europe, but also keeps in touch through social media. He has a large following on Instagram and Facebook and has done several interviews on the Ultra Cycling Show.
Ryan explains that ultracycling involves much more than simply pedaling the bike for hours on end! It requires a holistic approach that means engaging experts from all over the world. Ryan says, “There is a village behind every rider.” And this is where his ability to connect is essential. He has a coach in the U.K., and partners all over Europe and the U.S. for everything from nutrition (Scratch Labs) to component parts (Shimano), blood analytics (InsideTracker), wheels (Envy), tires, aerodynamics, clothing (Giordana), and sleep!
Although Ryan receives support from all over the world, his parents have provided steadfast encouragement throughout, knowing the intricacies of Ryan’s training and race day needs. They serve as his crew and cheering section on the sidelines for every event he enters. Ryan makes clear that his gratitude to his parents goes beyond what his “Thank you” can express.
Ryan said that “cycling was my life” before his accident, but in reality, his accomplishments and mindset were more holistic. He did well in the classroom and began his studies at the U. of Maryland with a Pre-med major. When he realized that he wanted a broader education than the Pre-med major offered, he devised his own – Nutrition, Physiology, Kinesiology along with Pre-med. With a passion for business, Ryan pursued his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Maryland Smith School of Business graduating magna cum laude. In his spare time, he enjoys sharpening his culinary skills acquired from apprenticing with Michelin chefs in San Sebastian, Spain during his studies abroad and now develops his own training nutrition. Clearly, his holistic approach applies to life - not just cycling!
In the immediate future, Ryan has entered another 12-hour race in Florida during February where he hopes to set another record! Then, it is on to capture the World Cup, an honor that goes to the ultracyclist with the greatest aggregate distance in three separate 12-hour races during one year.
Long term, Ryan hopes to experience the world on his bike. Since he has made friends nearly everywhere! – he has many opportunities. He would most like to bike across Italy and France but will certainly be seen on roads in many more countries.
Ryan’s accident taught him that he must take each day by day and make the most of each. As he explains it, he works to make a “better version of Ryan” every day. Although the current version of Ryan is amazing, with his optimistic nature, work ethic, and holistic approach, there is no doubt he will reach new heights in the future! Stay tuned!
Please join us for the discussion. We have no rules except to enjoy discussing books of interest with our neighbors! Even if you do not finish the book, join us for our discussion.
Everyone is invited to join the discussions. Please contact Susan Magazine via email or phone (301-213-1799) if you would like to join the group.
Pickleball/Tennis Committee Update
Please note that Open Play times throughout the fall and winter will continue on Sundays but will be one hour later from 10 to 12PM. However, Thursday's Open Play time was put on pause beginning November 7 due to daylight savings.
We have created a Facebook group for residents interested in pickleball. The page is designed to provide news and information about pickleball in our neighborhood and around Annapolis. You can join the group here.
We also would like to remind our residents who have never set the nets up or taken them down to watch these two short videos. Pickleball net set-up and take-down instructions: Click here to access video.
Also, if you use the broom or squeegee, please put them back on the fence next to the equipment box. The squeegee has a housing unit that protects it from the elements. If you need assistance with the equipment, any of the members of the pickleball committee would be happy to help.
The Pickleball/Tennis Committee
Landscape/Architectural Committee Update
The Architectural Control Committee announced in last month's FCF newsletter a revised process for project approvals that supports the collection of community input. Residents will receive an email approximately a week before open meetings that will include a link to join the meeting virtually as well as links to relevant documents for pending projects. We look forward to any and all participation.
Clubhouse Committee Update
The Clubhouse is now available for rent! We will continue to need waivers for all that attend any event. A waiver on file is accepted for any FCF resident. All other guests will need to fill out a waiver with minors being filled out by a guardian. You can find the waiver links on our web page (adults/minors) and on the clubhouse reservation page.
The clubhouse is available to homeowners in good standing for a flat fee of $100 per day. Only one event may be scheduled at the clubhouse per day. Please note that the clubhouse rental does not include access to the community pool.
To rent the Fishing Creek Farm clubhouse for your private event, please click here .
To reserve the Fishing Creek Farm clubhouse for an FCF meeting, please click here. Please also send a message to our administrator (email@example.com), letting her know what date(s) you need for your meeting or FCF event. Reservations for FCF meetings and events are free.
Click here for the FCFHOA Clubhouse rules.
Beautification Committee Update
Periodically we are able to complement community flower beds with donations from homeowners who are undertaking landscaping projects. Healthy transplants of grasses or bushes that don’t typically require irrigation are ideal. Please contact Barbara Holch at BHolch5@iCloud.com if you have transplants to donate, or if community landscaping areas near your home need attention per our landscaping contract.
Do you want to know who is on what committee? Do you want to know how to reach a committee member? All of that information is on our website Committee page which is located here. On this page you will note that a number of the email addresses are [committee-name/position]@fishingcreekfarm.org. This is part of our ongoing effort to have email addresses that we can use to transition easily from volunteer to volunteer when a position turns over. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this, and thank you to all of our volunteers!
Fishing Creek Farm Facebook Page
Fishing Creek Farm residents can post items of interest, for sale, or wanted to our FB page, “Fishing Creek Farm Homeowners’ Association”. The page is administered by Deborah Brafford and is open only to FCF residents. (Be aware: there is an old FB page that is no longer in use. Its address is: Fishing Creek Farm Neighborhood and it is open to the PUBLIC.)
Although anyone can find our private site, only members can see who's in the group and what they post. When you land on the FCF FB page, you may ask to join the group. You must submit your email and house address for verification. Once your credentials are verified, you will be notified of your admission to the group.
Please feel free to post questions, information, or photos to this closed group of Fishing Creek Farm neighbors!
Board of Directors Meeting: December 20
The December Board of Directors meeting will be held Monday, December 20th from 7 to 9 PM. All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held at the clubhouse but residents may also join virtually. (Link here.)
- The Clubhouse is now available to rent through our website for private ($100) or community events. Community events such as committee meetings are free. Waivers are required.
- Access the Waivers: Adult Waiver here and the Child Waiver here.
How to Contact Board Members
When contacting Board Members, please use their official neighborhood email address rather than their personal email address. The format of the FCF addresses is: boardPOSITION@
Adult Holiday Party!
Saturday, December 4, from 7 - 10PM, 1223 Cherry Tree Lane
Come celebrate the holidays with your neighbors! The Fishing Creek Farm Annual Holiday Party historically takes place on the first Saturday in December (this year will be Saturday, December 4) and is truly a special event. Join in the merriment over heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.
Funds for catering the event including food and drinks are drawn from the social events budget as well as from selling tickets to the event. Over the years, many different home owners have hosted the event and some have hosted multiple times. Pen Alexander has graciously offered to host this year's party. Details and the opportunity to RSVP will be forthcoming. We’ll have great food and even better conviviality!!! Hope to see everyone December 4th.
North Pole Party!
Let’s get the elves together to ring in the holiday season on Saturday, December 11 from 12:30-2pm at the FCF Clubhouse. We’ll be making seasonal crafts as well as ornaments for the neighborhood tree. Shhhh! There just might be a surprise appearance from Santa too (photos for the whole family including pets and a magic show).
Warm up with a hot cocoa bar for children and adults. Masks required for use of indoor space and all attendees must have signed a FCF waiver. Contact Laura Steppe at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and if you would like to help out. No RSVP required.
Tree Lighting and Santa Run
Sunday, Dec. 12th, 5:30 - 6:15 p.m.
Santa will arrive in his firetruck for the annual Santa Run and will light our FCF Holiday Tree! Join your neighbors for smores, hot chocolate and more! Festivities start at 5:30 pm in the clubhouse parking lot, and Santa is expected to arrive at 6 pm. Please bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive. For new members to our community, each year the Annapolis Santa Run visits communities throughout Annapolis to collect new unused toys to give to area families in need. The run is sponsored by Annapolis Firefighters local 1926. It is with the cooperation of local firefighters and community members volunteering their time to help local children who may be in need. See you at the FCF Tree Lighting!
Thursday December 16, Noon, at the Yellow Fin Restaurant
Back again this year the FCF Ladies Holiday Lunch! All ladies welcome. Make friends and meet your neighbors! Bring an ornament or holiday candle to swap.
Please RSVP required By 12/10
Contact Barbara Holch at Bholch5@iCloud.com to respond or for more information.
Deer Management Program
The Board is working with Tri-County Deer Management, an organized group of bow hunters, who aid communities such as ours in their efforts to manage the deer population within their respective areas. Fishing Creek Farm has worked with Tri-County Deer Management for many years in this effort. The bow hunters must demonstrate their bow hunting proficiency and take ongoing bow hunting safety courses. Tri-County Deer Management and its members are insured, listing Fishing Creek Farm as an additional insured.
The hunters set elevated stands in the common area trees, so they have a downward trajectory, shooting their target from less than 20 yards away. The deer management program runs during the deer bow and arrow hunting season, and will begin Wednesday, September 15 in FCF. It is slated to run through the end of January.
The FCF HOA is providing Tri-County Deer Management with access to three specific areas within the community common areas an hour before the first light of dawn through 9 AM and from 3PM until one hour after dark. The hunters will be in those limited portions of the community common areas several times a week. When hunting, they will park their vehicles adjacent to the areas where they are working and will post Tri-County Deer Management signs in their vehicles.
Please be respectful of their efforts to decrease the deer population and avoid entering the common areas where the vehicles are parked. People walking through the wooded areas during the hunting process scare the deer, making Tri-County's efforts unsuccessful. The portions of our common areas that are being managed are designated in the following maps: click here. The areas are circled in yellow, and the deer stand locations are indicated in red.
Fishing Creek HOA, Inc. has provided Tri-County Deer Management with written permission to hunt in the common areas of Fishing Creek Farm HOA, Inc. Homeowners and their guests are prohibited from hunting in the common areas of the community.
Please refrain from touching the Tri-County equipment set up in the common areas. Tampering with the equipment creates a safety risk for the hunters and is a prosecutable offense.
Please feel free to contact Tidewater Property Management with any questions.
Board of Directors
Close Calls at the New Stop Signs!
The stop signs at the corner of Hidden River View and Cherry Tree Lane were relocated a bit over a year ago. We recognize that changing the location of the signs after many years means changing your driving habits. There have been several close calls that could have resulted in injury or death.
We want to remind you to come to a complete stop when approaching the signs on Hidden River View - not just roll through. There are cyclers or runners that might be approaching from the other direction that you may not see should you not stop. It is probably a good practice to treat the intersection as a four way stop since there are those who may not be stopping at the stop signs. It is unfortunate that Anne Arundel County did not grant us the request for a 4 way stop. Please obey the signs and drive safely.
Control Your Dogs
The BOD has become aware of three incidents in FCF where dogs that were not leashed acted aggressively toward other dogs or a person. Our governing documents state, “ …and provided further that all animals must be secured by leash or lead, or under the control of a responsible person and obedient to that person’s command at any time they are permitted outside of a house, dwelling, or closed area used for their maintenance and confinement.”
The Anne Arundel County Code, Title 12, Article 4 also explains a resident’s duties, responsibilities and liabilities with respect to animals. Please be a good neighbor with respect to controlling your dog(s).
The Board has been working on several issues related to compliance with our governing documents, specifically, signs in yards, approved materials for home exterior, and landscaping changes on private lots and in the HOA common area. Residents are reminded that these documents are available on the website. A working group has been created to review these documents in 2021. Community input will be requested as the process moves forward.
Land Use Committee
For the past two years, Fishing Creek Farm has hired a licensed operator to treat several areas for phragmites eradication. As a result, native plants including hibiscus, marshmallow, rudbeckia, and goldenrod are blooming again - an indication that previous treatments were a success. Weather permitting, our contractor is returning this year during the first two weeks of September and October. You may email the contractor, Mark Smith (email@example.com), with questions or concerns.
IMPORTANT NOTICE – Do Not Cut Phragmites!!
The phragmites may NOT be cut. Be aware that cutting phragmites is not allowed without a permit from Anne Arundel County. Some Fishing Creek Farm homeowners have cut phragmites on HOA community property as well as on their own properties. The HOA has received a stop work order from Anne Arundel County and we will face potential fines should they observe this happening again. We have a contractor that has a permit to spray phragmites, and then we must wait for the phragmites to die out and be replaced by native species over time.
Also, we remind all residents that no planting, cutting, trimming or other like activities (whether of phragmites, trees, vines, downed tree limbs or any other form of vegetation) may be conducted by any resident in or on FCF common areas without the prior written approval of the Board of Directors.
Land Use Committee Update
Bonfires on Beaches - Safety is Priority
The BOD discussed that residents are enjoying bonfires on the beach at Cherry Tree Lane. In order to do so responsibly and safely, please follow these recommendations:
- Bring a bucket to extinguish flames or errant embers.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Do not have a fire if it is excessively windy.
- Keep all fires away from nearby trees and bushes.
- Completely extinguish the fire before leaving the area.
The best solution for extinguishing the fire is to use a bucket and douse the fire with water. Do not cover the fire with sand to extinguish it -- sand can hide a very hot area where someone could inadvertently walk.
Thank you so much for being responsible and keeping our community safe!
If you have an idea on how to make Fishing Creek Farm an even better place, please share it with the Board and your fellow homeowners. Suggestions are sent to our FCF Board and posted on our website. To access the suggestion box now, click here.