Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The day of the Men’s Jr. race has finally arrived. A Clear and bright day had John Bennett seeded 16th, a second row seat, giving him a nice placement to run with the big dogs. From the start John was with the lead group and there is a photo of him from the first lap about 1.5 klicks into the race starting to climb (taken by the Canadian photographer Rob Jones who was our best source if imaging.) If you know John this is how you want to see him. He’s primed, he is smiling and licking his lips and looking forward to the competition because now his can ride the way he wants. The bike is dialed, he is rested and he is starting up front. He is going to execute his climbing strength and race as I have seen him do so many times before.
Alas, it was not to be. A bit further along in this climb he was rammed by another climbing rider in the rear disc brake and caliper. I believe that the rotor was not bent so I imagine that the caliper was knocked askew. This caused it to drag so substantially that he needed to pedal to get downhill at any speed. He was unable to repair it himself. and lost ground quickly. In any case at the end of the first lap he was in 77th place.
By the second lap Rob Jones had moved a bit further uphill and grabbed a shot of John ascending and the look on his face tells all. He is working far too hard for a grade he would normally just sprint up and he is troubled with what he knows to be a tough hand. He soldiered on for two more laps and was pulled from the race.
When I spoke with his dad Keith, who got off the phone with John just before 4 am this morning and called me back, he said John was really disappointed. I think we all were disappointed ourselves and for John. Hope is a fragile thing and determination thwarted is very frustrating. John makes no excuses and assigns no blame; that is not his way. Later in the day he told his dad he was pleased that he placed and did not receive a DNF.
I talked with him just a while ago. He told me that when he brought the bike in the wheel would stop spinning in about 5 revolutions from top speed. The Team Mechanic was able to repair the disc brake in about a minute. We just took a deep breath and shook our heads: “whistle through your teeth and spit” as Jerry Garcia sang. I told him how proud I was of him, how proud we all are of his amazing effort and his bearing and reminded him that everyone simply wanted him to have an amazing experience. We spoke of enjoying the rest of the races and support his team. I encouraged him to buy his XC Jrs a lunch on El Cerrito Racing and have a fine time.
Let’s not forget the other boys who raced today who are now John’s solid riding buds. Robbie Squire who raced against John at Santa Ynez and traveled to the UCI Champs with him, had a fine finish at 23rd. Kerry Werner, winner of the Greenbriar race in Maryland for his berth, finished 85th. Seamus Powell who raced at both Santa Ynez and Greenbriar crashed on the course, came up somewhat bloody at the leg and flatted finished 92nd under his own power and seems not to be seriously injured.
Like many of our El Cerrito Racing friends I work with kids who race and they tend to bounce back pretty quickly physically and mentally. These boys are some of the best we have and they will parlay this into an incredible momentum. So when you see them at Park City they may swagger just a little; they’ve earned it.

Michael Mejia
Director, El Cerrito Racing
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
WOW....Awesome experience...give John and his family my best...I will enjoy keeping an eye on his future progress, and just know that he will go on to great things as a racer...not knowing him but reading about him, and just seeing the determination and love of the sport in his face says it all...He should be a very proud young man for the accomplishments he's made...comparing what he has done to the population of his peers is incredible (oh to be young again..haha)...I had the opportunity arriving back home just in time to race at Danville, PA and got to meet Kerry...it's nice to know that there are such great young men to represent this sport...

Thanks for all your reports, it's been fun reading Michael.

Ed
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
In March of 2006 on that course

we got the first sense of John as a racer. He was converted fro Baseball,, which he didn't like, and swimming/lifeguarding and had more power than skill. He finished third behind Christian Fernandez and Nate Byrom. He surprised us all. He would take a 4th in his next race at Granite Bay. Race 3 was back a CCCX where he had his first victory. He went on to be the Freshman Champion that year with a victory at Boggs.
The bottom picture was his Podium this year in his first Varsity victory, at CCCX no less.
 

Attachments

·
I dig trails!
Joined
·
5,608 Posts
Berkeley Mike said:
The day of the Men's Jr. race has finally arrived. A Clear and bright day had John Bennett seeded 16th, a second row seat, giving him a nice placement to run with the big dogs. From the start John was with the lead group...
Thanks so much for the report. These guys work so hard to get to the level they are at and deserve the recognition. That is why it is such a kick in the sack to read about the brake issue... :-( Training so hard for this race, seeding 16th:)thumbsup: !!!!!!!!!), the hopes are up, and the knowledge that there is a crack at the podium....

Congrats to John regardless of the crummy mechanical luck. He has a hell of a story to inspire his grand kids with :)

P
 

·
Crazed Country Rebel
Joined
·
6,345 Posts
Berkeley Mike said:
The day of the Men's Jr. race has finally arrived. A Clear and bright day had John Bennett seeded 16th, a second row seat, giving him a nice placement to run with the big dogs. From the start John was with the lead group and there is a photo of him from the first lap about 1.5 klicks into the race starting to climb (taken by the Canadian photographer Rob Jones who was our best source if imaging.) If you know John this is how you want to see him. He's primed, he is smiling and licking his lips and looking forward to the competition because now his can ride the way he wants. The bike is dialed, he is rested and he is starting up front. He is going to execute his climbing strength and race as I have seen him do so many times before.
Alas, it was not to be. A bit further along in this climb he was rammed by another climbing rider in the rear disc brake and caliper. I believe that the rotor was not bent so I imagine that the caliper was knocked askew. This caused it to drag so substantially that he needed to pedal to get downhill at any speed. He was unable to repair it himself. and lost ground quickly. In any case at the end of the first lap he was in 77th place.
By the second lap Rob Jones had moved a bit further uphill and grabbed a shot of John ascending and the look on his face tells all. He is working far too hard for a grade he would normally just sprint up and he is troubled with what he knows to be a tough hand. He soldiered on for two more laps and was pulled from the race.
When I spoke with his dad Keith, who got off the phone with John just before 4 am this morning and called me back, he said John was really disappointed. I think we all were disappointed ourselves and for John. Hope is a fragile thing and determination thwarted is very frustrating. John makes no excuses and assigns no blame; that is not his way. Later in the day he told his dad he was pleased that he placed and did not receive a DNF.
I talked with him just a while ago. He told me that when he brought the bike in the wheel would stop spinning in about 5 revolutions from top speed. The Team Mechanic was able to repair the disc brake in about a minute. We just took a deep breath and shook our heads: "whistle through your teeth and spit" as Jerry Garcia sang. I told him how proud I was of him, how proud we all are of his amazing effort and his bearing and reminded him that everyone simply wanted him to have an amazing experience. We spoke of enjoying the rest of the races and support his team. I encouraged him to buy his XC Jrs a lunch on El Cerrito Racing and have a fine time.
Let's not forget the other boys who raced today who are now John's solid riding buds. Robbie Squire who raced against John at Santa Ynez and traveled to the UCI Champs with him, had a fine finish at 23rd. Kerry Werner, winner of the Greenbriar race in Maryland for his berth, finished 85th. Seamus Powell who raced at both Santa Ynez and Greenbriar crashed on the course, came up somewhat bloody at the leg and flatted finished 92nd under his own power and seems not to be seriously injured.
Like many of our El Cerrito Racing friends I work with kids who race and they tend to bounce back pretty quickly physically and mentally. These boys are some of the best we have and they will parlay this into an incredible momentum. So when you see them at Park City they may swagger just a little; they've earned it.

Michael Mejia
Director, El Cerrito Racing
Does John Bennet post on MTBR or are you his spokesperson?
 

·
I dig trails!
Joined
·
5,608 Posts
iheartbicycles said:
Does John Bennet post on MTBR or are you his spokesperson?
I'm not sure what is meant by that comment, perhaps you could explain?

But for any local yokel to make it to the World Championships, should have all of us as their spokesperson. It was a very nice write-up by Mike. Especially with how little info is coming out of Worlds for XC events.

P
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
iheartbicycles said:
Does John Bennet post on MTBR or are you his spokesperson?
You question as posed implies that Mike is in some way shilling or getting some personal gain from this. I'll throw in my two cents.

Mike is just the guy that has dumped his heart and soul into getting El Cerrito Racing going and turning it from nothing, into a fully competitive high school race team. This is in addition to the other activities he does to support the mountain bike community. Mike is justifiably proud that one of the members has managed to go to the worlds and posted here because they needed to raise donations to help with the costs.

When you pose a question as you have, it begs the question, what have you done to help the mountain bike community or the community as a whole lately? I would be willing to bet Mike has done more in the past week, than you have done in the past year. Mike posts here when the team needs help and I for one (and others) are happy to help. I don't have time, but I do have some money which I gladly give to help.

I am really glad to see that John got to go to the Worlds. I am disappointed for him that he had a mechanical issue that prevented him from doing better, but that is minor compared to the experience that he has gained. He will regardless of what he does, for the rest of his life, be able to look back at what a special trip it was and what a great growing experience it was.
 

·
Lusus Naturae
Joined
·
2,874 Posts
I thought the question was pretty general: Does John Bennet post on MTBR or are you his spokesperson?

I can't answer the first part but I can say I have not seen any posts that are obviously his. And yes, Mike is his spokesperson, among other roles.

I don't see anything else implied ... but then, I am not a lawyer.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No he doesn't post here. I speak for El Cerrito Racing.

Part of my function is to communicate as much of the experience of John going to the Worlds as I can. I do it to fulfill as sense of of obligation to the folks at MTBR who have supported us over the years either in though or in deed. I do it to create and develop interest in what we do for developing the mountain biking community.
Frankly I just like telling the story, it is a good one, and I am in a unique position to do so.
That I have that disposition puts me in a nice place to develop support for John.
Just before he left I was able to provide some guarantee of financial support for his effort and the presence of his mother, which turned out to be a very important thing fort he Juniors of the USA Cycling Team. She took them under her wing during all of the travel problems and provided food and shelter as an asset of El Cerrito Racing. This is something I can do that he can't. Lord knows I can't ride with him anymore.:D
No, I am not a spokesperson for John, nor am I his agent in a hired sense but am a unique adjunct to John's experience and internal workings. While I cannot claim to be entirely accurate about his expression I think I do it justice and, at least, act in good faith.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's nice to have the support

and I have had a busy week. All bets are off you bunch of clowns! Play nice.

I just got back from the NorCal League Invitational Camp where you had to podium to qualify. It is really interesting to see incompletely formed talent though there is some pretty nicely developed riders who will be deadly next season and will race at Deer Valley, Utah next week.
My son was there and was a bit nervous when he first arrived at all the really nice bikes and good racers. He had made the Podium and finished 8th in the League, is a pretty good competitor and generally doesn't let others take him out of his game. His bike is a modest Rockhopper Disc with some chi chi and I keep it as sharp as I can but there were some nice rides there. One the first day he had a victory in the Prologue had a very nice camp after that. He came away feeling validated for his knowledge, skill, and speed. There was a bit of swagger.

I was off the back!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
urinal mint said:
I'll take that bet.

How much are you willing to put up?
Considering that the offer wasn't made to you, you cannot accept it. ;)
 

·
Crazed Country Rebel
Joined
·
6,345 Posts
CDMC said:
Considering that the offer wasn't made to you, you cannot accept it. ;)
I'm not one to brag online about how cool I am, sorry. But, if you really feel like losing some money, take urinal mints bet!;)
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top