Monday, December 13, 2010

Florida State Championship Series Finale at Santos: December 12, 2010

Last weekend was the last race of the Florida State Championship Series. I was very excited because it was going to be held practically in my back yard, at Santos, on trails that I ride pretty often with my family. It was kind of chilly in the morning, but I had on my cold weather clothes, so I wasn't worried.

I didn't get a very good start this time and went into the woods in 5th place, behind Nicho, who wasn't feeling well and was riding slower than usual. There were no good opportunities to pass for a while, so I got held up and Trent and Bryce took off and got way ahead of us.

Eventually I got around Nicho and Vince, caught up to Bryce during the second lap and passed him, but by then, it was too late to catch Trent. He was too far ahead and finished first. I came in second, with Bryce right behind in third. It was another fun race. Watch this week's video below.

After the race, my mom took my brother and me home to get cleaned up for the Awards Banquet at 4:00. There were a ton of people there and everybody who made it to the top 5 in their class got a plaque and a lot of prizes. I came in third and got a new jersey, really nice bike gloves, a bike pump to attach to my bike for emergencies on the trail, and a new camelback. Plus, all the kids got a present. The boys got a remote controlled car and the girls got Zhu Zhu pets. It was pretty awesome!

My brother, Ryan the Goofball
It was an exciting first season of mountain bike racing and I can't wait to pick up the second half of the Coconut Cup at the end of January!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amelia Earhart Park (CC #3 and FSC Make-up Race)

The first weekend in December was full of great mountain bike racing action at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah. This was the make-up race for the Florida State Championship and also the third race in the Coconut Cup Series. I was hoping for a big win to be able to replace one of my lower scores in the FSC and gain some ground on Trent and Nicho in the CC. I didn't quite get everything I was hoping for, but it was still a great race and I ended up in second place.

Here we are lining up for the start of the race.

I got a great start (for once) and was right behind Trent.

Below is our video of the race.

 After the 9-11 year old race, Bryce and I weren't sure we were going to do the novice class race, like we had the last two times. We had ridden the course on Saturday and it was very challenging, but when some mean lady took down our bike ramp, we decided just to try it for fun. After all, it was going to be a long trip home.

I actually came in 22nd out of 31 and beat 9 other people (8 of them grown-ups). The best part was the finish, when I sprinted past a man in my class. Unfortunately, he wasn't about to let a kid beat him, and he caught back up and just beat me to the line. Oh well, maybe next time.

Mom made this short little video using some extra footage she took of my friends and me during the novice race.

(Mountain Bike Mike would like to thank Mrs. Burnett and Mr. Cattani for posting most of the pictures that I "borrowed" for this week's blog.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Making of Mountain Bike Mike

Like every serious athlete, I was not born able to do my sport. Before I could ride a mountain bike on my own, I had help. This is a picture of me on my first bike when I was 2-1/2. Even then I liked to go "off-road" so my dad put on knobby training wheels for me.

Now that I'm older, I can ride on my own just fine, but to get better I still have to train. That is where the road bike helps. A couple times per week I go riding with my dad, and sometimes my mom, to build up my endurance. So far, my longest ride is 26 miles, with an average speed of just over 16 mph. Someday, I'd like to be good enough to go on the group rides with the grown-ups at the bike shop.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Florida State Championship Series #7--Caloosahatchee Regional Park

On Sunday, November 21, the 7th race in the series took place at Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva, Florida. The night before, my family and I went out to dinner with some of the other families who were racing, including some of the kids in my race class. It was a great time!

The kids course for this race was fun, with lots of twisty turns and humps to ride over.

The race itself was also super exciting with several lead changes during the 3 laps. I finished in 2nd after sprinting to the lead on the second lap, but losing it when I over-shot a turn, missed one of the big hills, and had to let Trent and Nicho pass. Still, it was a good time. Dad's video is below, where you can see all the action.

 In addition to the kids' race, I also got to compete in the Novice class race. In this class, there are adults and kids riding against one another, and we got to do one whole lap of the adult course (9.8 miles). It was very challenging, and I got a few cuts and bruises but it was fun to be able to do it. Plus, out of 19 people, I came in 14th, which means I actually beat some grown-ups!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mountain Bike Mike Introduction

Welcome to Mountain Bike Mike! My name is Michael Mace and this blog is all about mountain biking and mountain bike racing.

This year, my dad and I started competing in mountain bike races on the Gone Riding Florida State Championship Series. I missed the first race in Tallahassee, but picked up the series at the second race in Fernandina Beach, finishing in 6th place on a 5 mile course. It was a grueling race for my first time and my dad was afraid I wouldn't want to continue racing, but I wasn't going to let that beat me.

I continued with the series, getting better with every race, and after a second 6th place finish, I then got two 4th place finishes. The big day came in Alachua, at San Felasco Hammock, when I finally took first place!! See the video below that my dad edited together from footage taken from three different cameras, including the helmet cam I got to wear! It was exciting!!

Earlier in the season my dad promised me a new, bigger bike if I won any of the races this season, since it was my first time racing. Well, guess what? He kept his promise and brought a new bike home a couple of days later and I started practicing for the next race.