Cycling Level: High School


He shuts the door of his 2001 navy Honda Accord and turns to cross over a four foot stretch of brown grass, carrying his backpack, taking a specific path in efforts to avoid the stickers that plague the dormant ground.

He walks to his garage; he pushes the button to raise the mechanical door open only to close it again once he’s made it to the door that opens into his kitchen.

He continues through his living room to a hallway that branches off to bedrooms.

He passes his sister’s room and then walks into his own, cluttered with his black and white Cannondale bike and weekend bags, and begins his homework.

Bryan Boydstun leaves at 2:05 for off-campus PE during eighth period.

He goes home, completes his homework, which takes from 30 minutes to an hour, cleans the dishes or any other chore that might need to be done, and then prepares for his daily bike ride.

He bases his training route off the direction of the wind, so that he can train against the gusts when his power is at its peak and then glide back with the breeze.

Depending on the week day, Boydstun either rides alone or with a group, but the majority of his routes he rides solo.

“It’s not because it’s more fun, it’s because it’s more necessary,” Bryan said.

From a training aspect, he explained that he prefers to train by himself so that he can ride at his own pace, though a part of his regimen does require group involvement.

On Tuesdays he rides with a group that meets at Riverside Cycling Center and then later with, Heat, a team for high school students. He bikes with the Heat team again on Thursdays.

“Usually when I’m riding with those guys it’s like a zone one for me, so I have to get out of the group, maybe pull a little bit longer, then average it out at the end, so it’s a little difficult,” Bryan said, “So usually I try to ride by myself if I can.”

However, competitive racers, he explained, cannot just ride their bikes and expect to see progress.

The training program Bryan uses requires that during one winter month at the end of each year, the athlete puts their bike up and essentially ignores it. This way the biker can restore broken down muscles that haven’t had time to recover over the past year and strengthen other parts of their bodies that aren’t necessarily targeted by biking.

“You can do running, swimming, anything that’s different from cycling, anything,” Bryan said, “that way next year you’ll be able to start up good again.”

Boydstun is also aware that to perform at his highest level, he has to eat properly, balancing his fat intake, electrolytes, and the amount of water he drinks.

“I try to eat very frequently and very balanced, and I try to reduce the amount of fat I eat,” Bryan said.

He explained that when an athlete cramps, it means that they didn’t balance their electrolytes. Boydstun was cost the 2013 Hotter’N’Hell, due to cramps

“If you drink too much water, you flush out all your electrolytes and you cramp up; if you don’t drink enough water you cramp up,” Bryan said

Despite the skill he exhibits now, Bryan has only been road racing competitively for two years as of April 4. He got into mountain biking with a friend who found out that a road team was being established in Wichita Falls and Boydstun decided to get involved. His coach, Jason Short, who gradually built Bryan up to current level of performance.

“He’s going to be my coach until I stop cycling, he’s amazing,” Bryan said, “the best coach ever.”

His coach, having been a competitive road racer also, has connections and knows how to navigate the cycling world in order to set Boydstun up for success. Bryan is attending a summer camp this July in Flagstaff, Arizona. This will be a selection camp for a race in Quebec called Tour L’Abitibi, which he equates to the Tour de France for bikers under 18. He explained that there will be three groups that are selected, which have six riders each, but his goal will to make the first group.

“The first group that gets picked will get everything paid for and they’ll be racing in USA colors,” Bryan said.The first group will be sponsored by USA.”

He said that hopefully he can make the first group, but if not, going to L’Abitibi would be an honor enough. L’Abitibi is farther in the future. More currently Boydstun is training for a race in Fayetteville, Arkansas, called the Joe Martin Stage Race. The race will have a stage everyday for its four-day duration, which will vary between a road race, criterion, or a time trial.

“That’ll be the biggest race so far that I’ve done,” Bryan said.

He will have to leave school on Wednesday so that he can attend the race for the rest of the week. When the race comes up, he’ll have to go to the WFISD and inquire as to whether those three days will count as ECA’s or not.

Boydstun says that he hasn’t missed too much school for races yet, so his schoolwork, which includes AP US History and PAP Physics, hasn’t been unmanageable, and he is proactive about keeping up with his grades.

“During the Joe Martin races, I’m going to have to go talk to the teachers and see what’s going on during those three days,” Bryan said.

His senior year however, Boydstun said that he will miss more school while competing for scholarships and vying for the attention of colleges.

“Next year, I talked to my coach, and he has a couple of host houses in Belgium,” Bryan said. “That way I’m improving. Next year I will be ready to race juniors in Belgium, and that’ll get my name out in Belgium, and maybe I will find a team and I won’t have to go to college.”

Boydstun said that if he finds a team in Europe, he would delay his college attendance for a couple of years.

After high school Boydstun does, however, have his options open to biking with Midwestern State University, which has a high name on the charts of Texas college biking teams.

“MSU, believe it or not, has the best cycling team around Texas,” Bryan said, “The womens’ team has the leaders’ jersey and the men, overall, so I could get a good scholarship to MSU for that.”

Boydstun hopes to make a pro college team after school, but he explained that if it doesn’t work out that way, he would be content with not being pro.

Bryan said that he would like to study toward a degree in physical therapy in college.

None of this would be possible without the support of his family Bryan insisted.

While he does pay for many of the extra things he requires for his sport, Bryan’s family pays for his bikes, which can have hefty price tags, and with the prices of gas rising, travelling for races is only getting more costly.

“Biking is very, very, very expensive,” Bryan said. “If they didn’t like it, I would be in big trouble.”

His sister, senior Haley Boydstun, explained that Bryan races almost every weekend, and she tries to go out and cheer for him as often as she can.

“I’m proud of him. He’s come a long way,” Haley said. “He played football his freshman year. If he hadn’t played football, if Coach Gar hadn’t had pushed him, I don’t think he would be where he is now.”

Bryan is optimistic about his future with cycling, and he wants to raise awareness for the sport that he puts so much commitment into.

He says that it’s been a big push to get Rider students involved with the high school team.

“It’s hard to get people into the sport. It’s not fun, you know, but when you go and race, it’s fun and it’s worth it,” Bryan said. “It’s hard to get across to young kids that it is worth it, and luckily it got across to me.”