After one of the wettest and coldest winters on record, stupendous spring conditions inspired a huge turnout at the May 25 edition of the Voler Seward Park Thursday Night Cycling Series.
The Seward Park Series is classic Seattle bike racing: Ride to the race, race, ride home with buddies and stop for optional beverages on the way home. I also sometimes incorporate a run around Seward Park when I want to mix things up.
The series has a reputation for attracting current professional racers who show up to keep their legs fresh in between major competitions, and to spice up the racing action. On this day, it was Bainbridge Island’s Kiel Reijnen, currently with Trek-Segafredo.
Each Thursday begins with a beginner’s race clinic ($8; free with race entry) taught by an experienced racer, or in this case a current pro, Kiel. The clinic covers some basic skills, and does a few laps around the course with a discussion about how to take the turns and work with the terrain features.
The 5:30 race is for “beginners” and category 4 and 5 racers. Although this race is for folks new to racing, the pace can be quite frisky when riders with big ambitions and thick quads show up.
The 6:00 race is for Category 3 and 4 racers, and is the most popular race. In the final laps this week, Apex Racing deployed their secret weapon, 13 year old Adrian “Warchild” Magun.
According to Apex Racing’s president David McKinnie, “some Apexians have nicknames. You don’t get to pick your own. You have to do something to earn it. Sometimes you earn yours by being stupid, other times it’s for something more impressive. Adrian’s is ‘Warchild’ by virtue of someone seeing him out training in full race face mode–on a day so rainy, windy, and cold none of the rest of us had the toughness to to ride.”
“Adrian is a very important part of Apex Racing.”
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons Adrian earned podium finishes at the US Road Nationals and Cyclocross Nationals. He is consistently a top finisher at local road and cyclocross races. It will be interesting to see how Adrian’s bike racing future unfolds.
Adrian’s dad Harrison commented:
“One thing that I have found great as a parent is the wonderful sense of community around cycling in the Seattle area, and all the support he has had. From the Apex Racing team, where ~80 adult racers have taken him under their wings, to companies like FSA, who invited him into their Mukilteo offices for pizza with the FSA team, and some surprises for him after he returned from last road nationals. My wife and I love it when we get emails and FB posts of ‘Adrian sightings’ from the cycling community when he is out training. As parents, it’s great to know folks are looking after him out there.”
So true. A Mercer lap is my “go to” ride in Seattle, and I frequently see Adrian hammering around the island.
As racers lined up for the 7PM race, a starstruck Adrian nervously wanted to introduce himself to Kiel. Kiel graciously agreed to take some pics with Adrian.
The 7PM race is for professionals and category 1, 2, and 3 racers. The athleticism and skills of the top racers in this event are noticeably superior to those in the earlier racers, and definitely worth a look if you’ve never been.
The series continues every Thursday night through August 31.