A Bend teen’s passion for cycling is taking him across the globe. 17-year-old cyclocross racer Zane Strait is headed to Belgium to compete and is raising funds to get there.
“The bell goes and you’re just going with 100 other kids, and it’s complete carnage,” Strait said.
Like most kids in Central Oregon, Strait found an early love for recreating on the hundreds of trails across the High Desert.
“We’re right in the woods, so I can go out for hours on end and just explore,” Strait said. “I also like to fish. I’m kind of connected with the trails and everything, so I can see good fishing spots where I want to go.”
His passion formed in the way of cyclocross.
“Cyclocross is a mixed road and dirt sport, a course where you make loops on it and there’s obstacles and turns,” he said.
The Summit High senior and Cascadia Junior Cycling member recently competed in the USA Cycling’s Cyclocross National Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, among 68 of the best juniors in the country. He finished 18th.
“So when we showed up, it was super dry and it poured rain probably halfway through my race and conditions completely changed,” he said. “There’s a lot of mechanicals going on and pitch changes changing from one bike to another.”
Before last weekend’s events, Zane had never left the state.
“It’s definitely taught me to persevere,” Strait said. “I’ve learned a lot of mechanical skills and also skills off the bike. I’ve connected with a lot of kids doing it this way and I’ve been able to travel to low near states and meet other kids and super cool.”
Through hard work, he has earned his chance to compete in another country. Zane has been selected to travel to Belgium for the rest of December to compete in several races.
Zane is raising money for his trip. You can find his GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/27cb9b62
About Cascadia Junior Cycling: we provide recreational, skills-based training and competitive team opportunities for junior cyclists in Bend. CJC is operated by Cog Wild Bicycle Tours, LLC. Info, media, and support Zane at cogwild.com/juniors.