Did You Know?

Roughly every three days, one person biking or walking is killed by someone driving a car in the Chicago region.

Meet a racer: Kyle Mindick

Inspired by the tales of Le Tour de France and amateur racing exploits of years ago, he pulled his father Dave’s 1989 road bike down from the garage rafters, tuned it up without any help, and began riding around the neighborhood streets.

Now, in his second full season of racing with xXx Racing – AthletiCo, Kyle Mindick is not your typical middle school athlete. “Most of my friends [at McHenry Middle School] are in track or cross-country, so they relate the endurance part of it. They think it’s cool.

“But,” he adds, as a track and cross-country runner himself, “compared with traditional American sports, cycling is way out there. Soccer kids don’t have to deal with chamois crème or carbon fiber.”

Kyle found the transition from one endurance sport to another quite smooth, winning a race in the Soldier Field Criterium series last year, in addition to taking second place in the Illinois State Championship Road Race in Willow Springs.

“I have made a lot of new friends. Riding and racing with a large group of people makes you really outgoing.” Kyle has learned some valuable lessons in cycling, as well. “You can’t worry about not placing as well as you’d like, when you’re 14 and racing with 15- to 18-year-olds. You just tell yourself to try harder.”

And while Kyle is now helping his little sister train for her own cross-country races, Dave Mindick attends the Saturday morning xXx-Racing team ride with his son often. Additionally, the two attend regular training sessions led by teammate-mentor Erik Didriksen.

“[Erik] is really good about providing info on training, racing, and riding in a pack,” Kyle says. Didriksen volunteers his time with Kyle through the team mentoring program, such as riding with Kyle on the Willow Springs course in advance of the race last year. He is also an accomplished category 3 racer at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook, and Kyle is looking forward to learning more about fixed-gear track racing.

“My dad will ride with me anytime, even if he’s tired or it’s cold out. There’re not many cyclists around McHenry. Every time we go for a ride I feel like we’re being cyclist advocates.”