By John Fleck
Journal Staff Writer
Bill McLain, leader of New Mexico's bicycle racing community, died Saturday
of complications from melanoma. He was 48.
"He was New Mexico cycling," said Randy Silva, manager of the bicycle
department at the Sportz Outdoor sporting goods store and a friend of McLain's.
McLain, general manager of Perfection Honda on Academy, was born in Georgia
but grew up in New Mexico. He lived in the Roswell area as an infant and moved
with his family to Albuquerque when he was 11, his wife, Laura, said Sunday.
McLain raced cars and motorcycles before taking up bicycle racing, according
to longtime friend Mark Webster.
"Bill was a bulldog," Webster said. "Everything he got into, he
would just grab it."
That is what happened when he took up bicycle racing in the early 1990s, according
to Randy Corcoran, one of McLain's teammates on the New Mexico Velo Sport racing
McLain saw a need for leadership in the organization and quickly ended up as
He also became one of the state's leading bicycle racing officials, organizing
and putting on bicycle races until shortly before his death.
Among his most notable races is the annual Record Challenge race held every
Labor Day weekend in Moriarty. It draws a national field of competitors.
McLain's attitude, according to Corcoran, was, "See a need, fill a need."
Besides his wife, McLain is survived by daughter, Morgan, and his parents,
Fran and Bill McLain.
McLain's cycling team and friends are planning a bicycle ride in his memory,
and a celebration of his life is planned for May 21.
Details will be posted on the New Mexico cycling Web site: www.nmcycling.org.