Biking through Time

One Heath student is cycling his way to success, in and out of the classroom.

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Biking through Time

Photo courtesy of @brettmichealross on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @brettmichealross on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @brettmichealross on Instagram.

Photo courtesy of @brettmichealross on Instagram.

Kassidy Turner, Staff Writer, Editor in Chief

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I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. Heath’s got our very own Lance Armstrong in the making, and his name is Brett Ross.

Brett, a senior this year, has a hobby that few may know about- unless you follow his Instagram.

“Had an insane last 5 days of non-stop racing” captioned Brett on a post from last May.

For Brett, cycling has been a huge part of his life from a very young age. He was prompted by his dad to partake in a sport that seems to have been passed down like a family heirloom.

“My father, Jason Ross, had been riding for as long as I could remember. Because of him I had easy access to nice bicycles and the cycling community.”

However, it wasn’t until he got older that cycling as a profession became more of a reality to him. Instead of playing soccer, or football, or basketball, or baseball, Brett decided to spend his time cycling.

“My career really kicked off when I heard that a friend of mine was planning on starting a junior cycling program for kids under the age of 19. We began by working out in his garage in the winter and progressively became faster” said Brett.

Since then, Brett has partook in many different races. These differentiate in type, location, style, and fellow riders. Out of all of the different races that he has done, “crit” racing is his favorite.

“In a certain category of racing called crit racing, a group of around 60-100 people race around a one mile long course that is usually on downtown city streets. The speed is high and almost everyone is willing to do anything to hold their position, even if it means pushing another rider out of the way. Money is usually involved and occasionally you will see a crit race where the winner will take home $10,000. The races that have more money in them attract a larger crowd. Depending on how the event organizer sets up the race, crit races often turn into parties with thousands of people on the side-lines hyping up the race as it comes by” included Brett.

Brett looks forward to the Tulsa Tough Crit Race every year due to its massive crowd and tendency to become a frat party. The race itself is structured on a massive hill known as ‘cry-baby hill’ that always provides a challenge to the racers.

“Thousands of college kids and many adults come to party on the hill and watch the races all day long.”

Brett rides often, spending many hours a week on his bike. It’s taught him many valuable lessons and disciplines that Brett will have for the rest of his life.

“The most influential part of cycling that I have learned over the years would be learning to deal with problems and how to act when things do not go your way. In a race, I like to say that it is about 60% luck and 40% skill. In order to win a race, many things have to go perfectly. If one small wrong move costs you the race, you have to accept it and learn from your mistakes.”

Cycling also impacts time spent on schoolwork. As an AP student that’s also involved in Student Council, and has served as a Class Officer for the Class of 2019, Brett stretches himself thin with incorporating his cycling in his daily routine.

“I try to keep my schoolwork and cycling balanced out with each other. On some days, cycling is an escape for my mind. I oftentimes find myself going out for a training ride on nights that I have more homework than usual. On days that I do not have much homework, I try to get in a longer ride” said Brett.

That’s not even to mention the fact that Brett has a part-time job outside of school. Many seniors and juniors find their free time eaten away by after school jobs, including Brett. However, he keeps a positive attitude toward his overcrowded plate.

“Balancing my schoolwork, cycling, and my job makes my life very busy. The overall workload is a lot but it keeps me out of trouble.”

Ultimately, after high school, Brett plans to get a Professional Racing License and attend college. He’s already had many new opportunities through cycling, and almost no one can predict what type of experiences this new hobby will allot him. The future seems bright for Brett, and the fire hasn’t been extinguished yet.

“Cycling has allowed me to do many things I would have never thought I would do when I was a kid. The coolest thing would probably be getting to travel around the world and race with the fastest high schoolers from different countries. I always think that it is cool to meet kids from foreign countries and then find out how much we have in common.”

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