Thursday, January 09, 2020

The Big Show!

Cross Nationals
Watching Mateen warm up in the pre dawn mist, I exclaimed to Tom Durkin, and my wife Sarah Joy, (and anyone else who would listen, "We made it!"
"With every practice lap, he is justifying our practice, our perseverance, and the plethora of pre-paid passes!"

It was such a thrill to be at the raceside, in Fort Steilacoom Park. Arriving rested and ready, we remembered business leaders like, Holly Bussmus (see here), Steve Martine (see here),  Bob Mionskie (see here), Bob Grummel (see here), and Dave Guettler (see here) came together and supported a local HS student's dream.

After pre-riding the course on the day before his Junior 17-18 Juniors' race, Mateen Richey said with some wide eyed concern, "it's a hard course!"
Intimidating slopes.

Mud teaches many lessons.
Seventy young men from all over The Nation brought their bicycles to Tacoma Washington on Sunday December 15th to face the mud, and each other in the 2019 United States Cyclocross Championship, and no one rode away unchanged.

Called up to the start line in 69th place, Mateen had a plan.

He knew his one advantage at the back
was a clear view of the whole pack in front of him.  Mateen's plan was to watch for congestion early, and try to go around.
He figured, if he could find a clear line early, he could establish a good position to chase the front runners.
tire inspection

When the race began, the pace was very fast. It was all he could do to hold his position, until congestion came upon the set up corner to the big muddy run up. This was the early congestion he was looking for. When suddenly twenty people bogged down almost to a stop Mateen went around the outside out into the tape.

Tiring depths.
A HS track 200m hurdler, Mateen powered to the front of this immediate cluster of riders.  Now he was in the low forties. But soon a hard hop-on remount broke his seat adjustment bolt and his saddle was all over the place.
Running into the pit, he found three men waiting including Denzel, Bob Grummel,  and his father Mikail, were all waiting to hand him a new bike.

By this time however, all the wrestling around the broken saddle had done its damage to his position in the race. After the bike swap, Mateen fought to hold on and ended up racing near other familiar Oregon riders, but never to surge past 50th again. Finishing 56th and not being lapped were his victories in his first Cross Nationals.

Mateen was in a fight amongst the back 30. Racing hard, Mateen saw it as a good race because he came in thirteen places improved.
Finishing amidst other well known Oregon riders just four seconds behind Jackson Loftus and ahead of Tigard's Tyger Westerfield it was a familiar finish.

Benefits of going to Nationals included a new strength found. A humbled realization, and an elegant sense of self initialized. Parents and family were drawn together and encouraged. Our foundation is in place to improve in 2020.

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Road to his first Nationals

When Mateen Richey 
was a child, 
we marveled 
at his ability to stay motivated 
and keep his bicycle upright in chaos.
Kids on Bikes activities at Blazer Boys and Girls Club put cyclists all around him and in his way.
His goal was to not to dap (put his foot down.)
As an 8 year old, he was a master. (see 8 yr old here)

Mateen always rode his bicycle in silence, and with a smile.

Unfortunately, we lost track of him for a spell. A few years.
Chaos had been no stranger in his young life.

A cacophonous parental divorce charged the tenor of his upbringing. Young parents in poverty were challenged to despair.
Everyone in Mateen's family love him and help him. They all want the best for this young star.

Luckily, his grandfather had an extra room in his house and $20 in his pocket to go get some dinner at Taco Bell. It was time of rest and recovery. As well as gentle recovery in an intellectual setting.

Grandpa's level of support allowed Mateen to attend his first year of HS at about 75% consistency, and periodic school security escorts to the principle's office.
This time in life allowed Mateen to nearly live at the Mt. Scott Community Center, playing basketball.

Swimming is a big part of Bicycles and Ideas for Kids' Empowerment, and on one of trips to the pool, we spotted Mateen. We swam at Mt. Scott Pool where he played pick-up basketball.
Now over five feet tall, Mateen was attending high school in his Freshman year.  Miraculously in this same week, one of b.i.k.e.'s most famous volunteers met Mateen's Math Teacher in a bar.

b.i.k.e. was given the private cell number of the very teacher who had to call the school security. When I called and introduced myself, we only spoke of general programming ideas at first. But soon, I revealed I had a kid in our program that might be in his class. When I said the child's name the math teacher gasped with astonishment. This was one of the kids he had been having the trouble with.

Next thing you knew, we were all out to dinner sharing a meal. (see here)
His team of elders.
One thing led to another, and a Stanford Phd. Mathematician named Study Buddy J got on Skype with Mateen. With a Math tutor, Mateen was transformed. His math class under the watchful eye of his math teacher, became a study skills laboratory. Improvement in math study skills steadily transformed Mateen's approach to his entire class load. Last term Mateen received a 3.5 gpa.

Mateen has been thinking lately he might study to become a CPA like his brother in The Lore of Cyclisme, Stephen Bedford.

December 15th in Lakewood Washington, Mateen will race in his first NATIONALS.

Friday, October 18, 2019

A Village for a Champion

Behavior in a young person's life, is the currency with which they purchase opportunity. Whether they are being cool amongst their peers, or being responsible amongst adults, their choices how to move and breathe manifest their lot in life.

Mateen Richey was born a quite kid. Back in the day when his high school age mentors from the Cyclisme racing program announced he was their pick from the Blazer Boys and Girls Club Kids on Bikes Program  pool of talent.  Back in 2013, he just smiled. He hardly speaks a word to this day. And today, he wins bicycle races in a variety of disciplines.

Caring teammates have been the key to Mateen's success. He rides with children and adults and practices Cyclisme's four edicts of championship: benevolence, good form, simplicity and team.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Finding the foothold!

The Richey Brothers at the front!

Reaching for Championship
is no small task, but Mateen and Maurice
are "all in!"

Racing at Portland International Raceway in the free Juniors category, they found victory in different ways.

Diverse and friendly this venue was the perfect place to bring Maurice (11) and Mateen (16) Richey.

OBRA Official, and race announcer, Luciano Bailey, an Italian, African American from Back East, is a veteran of the Cyclisme Lore, and an alert defender of the faces of color making entre into the peloton.

He knew just what to do when a fast talking maurice wanted to explain his way out of staying on the wheel of the kid his age off the back, Lucci pedalled bye and stuck out his arm for a friendly high speed madison push on the back of the 11 year old nabob of negativism.

Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, older brother Mateen was matching wits with the full might of the Dialed Racing Junior Program. Refusing to pull through, they would attack en masse, the moment he pulled too long.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

West to home!

Westerholm  steamrolled.

Team work.

Somehow still...
he drove the pace, even though

Chuck "Cool Hand" Westerholm 

gently fell back into the order of the day's early paceline.  

Stepping away.
Tim "Tebo" Bergmann, sensing the danger,  snuck out with care into the afternoon headwind blowing across the tarmac of the Troutdale Airport.
Tony "Guy-Gresham" Escobar hid away patiently behind his winter training buddy while moving up the line, and into Springtime fitness.
New recruit, Marty "Code Man" Body shadowed carefully the veteran he heard tell of winning two Cat 5 OBRA crits, Tony Escobar.
"I was told this would be a shorter ride," Marty lamented." My recruiter lied."

Meanwhile fresh prince Mateen "Teen Star" Richey stayed back behind "Cool Hand" Chuck Westerholm, windward, slowing down while standing up, restraining himself, pretending to make a grand effort to go forward.
Lo and behold the team WORD-RCB presents GRUMMEL was
making speed to the Sandy River Valley.
On his way home to his kids!

It was a beautiful day to ride. Spicy Sunday breakfast from a mui authentico Tortillieara y Tienda de Leon, compelling and sensible (See Location Here)  on 162nd and Glisan lent excitement to the day. Not often does a Tesla park and spandex clad alien emerge at this particular West Gresham strip mall.

Our departing course fell smoothly through the Fairview neighborhoods, and offered a half hour downhill glide east, and north toward Marine Drive.

Good Friends and goading gadflys laughed and chattered,as only soft pedalling was necessary During the descent.  Fascinated folks warmed up to a 60 degree day.

A willingness to work together added comfort to the team training event.

Early animators Tony E. and Tim B.
"It's rare that you get to ride so well with such reasonable and reflective cyclists," said Tim Bergmann after.`

Order and cooperation were the norm for the the first third of a ride that it would change significantly when the grade increased. For a ride sold as easy, and short, the ride was remarkably fast and long.

Mateen "Teen Star" Richey signals destruction.
Farm lands far out behind Troutdale would transform into fields of carnage as Chuck and Mateen stepped away.

It was a big accomplishment for Mateen to stick even in the hills, to the wheel of his old pal, Chuck Westerholm. (please see)

Men after, at la Torterlleria de Leon..
"I had fun. Mateen, and the guys did Great!" and elated Westerholm added, "Seeing how much Mateen has improved, put me on Cloud Nine. Let me know when we are going again!"

All of our mentors are cyclists. Dedicated volunteers often become engaged philanthropists, as they help groom and support our training racers. (one good example)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Faster at Jack Frost

Mateen Richey on 650c TT bike.

Starting the 2019 road season at Jack Frost in March, is a cold proposition. This year was better than some, as at least the sun came out.

Mateen Richey rolled out onto the 12 mile course with the 17-18 year olds, as he is sixteen now and that is how OBRA works. He will race as an 18 year old when CX rolls around.

Featuring a tentative fit on an old school funny bike with an old school aero helmet, his signature in a wind tunnel test would have been plenty modern. In fact, Mateen improved his time by over 4 minutes from last year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Victory at Ninkrossi

Mateen Richey and Joshua Morris line up at the front.

Mateen Richey won at the NINKROSSI cyclocross race in the 17-18yr. division.

In Rainy conditions, Mateen shot off the front for a huge 30second  gap, then gently let some of it go to come in first.

In his first year of CX racing it was an incredible accomplishment.

After winter training with the adults of Cyclisme, then track racing in the Junior schedule, Mateen hopped on a custom made Igleheart CX frame (see here) and excelled.

Mateen's cross strategy for 2018 was to race in the JCS Series and the Portland Trophy Cup, before the State Champs in November.