Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Soulcraft...

Got a nice e-mail from Sean Walling, head honcho over to Soulcraft yesterday thanking me for building Daniel Boyes' bike up in time for his crushing of the Junior Expert class at Sea Otter a few weeks ago. Sean even made a post on his blog about it as well. Thanks, Sean. It was my pleasure to build it up for Daniel - and I agree on your comment regarding preparing race bikes.

I was also enlisted to write an article about Daniel for the local West Marin Citizen. It should be out in tomorrow's issue. Here's a preview of the raw article prior to professional editing. Whenever I write something, I'm never sure the format with which to refer to a person. I see the surname used most frequently, but that always seems so impersonal. I prefer to use a form of the person's name that is how folks would refer to that person. So...

West Marin is well known for its artists and writers. We hear about their accolades frequently – poet laureate, Pulitzer, New York Times best seller’s list. However, West Marin isn’t known as a breeding ground for athletes. Quietly living out his teen years between his home in Inverness and Marin Academy, where he attends high school, is Daniel Boyes. Daniel is one of those kids who doesn’t stand out in a crowd so you might not even be aware of him. He’s polite, quiet, got no piercings or tattoos. He just looks like a, well, a teenager. That is if he stops long enough to catch a glimpse of him.

Between his scholastic duties at Marin Academy (where he maintains a 3.5 G.P.A.) and living in Inverness, Daniel excels at racing his mountain bike in the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League. Every year the NorCal race league has been in existence, the competition level has risen. In the 2008 season, there are 40 teams and 450 racers. The Marin schools account for 10 of the teams. With just one race left this season, Daniel’s overall performance matches the 3rd overall of his 2007 season.

To prepare for his racing season, Daniel and the Marin Academy team is coached by Inverness resident, Abbie Durkee, a former professional mountain bike racer. Coach Durkee develops a training regimen for the team members that includes not only on the bike time, but nutritional aspects and other components that enable the team members to become better riders and racers both mentally and physically.

Daniel’s training schedule involves 1 ½ to 2 hours on the bike 5 or 6 days each week. He uses his training time as a release and break from his school work and to reconnect with nature. “Training is definitely on the fun side but the intervals can be a bit burdensome. But riding is fun no matter what. It’s never a chore. We’re out there because it’s fun,” Daniel says. And a welcome break from school it must be after a full day of school and with 3 hours of homework waiting for him.

Daniel’s 2008 season has shown steady improvements with his finish position improving at each race. The highlight of the season was the recent cross-country race at Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic. Daniel showed up to the start line of the Junior Expert race with his game face aboard his new, Petaluma made, Soulcraft bike along side some of his NorCal league competitors and the current U.S. and Canadian Junior National Champions. As the 36 mile race started, four of his NorCal league competitors and the two junior national champions quickly put themselves well in front of the other racers. The two champions knew little of the local NorCal boys and were a little over confident. As the race wound through the hills of the Laguna Seca race track, the NorCal boys made their presence known and one point Daniel tested the waters and gapped the other racers leaving them 20 seconds in arrears. As his gap held, he poured on the gas a little more and the others were soon racing for second place. At the finish, Daniel had a two minute advantage and according to Coach Durkee, was barely out of breath.

There is one more race left in the NorCal High School League taking place on May 18, north of Calistoga at Boggs Mountain. Daniel is sitting 63 points behind the first place overall rider. With 600 points on the line for first place, Daniel’s chances to finish first overall are pretty good. Regardless of what happens, Daniel doesn’t plan for that to be the last race of his career. At Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, Oregon, where he will attend college this fall, he plans to continue racing mountain bikes and is considering taking up cyclocross racing since Portland is home to a large ‘cross racing scene.

1 comment:

Guitar Ted said...

Nicely done, Mike. Thanks for posting that, since getting a Marin paper in Iowa would be kinda tough! :>)

It's nice to read about a youth that is doing something positive and healthful in life. I hope he finds himself being a great influence on his peers and those that look up to him. What a great story!