From strong family bonds come the strongest passions. Elite-level cyclist Coryn Rivera’s trail to the top didn’t start from a fierce high profile cycling event, but from a wholesome family activity they love doing together in their hometown in Southern California.
Before Rivera was old enough to get her own bike, she spent most of her weekends pedalling around Southern California at the back of her father’s tandem bike. They rode together in family events, Gran Fondos and even casually as they went around their town. At the age of 10, Rivera knew nothing about racing, but through the bonding moments she shared with her father while riding a tandem bike, she developed a passion for it.
By 2004, Coryn Rivera was old enough to get her own bike. “In 2004, there was a kids race at the Redlands Classic, one lap of the criterium course,” says Rivera. “I entered it and won. The next year, I won it again, and I told my dad that I couldn’t wait another year to race again, and that’s how I got into racing as a junior.”
Her consecutive wins triggered the start of Rivera’s love affair with the sport. She loved the thrill of blazing through the different trails, she loved the feeling of crossing the finish line, she loved seeing her family jumping for joy whenever she scored the win – all she wanted was to race some more.
It’s never to early to develop a passion for sport, and the chance to learn it with a loved one can make the experience all the more inspiring and enjoyable. Such was the case with Rivera, and such can be the case with your own young ones.
When kids are young, just being able to ride on two wheels can be an achievement in and of itself, and that’s definitely something to be proud of. The feeling of independence and accomplishment that come with making that first step into a larger world are definitely something you’ll remember over time. Riding around the neighborhood or going on short trips are great ways to introduce cycling to your kids and at the same time, to bond with them while improving their skills. By the end of the day, what’s important at this stage is for them to enjoy and love what they are doing.
At the age of 22, 11 years since that first Redlands Classic, Rivera has a lot of miles left to her already illustrious cycling career, and all it took to set her down that path were rides with her father, on the back of a tandem bike.