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.