Pedalin’ Pigs hit the road |

Pedalin’ Pigs hit the road

by Merrie Leininger

You could call them simply law enforcement officers on bikes, but they prefer the Pedalin’ Pigs.

Five Douglas County sheriff’s officers and an investigator with the district attorney’s office make up the Pedalin’Pigs, a group that got together as a way of letting off steam and for group bike competitions.

Investigator Rich Brown, Investigator Mark Munoz, Deputy Phil Lesquereux, Deputy Anthony Field, Sgt. Paul Howell and district attorney investigator Mike Beam, team captain, formed the group last year at the suggestion of former college-level racer Beam.

Beam, who had been road racing for 22 years, just started mountain biking two years ago. The group had been riding together for a while when they decided to enter a race as a team and needed a name.

“It just shows we have a sense of humor,” Beam said.

The logo of a pig riding as hard as he can was designed by fellow officer Joe Duffy.

The group hasn’t yet raced together, however, because of injuries they received while training for a continual 24-hour relay race on Donner Summit.

Brown separated his shoulder and had to have surgery and Beam hurt his knee. Beam said the officers ride together for fun and for safety.

“I like the solitude when you’re on the road, but group riding in the dirt is just a different experience. It’s good to ride in groups in case of accidents,” Beam said. “Some people are better at bike handling skills than others since a lot of us are new at it. Eventually, the goal is to move up the ladder and compete at different levels.”

They started the this year’s racing season May 23 by racing as individuals in the Pine Nut Cracker Mountain Bike Race, a local event.

Three of them raced in the beginner race, which is 12 miles. Beam came in second place, Brown came in sixth and Munoz came in seventh.

“It’s hard to make all the races, with our schedules, but we figured it’s a good way to keep more fit and to get rid of the police stereotype of cops and doughnuts,” Munoz said.

Munoz said even if they don’t blow away the competition in any races, the group still enjoys riding together.

“It’s a way to release stress. We go for lunchtime rides to break up the day,” Munoz.

The team is considering entering the police Olympics this year, they said.

The group wanted to thank their sponsors, including Dr. Vincent D’Ascoli of Gardnerville; Walter Tarantino Law Offices in Carson City; Alan King from Bike and Ski Shop; China Spring Youth Camp made the shirts; and Keith Hart of Carson Valley Bicycle Center.