Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune wrote a great article about Josey on December 23, 2012. You can read it HERE
OR SEE BELOW...
Josey Weik has watched the Oscar-nominated 1979 movie “Breaking Away”
and, yes, he bears some traits of the cycling-devoted lead character,
Dave Stroller, played by Dennis Christopher.
Stroller grew up in a small town and dreamed of riding professionally for an Italian cycling team.
16, lives on a 16-acre organic vegetable farm in Wrenshall, is
homeschooled, raises pigs and dreams of riding in the Tour de France.
adept at mountain biking, road racing and cyclocross, a unique sport
combining road biking and cross country running while carrying a bike.
This week Weik is in Vorselaar, Belgium, for Eurocross Camp, a United
States development program for elite cyclocross riders that began 10
years ago. He’s the youngest member of the 16-athlete contingent.
completely dedicated to cycling. It’s my passion. I can go for days
just thinking about cycling,” Weik said recently while traveling to
Bend, Ore., for a cyclocross competition.
In reality, he rarely has time to daydream.
an only child, is up at 7 a.m., does some stretching exercises, has
breakfast, feeds the chickens on the family farm (named YKer Acres),
waters and feeds his pigs (approximately 20), rides his bike, has
recovery time, does school work and is in bed by 8:30 p.m. He’s able to
train on family land or nearby on the Willard Munger State Trail.
sophomore classes are split between his mother, Sara, who, for
instance, teaches math, and his dad, Matt, who teaches physics. Four
years ago Weik chose raising pigs to support his cycling.
has been very responsible from a young age,” says Matt Weik, who grew up
in Brainerd, Minn., competed in Nordic skiing and attended Minnesota
“He’s typical of a lot of endurance athletes — he’s
dedicated, high achieving and has good athletic ability,” he added. “And
he enjoys spending the time needed to train and get better.”
televised coverage of the Tour de France got Weik to ask for a bike at
age 7. He now owns three bikes worth about $4,500 each, has a coach
based in Boulder, Colo., and enters 60-some races a year. He trains
about 6,000 miles annually and receives some sponsorship from ISCorp,
based in Mequon, Wis.
Cyclocross is his discipline of the moment,
popularized in Europe, where crowds have reached 60,000, with races held
in the fall and winter. Junior riders, Weik’s age, compete for 40
minutes on looped courses that have barriers, unrideable hills and
stairs, and often muddy conditions and snow, requiring riders to
dismount at certain points and carry their bikes on their shoulders
(average bike weight is about 15 pounds). Riding speeds average from
Interest in the sport in the United States has more
than tripled from 2005-11 to nearly 100,000 participants, according to
USA Cycling, the sport’s official governing organization.
has amazing skills for his age,” says Jeanne Fleck, 47, of Proctor, one
of Minnesota’s best female cyclocross riders. “He’s not afraid of
anything. I’ve seen him crash in a race and get back up and chase the
leaders down. He has a good blend of fit and fast. He’s going to be a
force in the sport.”
Earlier this month, in the Minnesota
Cyclocross Championships, opting to move up to the Pro 1-2 Category,
Weik was fourth. A week later, on the road with his dad in the family’s
2008 Dodge Caravan for 1,800 miles to Bend, he placed sixth in the
junior men’s division of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross.
was selected for the 10-day Eurocross Camp in November and has since
sought to raise $5,000 for the trip to Belgium, noted as the world’s
cyclocross center. While there, he’ll train and race under the direction
of coach Geoff Proctor.
“Cycling is something I’ve wanted to
pursue, it’s healthy and an adventure, and my parents have allowed me to
do this, and they give me time to be a teenager,” said Weik, who is
5-foot-7 and a lithe 109 pounds. “But I work to support myself. Raising
pigs is my business and it requires a lot of energy, and it’s very
After returning from Europe, Weik’s schedule includes
the U.S. Championships on Jan. 9-13 in Madison. The UCI Cyclocross World
Championships, held outside Europe for the first time, are Feb. 2-3 in
Fleck also will compete in both events.
contribute to Josey Weik’s Eurocross Camp trip, go to his blog at
joseyweik.blogspot.com. He will tweet his experiences and results from
Belgium the next 10 days at @bikerboy_weiker.