The Profiler: Cyclist Niles Wesley

The Profiler: Cyclist Niles Wesley

Aubrie Abeno

Niles Wesley gets ready to ride. Contributed photo.

Summer is just about over, and 12-year-old Niles Wesley spent his holiday camping in Bernie Falls, playing with RC cars, and earning gold medals for all four disciplines of the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association’s Junior District Track Cycling Championships.

It’s nearly his fourth year competing in BMX racing, and the middle school student has come a long way. After winning all three disciplines in the championships – Scratch Race, Time Trial, and Flying Time Trial – Niles walked away on June 15 with a slew of medals around his neck and the coveted Bear Jersey as his prize. Much to his competitors’ chagrin, he hasn’t missed a single Junior Division race yet.

Niles raced against the clock in both the Time Trial and Flying Time Trial, pitting his fastest times against four other contestants between 10 and 12 years old. Completing the Scratch Race with a 15-point gap over second place, his cumulative wins made Niles a shoe-in for the Omnium.

But lately Niles is facing a new challenge. Competing against 13- and 14-year-olds is no problem, but in one tournament, his age placed him in the same division as fully-grown adults.

He still made fourth place.

Niles Wesley’s ride of choice for the day was what he and his father referred to as a “bonk:” an old-school, customized bike, not unlike the car equivalent, the “donk.” But everyone has to start somewhere.

Thought Niles has been at the top of his game at twelve years old, his first tournament 4 years old saw him clocking in at last place.

Niles was reluctant to brag about his array of recent successes, though his father and coach, 49-year-old Michael Wesley, was happy to oblige. Also a BMX racer, Michael sparked his son’s interest in racing at a young age. Now working a day job in the tech industry, his evening passion is coaching.

“I don’t tell him what to do,” said Michael. “I just give him the options and he figures it out for himself. As long as he’s enjoying it.”


Submitted by Jon (not verified) on Fri, Sep 6, 2013

Umm... that's track racing, BMX is completely different. Go Niles!

Submitted by frank on Sat, Sep 7, 2013

Maybe that should be Burney Falls?