Sunday, February 26, 2012

Playing Catch-up (Part 3: 12 Hours of Santos & Healing Up)

This is me last Tuesday, after I got my stitches out and looked more normal and felt a lot better.

Only a couple of days earlier, at the 12 Hours of Santos race, though, I looked like this (not so pretty, but still way better than before) as I walked around and tried to collect money for Livestrong.

Bryce, Trent & Nicho before the race
Obviously, since I was still recovering from the accident, I didn't get to ride with my teammates, Nicho, Trent, and Bryce for the race, but they were really cool about keeping me a part of the team. In fact, they came up with the funny team name, Mikey No Likey Not Ridey His Bikey. LOL! I guess Underage Rage: Volume 2 will have to wait until next year.

Trent took my position as the starter and led the team by doing the run up the hill and the first lap. He had a pretty good start, too. Notice who's still on his bike, and who's pushing.

Nicho did the second lap, and Bryce took the third and they alternated in that order the rest of the day. Trent made it back in time on his last lap to send Nicho out one more time, and they did a total of 14 laps that day. Awesome!

Dave gave them special recognition before the awards for being the youngest team ever to compete in the 12 Hours of Santos. I was really disappointed that I didn't get to race with them. In fact, I actually went home around 4:00 and went to bed, because I didn't feel well (and was grumpy), so I didn't get to see them at the end, but I am very proud of my friends for doing such a great job. You guys rocked!

One last thing.....

The week before the 12 Hours of Santos, my dad and I got our new the Fly Race Supply kits. Look for us to be sporting these and looking sharp at the Mellow Johnny's Classic next weekend in Texas. Wish us luck! And thanks to all the Florida mountain bikers who have supported us by generously donating to the Livestrong Foundation. Thanks to all of you, we didn't just meet our goal, we beat it!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Playing Catch-up (Part 2: CC #5 and Pure Stupidity)

Finding inner peace before the CC#5 race
Lining up for part two. After doing well at the 6 Hours of El Lagarto with my dad, I was ready to get back to some regular cross-country racing. Lucky for me, the Coconut Cup was still going on. My dad and I drove down to Miami by ourselves Saturday afternoon for a quickie, guys only race weekend.

I love Amelia Earhart Park because it's such a fun course and I was hoping to do really well here. Unfortunately, I had a horrible start and went into the single-track in sixth place behind Francisco. Eventually, Francisco let me pass and I caught up to John Koch and passed him, putting me right behind Dustin Zimmerman.
Dustin is so silly!
I pretty much stayed in that position for the rest of the first lap, until a really big 14-year-old passed me coming into the finish at the end of the lap, moving me from fourth to fifth place.
During the second lap, I just kept riding my pace. Near the end, though, John caught up to me and made me work extremely hard to hold him off and keep him from passing me back. We had a really exciting sprint to the finish and I just barely beat him to the line to keep my 5th place podium spot.

John right on my wheel during the sprint
It was definitely a great race and I had a lot of fun, like always, at Amelia.

And now, for the pure stupidity part....

If you follow my blog, you know that I try to work a few hours a week at Brick City Bicycles. Well, my dad and I were there to do some bike maintenance on Valentine's Day. After the bikes were done and while my dad was paying (more like talking), I took one of them out for a little spin around the building, like I have done many times when test-riding different bikes.

Anyway, I rode up on this loading ramp that I like to go part-way up and then jump down from, but a car was in my way and I couldn't get off at my usual place. So I ended up going off the ramp at the high part (about 3 feet up) and flew over the handlebars, hit my jaw on a pole, and did a face-plant on the asphalt. The really stupid part was that I wasn't wearing a helmet, because I thought I was just going to do a quick lap around the building before putting the bike on the rack. After all, what could possibly happen in the parking lot? (yes, that is sarcasm) Let me just say that one of my first coherent thoughts after the accident was that I should've worn a helmet (and that was before I realized how hurt I got).


So....after 7 hours spent in the ER, 14 stitches under my nose and over my lip, a CT scan, and a scalping, I can definitely say that I learned my lesson the hard way--If I'm on a bike, I'll be wearing a helmet and you should too (and no, my mom was not nagging me when she saw the pictures of me riding without a helmet before the accident & yes, she made me admit that).

A lot of people texted my dad or commented on Facebook to wish me well when they found out I got hurt, and I just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate it. Even Jeremiah Bishop commented, which is pretty cool.

Coming soon is Part 3, where I'll cover the 12 Hours of Santos.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Playing Catch-up (Part 1: Livestrong & 6 Hours of El Lagarto)

This is a picture of my dad I made on my computer.
The past few weeks have been crazy busy and now I'm going to try to catch everybody up on all the things that have been going on.

First of all, my dad and I have been working hard to raise money for the Livestrong Foundation before the March 2nd deadline. We have some really awesome supporters and so far, we have collected $946 toward our goal of $1000. If you'd like to help us reach our goal, you can click on the link at the right of this page and donate directly to Livestrong.

Then, at the end of January, my dad and I competed in the Six Hours of El Lagarto as a two man team. It was a lot of fun! My dad did the first two laps, including the sack race. Then I did a lap and he did two laps, and we kept switching that way until he got too tired to do back-to-back laps at full speed.

I was anxious to get started on my first lap, so when it was my turn, I took off. At the finish line, I almost forgot to dismount for the hand-off and ended up jumping off my bike and running to give my dad the baton. My bike did a cartwheel and my mom said she wished she had filmed it, because it was so cool. Unfortunately, when I was warming up for my 2nd lap, my bike wouldn't shift right (uh oh, bent derailleur), and I didn't have time to fix it before it was my turn again. So...I rode my second lap with only the 4 biggest gears in my biggest ring, and somehow, still made it around the course in almost the same time as my first lap.

For the third lap, I had to ride my mom's 29er while my dad got my derailleur fixed. I don't know how people can ride those things!!! My mom's bike is a full suspension 29er and that thing is a complete energy sucker. I wasn't on that bike more than a minute and already my legs were aching. Nope, I'm a 26er hard tail guy all the way!!

One of the highlights of the race for me was when pro racer Drew Edsall (the only person who passed me all day) came up behind me and told me I was riding really well. Then I let him go around me and I actually hung onto his wheel for about 30 seconds (or maybe less, but it felt like a long time). Drew won the solo men's class, so that was pretty cool too.

My dad and I had a great time and raced very hard. Out of 29 teams, we placed 4th (I just noticed we were standing on the wrong side of the podium). My mom wrote an article for Florida Cycling Magazine (starts on pg. 95) about me and other Junior racers at the event.