Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baker Orchard October 15th, 2011

It's five minutes to the start... I nervously "chit-chat" with another cat 4 rider and I hear my name called. I'm the first one at the line thanks to my dad preregistering me. A bored looking USAC official walks in front of us and starts to read the rules off of a tablet in his hand. He gets out of the way and blows the whistle. I put my head down and go.

No one is ahead of me but I resist the temptation to look back. Half a lap later I finally look back and I see one person right on my wheel with no one else in sight. I put the hammer down and attack him repeatedly. Again and again, he responds and gets back on my wheel, but I can see him fading.

I head into the barriers at full speed, but my wheel clips the first one and sends me flying! I scramble to get on my bike and chase after him with anger. Coming through for the last lap I catch him. I don't even bother resting on his wheel as I blast past him at full speed. I come in to the run-up with about 5 seconds on him. I put my bike back down and hear a rattling sound, my chain has fallen off! I put it back on efficiently and chase after him. The gap is closed quickly. I sit on his wheel biding my time. We come out of the sand pit and I put in a vicious acceleration. He puts his head down in defeat, I have finally cracked him. I come into the finish line with a big smile on my face and my hands in the air. I finally won a 4's race!
Photos taken by Matt Weik

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A cyclist is made

It was a hot summer in '04 and we were watching TV. My dad was flipping through the channels as I lie on the couch, enjoying the cool air from the fan. "Lets watch the tour!" Dad says. "OK!" I say enthusiastically, as he switch's to the tour. I watch, entranced, I turn to my dad and say, "Hey dad, I want to try that."

Dad was super excited that I wanted to try out cycling, as he had been a racer at one time as well. So he went to a bike shop and bought me a real mountain bike, with brakes and shifters. I was immediately enthralled by the bike, it was all I did! Bike out to the chicken coop, bike to the dog lot, bike everywhere! Soon, I convinced dad to make me my very own track with his skid loader. I started to challenge myself to ride harder and harder things. Doing them over and over again until I made it.

Then my parents took me to my first race, the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Virginia, MN. I got to watch the "pros" race. It blew my mind how fast they went and up such steep hills! Afterwards,  I nervously went up to Robbie Ventura to get his autograph.

 I then did my very first race. Pumped up on endorphins from my race and excitement from meeting a pro (off of my favorite team) I solemnly told my parents, "This is what I want to do". The rest is history...