Greenfield's Kevin Meyers claims second national tandem bicycle titleLocal resident wins race in California
By JOHN RECH of the Greenfield NOW
Years ago, Kevin Meyers was denied a chance at a national championship in boat racing after being blinded in an accident.
The Greenfield resident worked hard to overcome that setback and compete in skiing and later in tandem bicycle racing, and in November 2012, he and his pilot, Bob Springer, captured a national championship.
Now he has done it again.
Meyers and Springer claimed their second national paralympics bicycle crown on Nov. 2 in the velodrome at Carson, California, the site of their first triumph.
They won the one-kilometer event, which included four laps on a 250-meter indoor track.
"To win a second one is just awesome," said Meyers, 52. "About 25 years ago, I was racing boats, and I wanted to win a national championship. Because of the accident, I could not do that.
"The first (bicycle championship) was unique, but to come back and do it again is absolutely amazing. I was totally thrilled."
Meyers and Springer finished the kilo race in 1 minute, 10.1 seconds, their lifetime best.
One day earlier, they had placed third in a four-kilometer pursuit race, which covers 16 laps on that same 250-meter track.
"The kilo race, because it is so short, takes a lot more effort," Meyers explained. "You have to go as hard as you possibly can for those four laps.
"We won by 21/2 seconds, which doesn't sound like much, but in a short distance, it is actually a lot of time. We just put out more effort than the other four teams."
Meyers added that he and Springer, 42, are older than the other racers but said they have the advantage of living close to each other (Springer lives in Sturtevant) and thus being able to train together frequently.
"We become more in sync with each other," he said. "We both put in a lot of effort. When we can't train together for weather reasons, we each work on individual bikes."