MASON CITY, Iowa – Several local bike riders are headed to nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.
The riders will spend the weekend there competing with hopes of bringing home championship jerseys like they did this past weekend in Des Moines.
“It’s like nerve-wracking to lineup and race 20-minutes as hard as you can and hopefully you don’t crash,” said Brayden Pearce.
Brayden is one of the many important pieces to the Mason City SPIN DEVO cycling team. Cyclocross is one of the most competitive sports in the world that doesn’t involve a ball or a bat. Caelyn Bailey loves the diverse options that the sport has to offer.
“There are all different kinds of courses,” said Bailey. “Flat courses, technical courses, muddy courses, and hilly courses.”
For Brayden, he one particular style of course that he enjoys more than others.
“Probably the mud because not a lot of people are good in the mud,” said Pearce. “We all have challenges and it’s fun running in the mud and getting dirty without getting yelled at.”
With the cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions settling into the area, these riders have had to find a new way to train and it all takes place in the basement of the Bailey household.
“The trainers are connected to this online virtual-reality called Zwift and you get to ride with people all over the world,” added Bailey.
While it might sound easy, it’s actually not as a mechanism on the rear wheel adjusts the amount of resistance one feels while peddling.
“You’re going up a 10% grade and it’s just like ugh, ugh, and you’re trying to get up it,” said Pearce.
Last week, the team travelled to Des Moines and captured seven state championships. Brayden says his training and love for the mud paid off.
“The kid that was in front of me, we were together and he made a mistake in the mud and I rode as hard as I could away from him,” added Pearce.
As they enter nationals, Caelyn Bailey is ranked fourth in the nation and Brayden Pearce is ranked eighth. Both riders will receive First Round Call-ups, the highest call-=up riders can receive at nationals which gains them inside starting positions.