An inclination for acceleration

A look Into sophomore’s life as a cyclist

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An inclination for acceleration

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Story by Stephanie Jumper, staff writer

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Despite sophomore Sebastian Nichols’ infatuation with sports, he is seldom found on the basketball or tennis courts. Instead, his passion lies on the race track. Nichols is devoted to cycling, a hobby that has granted him experiences, opportunities and a lifetime of knowledge.   

When did you first get into cycling?

About five years ago in seventh grade. My parents wanted to get actively involved in cardio and stuff like that ‘cause my dad used to run, but he had to get his knee pumped ‘cause [of] some impact issue. So he got into it and he got my family involved. I was naturally in love with cycling.

Why do like cycling?

[I’m] not really an adrenaline junkie, but when you’re going about 26 miles an hour, everything just starts to slow down. You can start to think. It’s really nice. It’s very calming. 

When you go on a ride, no matter what happened that day, you can always feel better afterwards.

What is a memorable moment in your hobby?

I got to meet Lawson Craddock. He’s a famous cyclist in the Tour de France. Last year, he injured his scapula, and the Tour de France is a 21 day race. He got injured on the first day, and he’s known for his endurance and strength. He was very nice. He stood out there for about three or four hours shaking hands and greeting people. [He told me to] keep pursuing my dream and cycling is a good sport I should do for the rest of my life. 

Has cycling changed your personality or lifestyle?

I don’t think change. More of enhance. I’ve always been outgoing and I love to be very active. That’s definitely given me my tools to go on with that. I’m very competitive and I love the fact that I can go in competitions.

Whenever you go out and play football, you don’t get to go out with your parents on the field. You don’t get to go and do that. My family has gotten a lot closer I think for going out and doing this because I don’t just go out and ride by myself. My dad, my mom and I go out and ride.

Do you want to pursue this as a career?

I’ve been offered to go to the California event where you have to meet certain qualifications to go and race professionally. I’m semi professional racing because I get paid for how I place, but I really just do it recreationally. Very few people go into any sport professional. I don’t know if I could. If I apply myself I’m sure I could, but I don’t plan on it. If I wanted to, it’d be a safety thing.

What advice would you give to aspiring cyclers?

For kids, mainly teens, you can go on forums. You can go on social media. Berridge Bikes is a really good shop in downtown Texarkana. They have pretty good bikes for low cost. It’s really nice. For adults who want to get into it, they have to really want to get into it. Because if you invest in it, the first 10 miles I guarantee you’re gonna want to quit. I did. That’s just ‘cause you’re not used to it [with] the way the saddle hurts [and] the way your muscles are [in] pain. It’s like if you’ve ever run the mile, imagine that but a lot worse. It sucks. You don’t know why you want to do it. But when you keep doing it, you just stay involved because it gets easier and eventually [it’s] a lot of fun. Thirty miles is not easy. Even if I’ve been doing for five it years. On gloomy days, it’s hard to get on the trainer and do what you want to do, but you have to find it within you to do it. You just go out and give it your all.

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