Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2016
Hello, my name is Tim Coffey. I am a 16-year-old category one USA Cycling mountain biker and a junior at Cadillac High School. My journey through cycling has truly changed my life. It all started one summer day when I was 12-years-old. My dad brought home two flashy looking mountain bikes. That afternoon we went for a ride around Lake Mitchell and I was hooked. I had grown up riding bikes around the neighborhood, but riding longer distances quickly became something I loved.
As time when on, I started to think about doing a race. I am a very competitive person and love any chance to compete. During the summer of 2013, I raced the hardest 30 minutes of my life in the State Championship Criterium in Traverse City. I ended up finishing third in my age group and calling it a day. I didn't think much of it at the time as it was my first bike race, but I had a blast.
The next two years during the spring, summer, and fall it was all about cycling. I was offered a spot racing for Einstein Cycles in Traverse City and I proudly took the opportunity. Lucky for me, I was able to upgrade my bike and my racing career took off. During these years I did several races including X-100, Mud, Sweat, and Beers, and Ore2Shore. During all these races I was on the podium, but never got first place or had any big overall results.
Going into the 2016 season I knew I had to change something if I wanted to do well and win bike races. After several hours of watching YouTube videos, I figured it out and decided to go vegan. This decision had big benefits for my family and my performance on the bike.
My first big result was at the Barry Roubaix where in the 22 mile race I finished third in my age group and fourth overall out of 700+ racers. This was the first time I realized I could be good at this. Next, I got first place at The Divide gravel road race. The big prize was the Cross Country Short Track State Championship Mountain Bike Race. You can see the coverage of my State Championship win here
Words cannot express how I felt after winning a sprint and crossing the line in first. It was truly a special moment. The following day was the MTB Cross Country race and I finished in 2nd place. It was a disappointing result, but I was happy with my form knowing that all the interval sessions and hill reps I had done in the Spring were paying off.
In late Summer, my Dad and I made the trip up to Marquette for Ore2Shore. This was my first race where the officials gave me a preferred start based on prior racing results. This means at the start of the race I was placed in the 1st row out of a group of 800+ racers. I sprinted to the finish line in a group of three and ended up finishing second in my age group and ninth overall. I was more than happy with this result.
Two days after the race I was at Camp Torenta with my High School Cross Country family where I took a break from the bike to cross train and get ready for Iceman and cyclocross season. After some time away from the bike, I was ready for Iceman. I put everything in and finished fourth in my age group. It was hard to accept the result, but the season was not over yet.
Next on the calendar was the Cyclocross State Championships. Since I had never raced cyclocross before, I went into this race not knowing what to expect. After a couple warm up laps on the course, I was ready to give it my all. I finished second place in the first race of the day with the Junior 15-18-year-olds. After a quick break, I put a new number on and raced in the category 4-5. This would prove to be more of a challenge. Going in with zero USAC cyclocross points, I was forced to start in the back row behind 40 men. After 35 minutes of racing in the blinding snow with very few places to pass, I finished sixth overall and third in the under 34-year-old category. Not only was I very happy with this finish, but I now found another part of cycling that I love.
As of the end of November, I have logged 2,830 miles equating to 190 hours on my bike. I plan to make it to 3,000 miles by the end of the year. I am preparing for my last double race of the year on December 3rd in Mt. Pleasant at Le Frost Cross.
My first college recruitment visit to Brevard College in North Carolina in November confirmed my future desire to ride for a collegiate varsity cycling team. Check out Brevard Cycling the Division One National Champions for Mountain Bike Racing here http://bctornados.com/sport.asp?sportID=8
My goal is to visit several more schools who have USAC recognized cycling teams and land myself a place on a team. Overall, cycling has changed so much about me and has really shown me that with hard work, anything is possible. My name is Tim Coffey and I am just getting started, but I will ride for a college cycling team after high school graduation!