If you think cycling is a leisurely sport, keep your eyes peeled for Chris Stockburger — he's been clocked at 55 mph!
Chris is a 14-year-old cycling champ from Fort Collins, Colorado. He has been involved in competitive cycling for only two years, but he is a natural! Chris most recently made an excellent showing in the 2001 U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF) Junior/Espoir National Road Cycling Championships in Gainesville, Florida. He took first place with a photo finish in one race, which was held on a racecar testing track, and took second place in another, the 31 km Road Race (that's almost 20 miles!).
Tools of the trade
Chris owns five different bikes: mountain, road, track, cyclo-cross, and one just for training. If you can believe it, Chris says he "goes through about 20 tires a year." But, does he need all of those bikes? He does because of all the different types of riding he does! Chris mountain bikes and road races, and he also competes in track races, a.k.a velodrome. Velodrome racing requires a special bike that is single speed and doesn't have any brakes! He even does cyclo-cross. In this event, riders compete on all different types of terrain and have to carry their bikes over obstacles. It pays to be in shape!
To keep in racing shape, Chris does a lot of small workouts on the bike, runs track, and plays basketball for his school. "I train just about every day during the week. I take about two days off the entire month. It sounds like a lot compared to other sports that just go Monday through Friday, but it's a lot of fun. And, during the racing season, "I probably race about eight times a month too." Chris also competes in 80km races (that's 50 miles) with senior level riders in his home state of Colorado to help him keep up the pace against those his own age in the 30km races.
The Road to Salt Lake
Chris was one of the 11,000 people chosen out of more than 210,000 people nominated nationwide to take part in the 2002 Winter Olympic Torch Relay. Chris took to the streets in a different way on January 30, 2002, when he left his bike at home, and ran a portion of the Relay's Northern Colorado leg.
Spin Your Wheels
Chris took interest in cycling because his parents ride, but anyone can do it. You'll need to start slowly...no riding 100 miles in one day like Chris! Chris suggests visiting a bike shop in your town to find out more about cycling, getting started, and the equipment you need to keep you safe. So hop on a bike and burn some rubber!
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