Tuesday Apr 03 2012
Setting sights on Auburn Century
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
Auburn’s Michael Dye rolling again after six-year battle with Lyme disease
Michael Dye wrestled with the frustration and fatigue of Lyme’s disease for six years. Now that he’s able to get back on his bike, he’s looking to ride a century. The Auburn resident was unable to ride more than a few miles during his long battle with the disease that remains a mystery to most doctors and the thousands of Americans afflicted with it. The chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue, along with the extensive treatments took a major toll on Dye. “I’ve always been kind of athletic and it’s killed me the last few years because exercise hurt me,” Dye said. “But things are looking up. About four months ago I started getting well. It’s extremely difficult to get rid of. I came out of it pretty lucky.” When he finally recovered from the disease, he rewarded himself with a beautiful Trek Madone — a 13-pound road bike. His first major test on his new ride will be the Auburn Century ride in June. Dye joined the Sierra Foothills Cycling Club and is training with former professional cyclist Julie Young. “We’re trying to figure out a training regimen that I can build up without getting sick again,” Dye said. “For the Auburn Century, I think I might do the 70-mile route. That’s probably more realistic at this point.” Last year at this time, Dye would have shuddered at the thought of riding seven miles. He was on intravenous antibiotics for a full year, getting injections twice a day to deal with the Lyme’s disease that altered his life so dramatically. An author, speaker and trainer on addiction treatment for self-destructive behaviors, Dye had a tough time sitting down and writing for more than a few minutes at a time due to the effects of Lyme’s disease. “I couldn’t read a page without getting exhausted,” Dye said. “I would try to write for 15 minutes and I would get sick. But like I said, it could have been a lot worse. It was depressing.” He believes he got the disease from a tic some six years ago. He was tested for Lyme’s disease by a doctor shortly thereafter, but the test came up negative and Dye thought he was in the clear until his symptoms steadily got worse. While the symptoms were sometimes debilitating, he said attending an Auburn-based support group was an eye-opening experience. “I didn’t have it as bad as a lot of people,” Dye said. “There are people who are paralyzed from it.” The 66-year-old Dye has lived in Auburn for 10 years after moving from Santa Barbara, where he served as the director of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. His series of books called, “The Genesis Process,” are based on Biblical and neurological approaches to helping those with addictive behaviors. Dye said exercise has always been his “coping behavior.” He competed in cross country motorcycle racing for many years, but now he’s hooked on cycling. The many hills and winding roads in the Auburn area suit him just fine. “I love to climb. I love the intensity of it,” Dye said. “Especially up here there are all sorts of challenging hills — mountains to climb. You’ve got to like the pain and just the challenge of it.” The Auburn Century is June 3. It includes routes for all levels of riders. For more information, visit www.wildestride.com. For more information on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme’s disease, visit www.aldf.com.