Tenspeed Hero is lucky to have a variety of cyclists across the country and world who ride with us. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a while for us to meet them in person! Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Jake Szymanski and got to accompany him to the Wisconsin Off-road Racing Series. We talked over tacos (the only way to properly meet someone) about the Tour de France and our favorite cyclists. When he isn’t riding his bike you can probably catch him at an artisanal doughnut shop or considering break dancing lessons. In addition to being a cool dude, Jake is also an awesome racer who has been rocking our Leave it on the Road Jersey for the past few months in the misty land of Portland, OR.
Although Jake now traverses the mountain bike trails of the West Coast, he got his start cycling in good ol’ Wisconsin. At 15 he bought his first decent bike and began riding around some single track trails near his home with friends. Pretty soon Jake caught the mountain biking bug and later began riding road bikes when the trails flooded one summer. Returning to his home state this summer for the Wisconsin Off-road Racing Series was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up and lucky for us we got some rad photos of Jake in action. Let’s set the mood before we begin the picture portion of this post. Picture yourself just outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin. You’re close to the Wisconsin Dells, so close you can almost hear the sound of waterparks and children squealing in the distance. It’s a hot day. Scratch that. It’s a brutally hot, humid day. Scratch that. It’s so hot outside your flip-flops are going to start melting on the pavement and its so humid that you feel like you just walked through one of those produce misters at the grocery store. Racers and their supporters huddle under tents for some relief from the sun. Someone starts grilling some brats. You dream of a cold PBR to drink. Enough complaining about the heat now, it’s time for the race.
The course was very diverse with a variety of obstacles for Jake to maneuver his bike around including: a very large boulder, a flyover, a large grass-hill sprint, rock gardens, and tight corners.
Jake finished 3rd in his age group and 21st overall. He popped wheelies, performed some skids, drank a lot of water, and hugged his parents in celebration.