My entire life I’ve been blessed with a great upbringing. The freedom and encouragement to explore life’s opportunities. One of the greatest opportunities I have been given is to ride bikes with my family in the beautiful and serene wildernesses of America! I love riding my bike because it makes me happy. I get to be competitive. I get to spend time with my family and friends and I get to pursue my own independence. In my awesome experiences and successes in biking I have learned that if you love what you do in life, success will follow!
My love of riding bikes began since when I first started Mountain Biking, in Cortez Colorado! I was 6 years old when my family and I rode at our awesome local trail system called Phil’s World. It wasn’t long before we were riding 2 or 3 times a week. My favorite trail there was The Rib Cage, which contained a ton of huge whoops that swooped back and forth through a small drainage. It was so fun! Over the years our family would take bike trips to Grand Junction, Moab, Bluff, UT or into the San Juan Mountains and ride the crazy fun trails there!
The trails in Grand Junction were awesome! They were some of the most technical and challenging trails I had ever ridden. My personal favorite is the Holy Cross trail, it weaved through huge boulders below an escarpment. It contained tons of ledges, tight narrow sections and gnarly descents off of stacked rocks and slabs. Cortez was located perfectly between the 12,000 ft. mountains and the awesome red rock deserts. Growing up I learned to love the fun trails and beautiful areas in Colorado and Utah. I also became very fit from riding so much! After I had just turned 8 years old, my parents thought it would fun for me to enter in a local MTB race to see how all the riding I had been doing would fair in a Race.
My first MTB race was the Escalante Days Classic in Dolores Colorado. After my Mom and Dad told me how fun racing was going to be I became very excited to race! I still remember waiting for my Dad (who rode with me during the race) to catch up to me on a 2 mile long climb during the beginning of the race. I was glad he came with me because he kept encouraging me and telling me to keep going! After I finished my parents told me I came in 4th place in the Beginner, 18 and under class. I got a prize and was super happy. I had a great time and being able to ride so well with the older teenagers made my feel proud! After my race I talked with other riders about the race, and they were very encouraging to me and stoked for how well I did. I was really happy! After my experience at The Escalante Days Classic I wanted to keep racing bikes because it was so fun and the people were so nice! I would have to wait until of the Summer 2009 before I raced again.
In 2009 I raced 5 times and won 3 of the races. I already loved riding with my family, but when I started winning races, that’s fell in love with Racing!
In 2010 I competed in more races and was able to to qualify for the USA Cycling Cross County National Championships! I remember when my Mom told me that I had qualified. I was super excited! I thought to my self “Wow I might win and become the fastest 10 year old in the country! That would be so awesome!” The National Championships Race was held in Granby, CO. When race day came around I don’t think I was even nervous, even though I’d never competed in as big as Nationals. It was finally time to line up! The announcer started calling up riders according to their USA Cycling points ranking. Nye and I were ranked last out of 27 racers. Nye and I were on the last row when the start whistle blew. I started way faster than most of the kids and was already in 5th or 6th within the first 30 seconds of the race. The Next two laps of the race (the race was three laps in length) I passed 4 racers which put me in second with one lap to go! I realized I might actually win! I could see the leader ahead of me and I push harder to catch him! I finally caught him right before the tip of the climb. I remember thinking “I better pass him before the single track descent so he won’t be able to pass me back”. I passed the leader and I told him “good job” as I went by. I rode as fast as I possibly could down the descent and in a switch back corner the boy who I passed crashed. I kep going as fast as I could to make sure I had a gap on him. During the race I didn’t know how many laps I had left so when I came across the finish line I kept asking “am I done” several people shouted yes and I was so tired I hadn’t even realized I had one until my parents told me. I remember stepping on the top step of the podium and putting on the Stars and Stripes Jersey and a Big Gold Medal, that when I knew I wanted to become a pro bike racer!
I’ve loved racing ever since, because it is super fun and it always makes me happy to be able to spend time with my family and friends! Racing is also a great way to explore some of America’s best trails and finest and most beautiful natural places.
I’ve now been racing for 8 years and I still love racing and being competitive. One of my favorite things about racing is putting in the hard work and having it rewarded with racing success. Winning is what we all strive for and it makes me feel accomplished! I feel that the reason I been so successful is because I love riding bikes. If you can find your love and a passion, you’ll be successful too!