It may seem funny to most people that we are already looking toward next year’s Nationals. Though, I’m sure, it’s not a surprise to anyone, that the things you do today will determine how you will perform tomorrow. Cycling is one commitment that takes a lot of time to prepare for. Just look at what it has taken to get to this year’s XC Nationals. This year has been my most challenging, not just racing competitions but, training, traveling, sponsorship acquisition, promoting sponsors and our Team, bike build outs and maintenance, maintaining our Web Pages, writing blogs and all of the day to day parts of life that all kids face.
Our family and race Team has been going to Nationals for 4 years. Each additional year we put into the sport, finds us having to ride longer hours to get the same quality out of our training. In 2012 our family put in 25,000 driving miles for our race team, of that amount 2,000 miles was traveling to Sun Valley Nationals. This year we traveled 6,500 miles and over 100 hours of drivng just to get to Nationals! We make committments to go to big cycling events to make our team visible and to cultivate sponsorship. I put in long hours keeping a updated race portfolio and preparing presentations to get company’s to support us. For example, we had to put a lot of energy into finding a sign shop sponsor in order to get company logo’s made for our race, travel vehicle and Yakima Bike Trailer. People would find it hard to believe the huge chunks of time daily we put into promoting our sponsors on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter We race a lot and that requires constant updating of our Web Page and Blog Site.. And it doesn’t stop there, our Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand gets a lot of promotion as we build out, clean and ready our Dakota d29 Jamis bikes for racing. On top of all of that we have the same responsibilites as other kids, like schooling, household chores and play time, we even do our own laundry to help take something off of our parents.
Now, if you think we are very committed you ought to see what our parents have to do to keep us as Elite Junior Bike Racers! Our Dad is our School Teacher, Team Director, Coach, Trainer, Lead Mechanic, Schedule Planner, Internet Tech, Team Vehicle Driver and a awesome Dad! Our Mom works to provide for our family and takes care of our Teams Travel and Race Event Logistics and she is a great Mom! I know without them and our Industry Sponsors, my racing and successes would not exist!
As you can see, I love what I get to do! All of the hard, hard work that each of puts in, shows what a passion we have for Cycling. How many others would do things like this? Traveling by vehicle (because flying is too expensive and we have to set up a Race Booth to promote our Sponsors), crossing the entire Country with our windows wide open and camping the elements to prepare us for the East Coast heat and humidity. I love my life and my family members do to! We are so grateful that we have Sponsors because without them none of this would be possible! I think that having to work hard to get sponsors and to go to places like PA makes me appreciate it more when I race and win.
Nationals was great as it continues to teach me much about life. I came away with a 5th place STXC, 4th place XC and a 7th place SD! I would also like to thank my Mom and Dad and our sponsors: FSA, ENVE, PANARACER, MAGURA, DT SWISS, JAMIS, OSPREY, XPEDO, ERGON and many more because without them we wouldn’t be where we are now, and this goes to prove that if you’re committed you will go far (literally!).