When I was a kid, my Dad and I would race in the Wisconsin Off-Road Series. (WORS) I am not 100% sure but I think I started around age 7 or 8 and raced until I was 12 or 13. I started out racing in the kids races. The kids race happened towards the end of race-day and there were no winners or losers. In fact, everyone got the same prize, first place or last place; a water bottle, and a nice shiny medal. The kids race was probably about a mile long, maybe not even that long. There’s not much else to say about the kids race. It was okay.
Once I reached 10 years old, I started racing in the Citizen class by age group. Depending on the number of riders, the age group was either 10-12 or 10-14. These races were 9-11 miles long and only the top 3 were given medals. I got first place once but it was a mistake. It was a 3 lap race and I was only counted for 2 laps. I feel really guilty about it to this day and that’s part of the reason I want to get back into biking. My proudest race was at age 11. A legitimate 4th place in the WORS Cup, held in Wausau WI, 2002. I had a few other decent races, and a few other not so good races.
When I was 11, my dad and I attended Pedro’s Mountain Bike Festival in Hatfield WI, June 28-30, 2002. Looking back at this event, I am sad that I was only 11 because of how fun this could have been for my dad and I had I been older. I can’t find much information about the Fest online, but I did find this press release. I could write a whole post about the festival, but the point I want to make here is that weekend was the first time I rode a single speed mountain bike. I have no clue what bike it was, all I know is it was a small Surly. And it was FUN! This bike was so light, and so smooth, it made me want my own. Later than year, my dad bought me a Brand New 2003 Bianchi SISS Single speed mountain bike. I made the decision to start racing Single Speed. The thing about racing single speed was at the time, there were such few riders that there were no age groups. I was the youngest in the class by far. The next youngest being 21 years old and the oldest being 43. I only remember racing one race and from what I can see, it was terrible. The rest is kind of a blur, long story short, we stopped racing. and I haven’t properly rode a mountain bike for nearly 15 years. And I couldn’t be more excited to get back on the trial, and start riding again.