Freshman cyclist Peter Moore speeds past adult competitors

Freshman+Peter+Moore+barrels+around+a+track.

Freshman Peter Moore barrels around a track.

Ignore the pain and just go.”

— Freshman Peter Moore

Cyclists line up on the track. They are all adults, except Saint Paul Academy and Summit School freshman Peter Moore. The cyclists’ bikes don’t have brakes, so they struggle mounting their bikes on the side of the steep track. The velodrome, the track they race on, is made of an extra durable African wood, and is banked so the riders can maintain speed around turns. The cyclists start a preliminary lap around the track. After the warm-up lap, the cyclists race off from the sound of a gun. Moore has no trouble keeping up with the adults around him. In fact, he stays near the front of the pack. In this type of race the last cyclist is eliminated every two laps. After the fifth rider is eliminated, Moore is still going strong. He makes it to the final two. Moore and one other man’s legs are pounding at the pedals, and it’s a full-out sprint. At the end of the last lap the other man is a little bit ahead, but Moore puts on a face of determination and starts to overtake him. At the final stretch they are neck and neck, but Moore finally inches past the man to win the race.

Moore is the best velodrome racer in the country for his age group. “I like to see new velodromes—they're not all the same,” Moore said.
Photo submitted by Peter Moore
Moore is the best velodrome racer in the country for his age group. “I like to see new velodromes—they’re not all the same,” Moore said.

Moore knows everyone he races with. After the race he talks about the what happened with the man he just defeated. “They treat me equally—like any other adult,” Moore said.

Moore will race in this manner on a weekly basis.  He practices on the track twice a week and on the road for the rest of the time. Over the summer, he doesn’t have much rest. “I biked almost every day last summer,” Moore said.

Moore learned how to bike when he was three years old. He started racing with adults when he was 11.

“My dad got me into it. I really enjoy the speed and physical strain,” Moore  said.

Moore is incredibly dedicated to biking. He can be found constantly on websites about racing or looking for new bike parts.

At age 13, Moore went to the Junior National Cycling Championship in Los Angeles. In his age group of 13-14, Moore competed in three races and placed third, fifth and sixth, placing  fourth overall.

“It was definitely exciting,” Moore said.

When he goes to nationals, Moore gets to meet kids who are just as dedicated to biking as he is.

“There aren’t a lot of cycling kids in Minnesota,” Moore said.

I think about what I want to do, take the lead or wait for the sprint.”

— Freshman Peter Moore

This year, Moore’s pain and practice paid off. He returned to nationals, in the same age group, but as a 14-year-old. He placed first in two races and second in one, and in turn first overall, becoming  nationally the best biker in his age group. Moore is humble when asked about his championship, and doesn’t bring it up in conversation unless asked.

Before every race, Moore warms up on his bike, not looking nervous in the slightest.

“I’m pretty relaxed [before a race], I don’t talk to other people,” Moore said.

He travels all over the country for bike races.

“I like to see new velodromesthey’re not all the same,” Moore said.

On the track in the tight pack of other incredibly fast moving cyclists, Moore is calm.

“My mind is clear when I race,” he said.

The only thing he might think about is how to win.

“I think about what I want to do, take the lead or wait for the sprint,” Moore said.

Cycling is an endurance sport but Moore handles it with ease.

“Ignore the pain and just go,” Moore said.

After a race, Moore looks happy and tired. His mom and dad always watch him race and encourage their son’s hobby. Moore has come far since he started cycling, going to nationals twice and returning with the championship once. Next year Moore will return to nationals, this time in the 15-16 age group.