Motivational/Inspirational Speaker – Kevin Meyers – Making a difference!

2012 Race Results

I have raced tandem bikes since 2009 with added enthusiasm and excitement each year.  My goal was to participate in the 2012 Paralympics and win a medal for the USA.  The 2011 season ended after the US Track Nationals.  Rather than taking a break from training I went directly into preparing for the 2012 race season.  I figured I needed to train harder and remained totally focused.  I chose to do this as it would give me a better chance to qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.

Starting in January of 2012 I started to feel worn out.  I continued to train each and every day, feeling I might have caught a slight cold or something.  As time went on I had to push myself to get on my bike or go to the gym to train.  I kept reminding myself: Keep going, my training will pay off when I qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.

About the middle of April I had no energy.  After talking to numerous bike racers I realized I was burned out.  I pushed myself too hard and was so focused on participating in the Paralympics I left out recovery in my training.  At the age of 50 that is not good.  As a matter of fact, it's not good no matter what the age.  I backed off in training to see if I could recover.  I slowly worked back into my training yet I was so burned out that I could not recover.  By the time the 2012 US Road Nationals took place my body did not recover enough, and my pilot and I didn't qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.

After the US Road Nationals I took a few weeks off.  I wasn't sure if I was going to begin training for the US Track Nationals, which were to occur at the end of September.  I almost gave up on racing tandem bikes altogether.

After really thinking about how much I loved competition and more so love to race, I decided to start training for track racing.  I would not train as hard like I did prior to the US Road Nationals.  I would start slowly and work up to a level where I would feel strong and powerful!

On the initial tandem page, I said racing was something that had been missing in my life before I started to race tandems.  What is very unique is that the year of my boat racing accident I strongly felt I was going to win a national championship.  Yet that didn't happen because of the accident.  Twenty-five years later I was racing and what I really wanted, participating in the 2012 Paralympics, didn't happen.  I wanted to do this as much as I wanted to win a national championship in boat racing.  I'm sure that was why I was so focused on qualifying for the Paralympics.

My goal for the US Track Nationals was to do my best and give it everything I have to win a national championship.  I trained and made sure to include recovery so I didn't reach the burnout phase.  This mind set really paid off.  My pilot Bob Springer and I won a gold medal for the Kilo and the flying 200 meter events.  We are now both 2012 US Para Cycling Track National champions!  I have reached a goal that has been with me for 25 years.  I recognize now my perseverance, determination and my competitive attitude.  All of this, along with the help of many people, enabled me to win a national championship!

Picture during National kilo race 2012

Date (2012)

Ride/Race

Distance/Type

Time

Course

Finish

May 6

Kansasville, WI

20K time trial

27:15

Turns and rolling course

1st

June 3

Kansasville, WI

30K time trial

42:04

Turns and rolling course

1st

June 10

Harvard, IL

33.3K time trial

47:25

Fairly flat with one slight incline

1st

June 21

Augusta, GA US Road Nats

19K time trial

27:12

Fairly flat, some inclines, very hot and humid

5th

June 23

"

72K road race

Not a timed event

Numerous turns, rolling terrain, hot and humid

5th

September 29

Carson, CA US Track Nats

Flying 200M

11.100

250M, 45 degree banking

1st

"

"

4K pursuit

4:49.612

"

2nd

September 30

"

1K kilo

1:10.651

"

1st

 

Summary: My fourth year started out on a down note. I was so focused on qualifying for the 2012 Paralympics I pushed myself very hard while training. I backed off training in April and it was too late. I was burned out! I could have thrown in the towel after the US Road Nationals; I felt so tired and somewhat discouraged about racing bikes altogether. I didn't give up and the results at the US Track Nationals were awesome. See the 2012 US Elite/Para track national video.2012 US Elite/Para track national video

May 6 – Bong 20K time trial, Kansasville, Wisconsin:
This was the first race of the year. I was not to sure how I would do as I had backed off my training due to being burned out. The course is fairly flat with numerous slight inclines and three sharp turns. For a long stretch there was a strong headwind. We finished with a time of 27:15 and took home the gold. I was impressed with our output, especially mine.

June 3 - Bong and a half 30K time trial, Kansasville, Wisconsin:
This was the second race of the year and I was feeling better about my training. Same race course as the 20K on May 6th. The race was a lap and a half. We finished with a time of 42:04 and took home the gold.

June 10 – 33.3K time trial, Harvard, Illinois:
This course is fairly flat with a few turns and one slight incline. I was still feeling good from the time trial last weekend. Doing well at this race would be good preparation for the US Road Nationals that were in about two weeks. My pilot and I finished with a time of 47.25 and took home the gold. I was ready for the Road Nats.

June 25 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
This was a 72K road race.  The race was 3 laps around a almost 15 mile loop.  There were a lot of small to medium inclines.  About a ¼ way on the second lap the timing chain fell off.  We were able to get it back on within a matter of seconds.  I learned that it is good protocol for the other teams to slow down so we can catch up.  This was great as it allowed us to get back into the race.  We then stayed with the other team for the remainder of the second lap and about half of the third lap.  The other team slowly pulled away from us and we held on to second place.

June 21 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
This was a 19K time trial. The course had some moderate inclines and it was 95 degrees and very humid. My pilot Bob Springer and I rode the course each of the prior two days and felt we could race at a good pace. I should have put an ice pack on my back for this race to help my body temperature from getting too high. I didn't do that and I paid the price. Plus, I pushed myself very hard from the very beginning. All of this affected the outcome. We finished fifth with a time of 27.12 and didn't qualify for the 2012 Paralympics. Boy, now what?

June 23 – Augusta, Georgia, US Road Nationals:
This was a 72K road race. The race was 3 laps around an almost 15 mile loop. There were a lot of small to medium inclines. About ¼ into the first lap the timing chain fell off. This occurred in the same exact spot it did last year. We were able to get it back on within a matter of seconds. When we took off all the other teams were not in sight. This year they didn't wait up. Last year I heard it was good protocol for the other teams to slow down so we could catch up. I guess the other teams didn't think about waiting up. My pilot Bob Springer and I worked hard enough that we caught two teams. The other four teams were too far ahead we would never catch them. This was not a good national event for me and I was worn out.

September 28 – Carson, California, US Track Nationals:
We are back at the indoor 250 meter wood track with 45 degree banking. We showed up a few days early to get in some training intervals on the track. The first event on this day was the flying 200 meter. We finished first with a time of 11.700, taking home the gold! This was great and it was not that tough to win as we were the only team in the event. The second event was the 4K pursuit which was in the evening. This is the event we trained for back in Wisconsin and felt we would do fairly well. That was not the case as the team we raced against beat us by 13 seconds. We finished with a time of 49.612 and took home the silver.

September 30 – Carson, California, US Track Nationals:
The last event for the track nationals for us would be the 1K kilo. Once again the competition was intense, as we raced against the team that handily beat us in the 4K pursuit. Six seconds of the thirteen by which they beat us in the 4K pursuit was gained on the first 4 laps. This would be a huge challenge for my pilot Bob and me to beat such a fast team. They are much younger, as their combined age is about 56 years. Bob's and my combined age is 90.

Bob and I discussed what we could do for this last race of the year to be the winners. We decided to put on the biggest gear setup we had and would crank the living daylights out of it. Normally the kilo is done with one team on the track at a time. Since we finished last year in third and the other team finished second, we would go first. At least, that is what I thought. I was really focusing on cranking as hard as I could when it was time to put the bike in the starting gate. A few seconds later the countdown started and then we took off. It was great as Bob and I were cranking away and really cruising on the track. In no time we crossed the start finished line and Bob yelled out, "We won…we won…we won!" I said, "What do you mean we won? The other team hasn't even gone yet." Bob said, "They were on the track at the same time." I said, "Are you kidding?" Bob replied, "No way, we won!" I threw my fist in the air and yelled very loudly, "YES!" This was much better than winning gold the other day. We beat an awesome team that annihilated us in the 4K pursuit. We finished with a time of 10.651, which was .35 seconds faster than the other team. Not much, but a win is a win!

As I said before, I thought I was going to win a national championship when I raced boats and it didn't happen due to the accident where I lost my sight. Twenty-five years later I won a national championship. I'm a 2012 Para Cycling Track National Champion!


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